My Love/Hate Relationship With The Body Shop Shea Body Butter: Super Moisturising, But A Pain To Use

by Gio
review the body shop shea body butter

The secret behind my smooth legs? Shea butter.

No kidding. My legs (well, my whole body) is drier than the Sahara. For years, I struggled to find a body lotion that can keep my skin soft and supple from morning till evening without having to reapply it 1000 times in between.

When shea butter entered my life, angels started to sing. I kid you not, this is the most moisturising thing I’d come across so far. I slather it on after a shower and I don’t have to worry about my skin for the rest of the day.

Needless to say, these days I rarely buy a body lotion, cream, or butter without shea butter. So, it’s a bit odd that I always neglected The Body Shop Shea Body Butter, especially because I love the rest of the range (my fave is coconut).

There was always something that held me back, but I didn’t know what. Now I do. Here’s what I mean:

What’s In The Body Shop Shea Body Butter?


Shea butter is a godsend for dry skin. Derived from the nut of the Shea tree, this fat is rich in moisturising fatty acids and antioxidants.

Fatty acids are what makes it work so well: they create a protective barrier on the skin that slows down water loss. Moisture is now forced to stay into the skin, hydrating it from within.

FYI, shea butter is even more moisturising than mineral oil (what derms consider the gold standard for moisturisation). Its effects lasts for up to 8 hours, if not more!

Related: Why Shea Butter Is The Best Moisturiser For Dry Skin


Think of glycerin as a moisture magnet: this little molecule attracts moisture into the air, drops it into your skin and binds it there.

Your skin now has plenty of extra moisture to keep it soft and hydrated for hours on end. Pair it with shea butter and you’ve got a very moisturising combo.

Related: Why Is Glycerin In ALL My Skincare Products?


The texture takes some getting used to too. It’s not greasy and it absorbs quite quickly – as long as you don’t go overboard and apply too much. That’s totally unnecessary anyway. A little goes a long, long way. But it is quite hard spread easily on the skin. Warmed it up between your fingers for a couple of minutes first.


It’s both flowery and nutty. And strong. It’s one of those scents that a lot of people will either love or hate at first sniff.

How To Use It

Massage it on your body after a shower.

Need help creating the best skincare routine for you dry skin? Sign up to the newsletter below to receive the “Dry Skincare Routine Cheatsheet” (it includes product recommendations, too!).

Performance & Personal Opinion

I love what The Body Shop Shea Body Butter does for my Sahara-like skin. I just don’t like using it – and not just because it took me a while to get used to its strong, nutty scent.

I’m not too keen on the texture either. It’s not as grainy and thick as pure shea butter (phew!), but you still need to warm it up between your fingers to get it to glide smoothly onto your skin.

It’s a bit of a hassle, but the results are so worth it. The butter is super moisturizing and a real godsend even for the driest of skin, like mine.

The smallest amount leaves my skin soft, smooth and moisturised from morning till night. Heck, I even think it may be a tad too rich for summer. I’ll probably have to switch to something lighter then. Who would have thought?

the body shop shea body butter review

Who Is This For?

Dry skin.

Who Is This Not For?

Oily and acne-prone skin.


Big brown jar. Not the most hygienic, but it’s the most practical packaging for such a thick formula.

Does The Body Shop Shea Body Butter Live Up To Its Claims?

Body Butter for dry to very dry skin.True.
72 hour ultra-rich moisture.It doesn’t last 72 hours on me, but it does last 24.
Replenishes skin with moisture.Yes.
Protects skin from dryness.True again.
Indulgently rich butter texture that sinks into the skin.True, but you have to warm it up first.
Non greasy and non-sticky.Yes. Once it sinks in, it leaves no residue behind.

Price & Availability

$36.00/£16.00 at The Body Shop and Ulta

Do You Need It?

If you have super dry skin and you don’t like the texture, you’ll like this. It works.

Dupes & Alternatives


Aqua / Water / Eau, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter / Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter / Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Citric Acid, Linalool, Coumarin, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Limonene, Parfum / Fragrance, Caramel, CI 19140 / Yellow 5.



Gauri April 30, 2015 - 5:57 am

I love the Body Shop Shea Body Butter – I use it almost every day!

Gio April 30, 2015 - 2:21 pm

Gauri, it’s amazing, isn’t it?

Annette May 8, 2015 - 2:32 am

I use TBS Shea Butter on my legs and TBS Shea Butter lotion on the rest of me. The new Fuji Green Tea is nice too!

Gio May 8, 2015 - 6:37 pm

Annette, it’s a wonderful line, isn’t it?

Sapna September 11, 2016 - 8:14 am

Very apprehensive since it contains parabens

Gio September 18, 2016 - 11:16 am

Sapna, I understand your concerns, but the latest science on parabens says they’re safe. Check out this post for more info:

Rose August 25, 2017 - 7:44 pm

Whenever there is potential product I would like to use, I look at the review first and then the result, not the ingredients, lol. I find that a lot of harmful ingredients that study says are not actually harmful if you consume it in a small amount. For example, they say dirt is not good because there is a lot of bacteria in it. But the truth is… it is healthy if you will expose yourself to a little bit of dirt because it will challenge your immune system. Our body have natural healing capability. It reacts based on how much we train ourselves to be exposed to challenges. That is the reason why every human being have different level of immunity to bacteria and chemicals.

The Body Shop Body Butter (Coconut or Shea) is working very well on my skin. I am still experimenting cheaper alternatives while I am using their body butter but so far I don’t see anything that can compare to their body butter yet. I’d been using their body butter for 6 years now.

I used coconut oil as another alternative. It gave me similar softness and texture on skin but it didn’t give me the same glow and vibrancy. That is one of the quality I see in The Body Shop Body Butter that I don’t see with other products.

Gio August 26, 2017 - 8:14 am

Rose, how can you tell if a product works without looking at the ingredients? Antioxidants, for example, are preventative. You’d have to stick with them for years before you can see the results. A lot of creams “hide” wrinkles instead of getting rid of them. How can you tell if you’ve got one that can really do the job if you don’t look at the ingredients?

The problem is not with studies, the problem is with the media. They put their own spin on these studies to make the results sound more dangerous than they actually are, ruining it for everyone. Unfortunately, “something is good in moderation” doesn’t make a good story. “Even the tiniest amount of this will kill you” does. *sighs*

I’m glad to hear this butter is working so well for you 🙂

sheetal August 7, 2018 - 5:47 am

The packaging is so luxurious….I use cocoa butter lotion ….. I think i will try this one too.

Gio August 9, 2018 - 10:08 am

Sheetal, it looks great, doesn’t it? It’s super moisturising too.


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