Shea Obsession: When Shea Butter is really Almond Oil

I have not shopped in the Body Shop for many years but a display of body oils caught my attention recently.  As a Shea Butter Obsessive, I picked up the Shea oil and looked forward to my favourite ingredient being dispensed in an oil form.  However, this product has more almond oil then Shea butter in it.  Don’t get me wrong.  I like Almond Oil, but I thought that I was buying a Shea Butter product.  Almond oil is not an essential oil so it  is not used in small quantities to great effect in products.  I think that in terms of active ingredients Almond Oil and Shea butter are pretty equal, so I don’t really understand why a predominantly Almond Oil product would be described as Shea Beautifying Oil.  Considering that Body Shop have a range of body oils, I find the decision to call the Shea Oil quite misleading.

The Body Shop describes this product as a dry oil for hair body and face.  When I bought the oil it was always my intention to use it as a body oil.  With winter fast approaching and my very dry skin, body oils are one of my favourite ways to stay moisturised.    For my skin type, this oil did not keep me moisturised for a whole day.  After about four hours my skin was starting to look a bit parched.  This was very disappointing as I have used pure almond oil on my skin and it was a great moisturiser for me, so I would have expected an oil that blended almond oil and shea butter (along with marula and kukui oils) to work well.  I also found the pungent fragrance off putting.

The product is multifunctional so I thought I would try it on my face.  I was not keen on using such a highly perfumed product as a moisturiser, but as I generally wear a full face of make up to work Monday to Friday, I thought it might be a good as a cleansing oil.  Well, it removed the  make up and it did not give me spots but the fragrance was just too much.

So finally, I used it on my hair…with great success!! The fragrance that had been overpowering on my skin seemed just right on my locs and it provided a good level of moisture without being greasy when applied to damp hair and it did not build up on my hair.

Despite the success as a hair oil, this is not a product I will be repeat purchasing.  Primarily because, it is not a Shea Oil, it is a blend of oils which contains (not very much) shea butter.


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