Shea Butter vs. Cocoa Butter: Which is Best for Your Skin and Why?

The very first winter at Beekman farm was rough. Having spent the last several years of our lives in the rarefied office environments of Manhattan, our skin was not used to facing the harsh elements. In the cold weather, many of us develop “winter itch” or eczema – dry, itchy, flaky skin.  Winter weather dries out our skin due to the lower humidity. Indoor heating also lowers humidity, depriving our skin of moisture. Read on to find out how goat milk and shea butter have helped our skin survive winter.


How Goat Milk Helped Restore Our Skin

We try to eliminate harmful chemicals while featuring botanical-based ingredients that can help protect and restore our skin in addition to using the goat milk soap that would eventually make Beekman 1802 famous. First came the Stick of Butter—a solid lotion stick made using goat milk that could travel right along with you, even on an airplane. This was great for lips and routine use on the hands. But, for those areas of the body REALLY prone to dryness, like the elbows, knees, and heels, we wanted an effective spot treatment.

What is Shea Butter? African Shea Tree

So, we created the B.1802 Whipped Goat Milk Body Creams to combat dry skin in areas that are prone to dry, itchy, flaky skin. These creams are a blend of goat milk, and the only thing we could think of that would be more soothing – shea butter. Shea butter is a slightly yellow or ivory-colored fat extracted from the nut of the African Shea Tree (Vitellaria paradoxa). Shea nuts are used for both their fruit (which is eaten,) and oil (which are used in skin care products and cooking.) We love shea butter for its moisturizing properties in the winter. It’s also used by people living in the Sahara Desert to keep from losing too much hydration in the hot, dry winds.


Shea Butter vs. Cocoa Butter: Which is Better For Dry Skin?

Shea butter was widely used in Western cosmetics from the 1930s–1960s. In the last part of the 20th century, it was replaced in most beauty products by cocoa butter, which was cheaper to import. But shea butter has natural SPF and anti-inflammatory properties that cocoa butter doesn’t, and has seen a resurgence in popularity recently. We’re often asked why we don’t produce traditional lotions. The answer is that any liquid lotion or soap requires chemical preservatives and stabilizers, which we prefer to avoid. Shea butter, however, has a naturally long shelf life.

Why Shea Butter Earned The Nickname “Women’s’ Gold”

Shea butter is also a vital part of some rural African economies, where it is harvested and processed by women. It’s sometimes referred to as “Women’s’ Gold” since in some regions the harvesting and processing of shea nuts is one of the only opportunities for income for African women.

Make Your Home a Happy Place With Beekman 1802

Beekman 1802 revitalizes the centuries-old tradition of bathing your skin in goat milk. We also use the highest percentage of pure goat milk possible, so our products are rich in vitamins and minerals. Beekman 1802 is a beauty brand that has grown into something much more, but at our core is the desire to make beautiful things.


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