Best shea-butter hand cream

Luxury Skincare

It’s important to double-check the ingredients list of a new shea-butter hand cream before purchasing it. Shea butter could be less used than other ingredients, which defeats the purpose.

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Which shea-butter hand cream is best?

You’ve probably started looking into purchasing a shea-butter hand cream because you’ve heard amazing things about what it can do for your skin as well as its affordability. While all the claimed benefits haven’t been fully laboratory tested, the moisturizing properties have been proven effective and the low cost is absolutely true. 

But with so many shea-butter hand creams on the market, which do you choose? Make it easy on yourself by starting with the L’Occitane Fast-Absorbing 20% Shea Butter Hand Cream. Unlike many shea-butter hand creams, shea butter is one of the foremost ingredients in this hand cream. And if you don’t like its scent, you can pick a different option, such as lavender or cherry blossom.

What to know before you buy a shea-butter hand cream


You can purchase shea-butter hand creams in any size you’d like, although it’s recommended to start with a small amount when purchasing a new brand or a different-scented option from the same brand. Most shea-butter hand creams are effectively the same, but they might contain a different ingredient that reacts poorly with your skin.

Fair trade

Shea butter is produced from shea trees, which are native only to Africa. Sales of fair-trade creams directly benefit the communities that harvest the shea trees the shea butter is derived from.

What to look for in a quality shea-butter hand cream


Shea-butter hand cream is usually used, surprise, for dry hands. But it isn’t enough to use a light amount of cream — you really need to slather it on. Some people even use a second coat shortly after the first. Make sure you’re also applying it to every surface of your hand, including your nails and the area around them.


All-natural shea butter has a light, nutty scent that’s unfortunately lost once it is processed and combined with the ingredients required to make a hand cream. Some of these scents are quite strong while others are very mild or somewhere in between. The smell of the hand cream does not affect the quality of the shea butter.


Oils are a common ingredient in shea-butter hand creams as they thin out the thick shea butter. Commonly used oils include lavender for scent and soothing, or peppermint for a little touch of tingle.

Added ingredients

Shea butter is only one of the many ingredients in shea-butter hand creams. Others include the already mentioned fragrances and oils as well as additional butters like cocoa or even beeswax. Not all shea-butter hand creams are free of paraben and phthalate — chemicals sometimes linked to health risks — so if that is important to you, double check before purchasing.

How much you can expect to spend on a shea-butter hand cream

Just because shea butter is excellent for your skin doesn’t mean it has to be expensive. Most shea-butter hand creams cost $10-$20, though they can have varying levels of shea butter and added ingredients to alter their effects or smell, or both. Anything more than $20 is usually a large container  or a luxury brand, while anything less than $10 is either too cheap to recommend or just a small amount of good shea-butter hand cream.

Shea-butter hand cream FAQ

What makes shea-butter hand cream such a good moisturizer?

A. Shea butter requires no potentially harmful or drying chemicals to be added. It contains a core group of fatty acids that work together to moisturize. 

If you want to sound smart next time you talk to your friends, memorize the following: The majority of the acids are oleic and stearic, with very small amounts of palmitic and linoleic that give shea butter its emollient, humectant and occlusive properties (in other words, moisturizing).

What are the possible additional benefits of shea-butter hand cream?

A. Besides the proven moisturizing benefits of shea-butter hand cream there are a handful of untested, anecdotally evidenced benefits some claim it has. The main unproven benefits are shea butter serving as an anti-inflammatory for scarring as well as boosting collagen and antioxidizing for reducing signs of aging. Some also use shea-butter hand creams to reduce itching, or even as an antifungal treatment for feet.

What’s the best shea-butter hand cream to buy?

Top shea-butter hand cream 

L’Occitane Fast-Absorbing 20% Shea Butter Hand Cream

L’Occitane Fast-Absorbing 20% Shea Butter Hand Cream

What you need to know: This is an excellent shea-butter hand cream on all marks.

What you’ll love: Its ingredients include coconut oil and honey.

What you should consider: If you have a sensitive nose, it’s best to avoid this strongly scented shea-butter hand cream.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Sephora and Ulta Beauty

Top shea-butter hand cream for the money

J.R. Watkins Hand Cream with Shea and Cocoa Butters

J.R. Watkins Hand Cream With Shea and Cocoa Butters

What you need to know: This shea-butter hand cream does not sacrifice quality to reach its rock-bottom price point.

What you’ll love: This product does not test on animals and contains only 2% non-natural ingredients.

What you should consider: The coconut and honey scent might be off-putting to some.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Silk Elements Shea Butter & Olive Oil Hand Cream

Silk Elements Shea Butter & Olive Oil Hand Cream

What you need to know: This is another great budget-friendly shea-butter hand cream.

What you’ll love: This shea-butter hand cream is all about the shea and contains no smell-changing ingredients.

What you should consider: A few users have commented that successive coats are necessary to get its full benefits.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Jordan Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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