Jojoba Oil vs. Shea Butter

Which is Better for Your Skin: Jojoba Oil or Shea Butter?


Khadija B.
October 23, 2022

When it comes to beauty butters, there are two main contenders: jojoba oil and shea butter. Both have their pros and cons, and both have a loyal following. So, which one is the best? In this blog post, we will compare the two and see who comes out on top!

What is Jojoba Oil?

Jojoba oil is a plant-based oil that comes from the jojoba plant. This plant is native to Mexico and the American Southwest America, and the oil from the jojoba seeds has been used for centuries by Native Americans for its many benefits. The plant it is derived from is Simmondsia chinensis, and one benefit of jojoba is that most people do not have any allergic reactions from it.

Although it has recently experienced a resurgence in popularity, jojoba oil has long been used in cosmetics as a replacement for whale oil. Jojoba oil is ~50% wax ester. While unrefined jojoba oil is colorless, refined jojoba oil typically has a golden color.

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Benefits of Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil is similar to human sebum produced by by our skins sebaceous glands. Since jojoba oil mimics these natural oils, it makes an excellent choice for those with oily or acne-prone skin, as it does not leave a greasy finish.

Jojoba oil is also typically cold pressed, meaning there are no chemical residues.

Controls Skin Oil Production

Jojoba oil can help to regulate sebum production, and it is also non-comedogenic, meaning that it won’t clog pores.

Controlling sebum production helps jojoba oil actively prevent acne on our face. It also reduces bacteria accumulation on our skin, fighting inflammation.

Moisturizing skin

Combining numerous fatty acids and a low comedogenic rating allows jojoba oil to act as a lightweight moisturizer that does not clog the pores of our skin. Jojoba oil is a humectant ingredient, meaning it benefits the skin by attracting and retaining hydration.

Protects from Oxidation and Ageing

Like shea butter, jojoba oil is packed vitamins a and e. These allow it to boost the collagen and elastin levels in the skin and combat face wrinkles and fine lines. Like shea butter oil, this means jojoba oil stands out in keeping skin healthy, inflammation free, and shining.

What is Shea Butter?

Shea butter is a type of fat that is derived from the shea tree. This tree is native to Africa, and shea butter has been used for centuries by people in this region for its many benefits. Shea butter is solid at room temperature, but it melts when it comes into contact with skin.

Shea butter is a very popular ingredient in many beauty products, and for good reason!

clean face

Benefits of Shea Butter

Shea butter’s composition makes it an great moisturizer for those with dry skin. It absorbs well into the skin without leaving a greasy finish. It is also a rich source of Vitamin e and vitamin A, which help maintain healthy skin.

Shea butter is also a great option to help relieve dry skin types and those suffering from eczema due to its high concentration of essential fatty acids, including linoleic acid.

Hydrates the Skin

Shea butter is an emollient, meaning it forms a protective barrier on top of the skin and locks in moisture. This action, provided by its fatty acids, makes it particularly benefcial for those with dry skin. It also means it is helpful for those with eczema

Heals Wounds

Shea butter has a number of healing properties that make it especially useful for those suffering from acne. Shea butter helps soothe the redness and heal acne scars quickly. Shea butter can also be used to reduce irritation caused by wounds, burns, and sunburns.

Reduces Signs of Ageing

Shea butter oil is rich in Vitamin A (or retinoic acid), which helps improve the production of collagen and elastin in the skin. This helps tighten skin and prevents the formation of wrinkles, lines, and sagging skin.

Protects for Oxidative Stress

Antioxidants like vitamin E helps combat the effects of free radicals in the atmosphere. Free radicals can damage the skins natural barrier and allow pollutants to penetrate deep inside, inflaming and dulling the skin.

Jojoba oil vs shea butter: Key Differences

Although both have a host of benefits, the main difference is that shea butter is best at penetrating deep and moisturizing dry skin. Jojoba on the other hand wont leave you greasy or your skin feeling sticky.

Texture and Feel

Shea butter often comes in the form of a very thick cream that is absorbed into the skin, while Jojoba oil comes in a more fluid oil form.

Importantly, jojoba oil will absorb into the skin leaving a non-greasy finish thanks to its ability to mimic human sebum.


Pure jojoba oil is odorless and tasteless, shea butt has a strong and distinct nutty smell. While the smell of raw shea butter is tolerated well by most, custom body butter with coconut oil, cocoa butter or essential oils can be used to carry a different fragrance.

Oil Longevity

One downside to shea butter is that it will typically become rancid within two years of being opened. Jojoba oil is stable at room temperature and does not suffer from this concern.

Anti-Microbial Properties

Shea butter is noted for having anti inflammatory properties, which means it is particularly useful for use on skin repair for wounds and burns.

Fatty Acids Concentrations

Shea butter has high concentrations of fatty acids oleic acid and stearic acid, which help rejuvenate mature skin. While jojoba oil has both of these components, they are in different proportions. Shea butter has more oleic acid compared to stearic acid, while jojoba oil has less oleic acid.

Jojoba Oil Vs Shea Butter For Face

Because jojoba oil mimics our naturally skin oils, it is great as a daily face moisturizer. Shea butter is thicker, so I personally avoid using it on my face. With that said, if you have a dry skin type it may be worth trying as a deeper penetrating option.

Jojoba Oil Vs Shea Butter For Moisturizing Skin

Which oil you should use often comes down to which skin issues you have.

For those suffering from acne, I would encourage them to consider shea butter as its antimicrobial properties can be a benefit to acne prone skin. Jojoba oil penetrates more quickly and is helpful unblocking clogged pores.

Shea butter stands out for its ability to help result skin conditions like wrinkles, scarring, and redness of the skin as it contains antioxidants that can help protect your skin from free radicals. Jojoba oil is anti inflammatory.

One key difference is that while jojoba oil is effective in reducing the appearance of scars, shea butter is more effective at preventing scars from forming in the first place.

Jojoba Oil Vs Shea Butter For Hair

Both oil types can be used effectively in your hair, depending on your hair texture. Jojoba oil is the better choice for those with dry, course, or fragile hair. Those with fine or brittle hair is the better choice for those with fine or brittle hair.

Like with the skin, the best choice between the two is likely a combination of both.

Jojoba Oil Vs Shea Butter Conclusion

Both Jojoba oil and shea butter are great natural moisturizers useful for treating a number of skin conditions.

If choosing between the two, we would recommend shea butter oil over jojoba oil. Shea butter it typically less expensive than jojoba oil, while both jojoba oil and shea butter have similar essential fatty acids like stearic acid, and therefore similar benefits.

Can I Use Jojoba Oil And Shea Butter Together

We actually encourage those debating between shea butter and jojoba oil to consider using both together. Since they have different but synergistic properties, you can get the best of both worlds by mixing both jojoba oil and shea butter together to create homemade moisturizer. Together you will get a chemical composition from natural sources that is rich in vitamin e, vitamin a, and vitamin F. This mixture will have a number of anti aging benefits to keep your skin healthy, including providing a fast absorbing moisturizer that unblocks pores.

As always, we encourage you to test for allergic reactions whenever trying a new skincare product.

Recipe: DIY Shea Butter And Jojoba Oil Mixture

It is easy to make a homemade whipped body butter incorporating both shea butter and jojoba oil for a fatty acid rich skin skincare regimen. In addition to shea better and jojoba oil (in a 2 to one ratio, you can incorporate coconut oil and sort of scented essential oil for the smell of your choice. Of course you can always chose other oils, but this combination will give you the best of both worlds in the form of an anti inflammatory and anti-aging formula that helps address a number of skin issues.

Khadija B.