Q.Are Cocoa Butter And Shea Butter The Same?

Cocoa butter and Shea butter are some of the most popular cosmetic ingredients in the world. They can be used in their native form without addition of other compounds, or as bases for making other cosmetics. Most people confuse the two products, thinking that they are essentially the same thing when we talk about body butters. In reality, cocoa butter and Shea butter are different in many ways.
The first of these is the extraction method. The products used to make cocoa butter and Shea butter are extracted from two different trees. Cocoa butter is synthesized from the cacao tree, normally found in Mexico and West Africa. Shea butter, on the other hand, is made from the Shea tree which is indigenous to Africa mostly in west, central and east Africa.
The two products also differ slightly in their chemical compositions. Cocoa butter has a high concentration of oleic acid, stearic acid and palmitic acid. On the other hand, while Shea butter also has high concentrations of oleic and stearic acids, the palmitic acid is in trace amounts only. In addition to that, Shea butter has other chemicals not found in cocoa butter including linoleic acid and arachidic acid. The quantities of all these chemicals differ between the two products.
Also, shea butter is less hard compared to cocoa butter, and can melt when it comes into contact with the human skin. It has a vanilla aroma, while cocoa butter has a chocolate aroma.