Shea butter (karite butter) is made from the nuts of wild karite nut trees that grow in the African savannah. Shea butter contains a number of fatty acids, which contribute to skin moisture and elasticity. It also contains vitamin A and E and has soothing properties as well as anti-oxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s a powerhouse ingredient, and top of that, it penetrates the skin quickly without leaving a greasy residue like petroleum or mineral oil-based products. You can purchase pure shea butter but, to put it politely, it stinks. (Although the smell dissipates within minutes). Refined shea butter has a more pleasing scent, but it may lose some of its power during the refining process.