My experience using Ori aka Shea Butter – Tips and Recommendations


Shea butter or as we call it in Nigeria, “ORI” is an off- white or ivory-colored fat extracted from the nut of the African shea tree.(You can watch how it is done in the video at the end of my post)

My appreciation for Shea Butter fully developed on a visit to one of my stylists. This guy uses Shea butter for almost everything hair wise. I have always known about Ori, my grandmother tried many times to convince me to use it and I would use it once in a while but I was never a dedicated user per say. Fast forward to my hair breaking. Initially I though my stylist was being cheap until I started seeing a huge difference in my hair during the period he worked with me.

I do wear weaves and was getting that frontal hair damage when he recommended I keep using Shea butter at home as well, on a daily basis. So I of course took some home. I simply massage it into the hair and scalp paying extra attention to the thinning front hairs. Huge improvement I tell ya. Now, this is all I use for my hair and scalp and lets just say my hair is the longest it has been in years.

making of ori

During the course of trying to get my hair right, and seeing as I’m always down with anything natural, I gave Shea Butter a shot for my body and haven’t looked back since. Lets just say I fell in love. It would keep my body moisturized all day. If you are someone with dry skin like mine, you will understand the pain of putting lotion on now and a few hours later you are darn near ashy again like WTF. Keep in mind, I’m talking about the all natural organic Shea not the one that has been diluted and polluted with chemicals.


I have extremely dry skin and I don’t know why but lotions alone simply don’t work for me. I either need a cream based formula or an oil based formula.  My love for Shea Butter is so far gone that when I get pedicures I request for it or bring mine along. If you have dry skin like I do, you’ll appreciate what I am talking about.

shea butter

The only thing that competes with Shea butter for me would be Virgin Olive oil. I use this when the weather is extra dry, ie Winter or Hamattan, depending on what part of the world I find myself. For some reason, Shea Butter doesn’t last all day during harsh dry or cold weather IF I have been overly active. It does last most of the day though and will last all day if you don’t expose your body to things like water etc.

Now, lets talk about that smell people complain about. The fact about all natural Shea butter is that depending on how its been kept, some stink mildly and some don’t. I have been fortunate to get the not so stinky ones, that just have a natural scent possibly from the Shea nuts, but on occasion do end up with those with a mild odor.

shea butter woman

Stinky or not, I personally prefer to use Shea butter as is. I don’t mix with anything or attempt to have it smell better because I feel it defeats the purpose. If I feel the smell is bad, I leave it to air out hours before use and spray on scented body spray on my body or use essential oils, vanilla being my fav afterwards. Be careful how you use essential oils though because not all are skin or child friendly. Do your research. This post contains affiliate links for ingredients to some recommended Shea Butter. We get compensated by our affiliates at no additional cost to you.

As far as Shea Butter goes I restrict its use to open part of my body, if you know what I mean. I’m sure some may use it for their naughty bits, but I prefer not to. One thing I have also don’t use it for is my face, while it doesn’t have any adverse effect on my face (I’ve tried it severally), I have incredibly sensitive facial skin so the only product I moisturize my face with is DermaMed Baby Cream. It’s about the only thing that keeps my face from getting irritated so I stick to what works. Is Shea Butter safe to use for kids? That’s what I use for my son, with the exception of Virgin Olive oil during the winter period and so far so great.

shea-women ori

Now, I know there are a lot of companies that sell processed Shea butter. I DO NOT use processed Shea Butter, I buy 100% pure virgin Shea Butter aka Ori direct from Nigeria . It comes in two colors that I know of and that’s like a light yellowish color and a cream color. I tried searching online for companies that maybe import and found a few. (that’s if you are not in Naija and don’t have quick access to it) You can check them out below by clicking each description and tell me if it worked for you.

  1.  You can find a Variety of ORI Shea Butter Here
  2.  Raw Shea Butter Rich in Vitamins A, E and F – 100% Natural African
  3.  100% Organic West African Shea Butter

Here are some tips for getting the best out of your Shea Butter (Ori).

  • Remember that this is an all natural product, meaning it has no preservatives so naturally the shelf life will be shorter. The average shelf life ranges from 1 to 2 years.
  • I keep my Shea Butter is a closed plastic container on my dresser, room temperature. This works well for me as far as storage goes
  • Proper hygiene is necessary, like I said, it has no preservative so you want to handle with clean hands to avoid contaminating it. I have never had an issue with this but better safe than not.
  • Like I said, I DO NOT mix my Shea Butter with anything else, I prefer it like that but if you must, just mix a small batch that you will use, versus the entire thing possibly going to waste in case you want to revert back to original form.
  • If you must mix your Shea butter with an oil, Ill recommend Virgin olive oil is best as it is also all natural
  • If you desire a scent, you should try mixing it with natural oil like almond or coconut but please do your research well because like I said, some essential oils are not skin friendly, or you can just be like me, save yourself the stress and use a body spray or dab of essential oil separately.

Some of the benefits of Shea Butter are; Helps keep hair soft and healthy, Improves skin texture, Helps heal dry skin, Good for Stretch marks, Great Moisturizer, Helps with things like Eczema, Rough Skin, and I heard some use it as a nasal decongestant (I don’t know about this though).

If I missed anything feel free to comment and I will be more than glad to answer any questions. I recently watched how Shea Butter was made on a program on Africa Magic Yoruba. It was so intriguing to watch. I tried finding it online but couldn’t and this video was the best thing I could come up with. Enjoy!

60 thoughts on “My experience using Ori aka Shea Butter – Tips and Recommendations

  1. I fell in love with ori about 2years ago when I realised it is the major components of those buttered creams. I started using it exclusively and for everything (body and hair) and I dont regret doing so.
    Great write up Osha, we ori lovers appreciate.

  2. I love shea butter too but I think it make fair people dark tho. It could be possile that I haven’t found the original shea butter, how can I get the undiluted(original shea butter). Thanks.

    1. Depends on your location. If u r in naija u can easily get it at most local markets but outside naija u can try one of the links I put up or ask someone visiting from naija to bring u some. Hope that helps

  3. This info is good ajebo people cos people like will have known over a long period of time…but well done mummy Zion

  4. I really enjoyed this, very detailed, and I read it to the end. My aunty introduced me to ori and I’ve used it for about 6 months now. I’m particular about scents and you’re right about shea butter having a funny smell so I mix mine with Body Shop’s Grapefruit oil.

  5. Thank Mz ling for this.Ori has been so good in evry area mentioned. I want to add trying it on a New born baby, d baby will maintain his/her natural color…No darkening,it smoothens,wrks for cream reactions too.

  6. I love Shea Butter too but for my skin, I prefer whipped shea butter which has been infused with coconut oil, olive oil and one or two skin-friendly essential oils. It just glides on so effortlessly, feels like silk in my hands and smells divine. I always make sure I have a steady supply of shea butter in my home and even carry a small tub in my handbag. The thing is amazing. I also use it with castor oil for the hair around my temples. A great tip I learnt is to apply shea butter on your skin which is slightly damp from the shower/bath. Locks in the moisture better and longer.

  7. Pls can I use ori for my front hair , its having serious breakage and in short I don’t have front hairs any more..can ori help me grow it??

  8. Great article, really great. Shea Butter is simply a huge blessing to us, it works wonders on the skin, hair, as lip gloss during harmattan etc. It helps me greatly anytime am out of the country especially, the weather is always harsh on me irrespective of the country when my skin goes cracking and peeling. I make my own all natural body butters and it’s my base for everything, I use it as my all body cream and my skin is yet to get darker having been using it consistently for about a year now. I use with different oils like Almond, Coconut, Frankincense and Myrr and more, all depends on the need of whom I am making or just trial.
    Thanks for sharing

  9. Gudevening u all,pls will ori make my 2yrs old daughter’s hair to grow? She doesn’t av hair at d sides and back of her hair,only d middle.i always feel like crying wenever I see d hair.pls any suggestion on products to make her hair grow will be appreciated. Tnx

    1. She is still young so her hair will still grow. For now Ori should be good because it is all natural but you can also try doing little puffs on her hair to encourage growth. I would not feel bad because it is not uncommon for children to grow hair on the sides later than they do on the top. Best of luck

  10. I’m loving this…just got better enlightened on shea butter.wouldn’t hesitate to try it out on my hair and skin…tanx a lot Toni!

  11. I just started using Shea buttetr on my 13month old baby skin not up to two weeks now,and there is rashes all over his face and neck area,i stopped and try vaseline blueseal petroleum jelly but is still not helping.I noticed that is face is lighter than the whole body.I live in the US,i have tried all sort of body soap and cream all to no avail.please i need your help on any baby cream and body soap that will make the whole body look the same because me and my husbad have dark skin.Your opinion will be appreciated.Thanks

    1. Have you tried Coconut oil? or vitamin E oil. I would give coconut oil a try to see if you see a difference. I would also stop trying too many things at such a short interval because you will find it hard knowing what works and what doesnt. If you want to use a baby cream that can help with rashes, I would recommend California Baby with Calendula. It worked for us.

    1. Personally I feel getting rid of stretch marks depends on the body type. Some fade away on their own and some don’t. I have not seen verified proof that shea butter can completely get rid of stretch marks. I may reduce the appearance but not make it disappear completely

  12. Woow…. l love this but l am fair and people say l will darken if l use it, please it is true? And can l mix with glycerin

  13. Comment…my Baby is 1 month and he have rashes on his face, neck, back and chest. So after reading this article i decided to use shea butter and nursing nurse on him, hope it works for me

  14. Please, I have had this Ori since 2015 when my mom came visiting, I kept it in an air tight container in my room, is it still good? Also, I have read and heard that it makes light skin people dark and so it’s best for dark skin types. How true is this? Since then, I have abandoned it. I use it every now and then on my baby.

    1. It should still be good depending on when it was produced. Also, I do not believe it makes you darker. Exposure to the sun without sun protection while using ori may do that but there is really no proof that ori itself makes you darker.

  15. My face is fairer than my body, can I use Shea butter to unify my and my body. And how can know the real shea butter

  16. It is not ori that makes somwone darker but the exposure to the sun by the suggestion for best result base on my personal experience is that, if you are the type that got exposed to sun on daily bases, it is better you apply it in the night just before bed.

  17. I just received this about two weeks ago. My boyfriend came to South Africa and brought me this. I already feel like I need more. My skin is honestly changing. My stretch marks on my butt and hips are lighter. I’ve been researching about ori for sometime now. I just can’t get enough of it!!!

  18. Everybody is bent on knowing whether it makes a light person dark…my own is..does it make a dark person light?

  19. am fair ,but am using nature secret lotion cream ,but de cream is darking me very bad,i have try so many cream but all is vain.Pls i need help.Can shea butter good 4 me?

    1. You can try 100% organic coconut oil. Shea butter will not darken you either. Make sure your skin is always hydrated and use a good SPF. You can also download my ebook Secrets to a brighter, smoother, softer skin in my e-store.

  20. Toni hey, I am in South Africa and have used shea butter from Nigeria once then got one from Ghana but it didnt work for me well. How can I get the one from Nigeria raw and unprocessed??

    1. Hi, I would probably look for a Nigerian supplier or if you know someone who lives in Nigeria, they could help you pick it up and send it to you. I hope this helps.

  21. good day am sandra ,dark in complexion i used carotone and it lightened my skin
    will using ori help me retain my dark complexion

    1. Hi Sandra,
      Ori should not alter your complexion when used alone. It will however keep your skin moisturized. I am guessing if you stop using carotone, your skin should go back to its original complexion. As an alternative, I would suggest using organic coconut oil. I am planning to do another article about its benefits and why I myself have switched from everyday use of Ori to Coconut oil.

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