Shea butter is a slightly yellowish or ivory-colored fat extracted from the nut of the African shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa).
Shea butter is a triglyceride (fat) derived mainly from stearic acid and oleic acid. It is widely used in cosmetics as a moisturizer, salve or lotion.
Shea butter is edible and is used in food preparation in Africa and also as a prophylactic.
Occasionally the chocolate industry uses shea butter mixed with other oils as a substitute for cocoa butter, although the taste is noticeably different.