Butyrospermum parkii (Shea butter). Shea butter is a fat obtained from the fruit of the Karite tree, Butyrospermum parkii. It is used in cosmetics and personal care products as a skin conditioning agent 1. One of its actions is to slow the loss of water from the skin by forming a barrier on the skin’s surface. Botanical and botanically derived ingredients used in the formulation of cosmetics are generally mild and safe.