Shea Butter is an off-white solid butter that comes from the African shea tree. It's a very soft butter at room temperature. It is widely used as a moisturizer, and can be used by itself or in combination with other oils and butters. It can become grainy if used by itself, and tempering it is a great way to prevent this problem.
Shea butter is rich in vitamins A and E, as well as other essential fatty acids. My whipped body frostings use a high percentage of shea butter as it is intensely moisturizing, making them perfect for dry winter skin. Because it can be a bit greasy on its own, I don't usually use it on my face. But it is wonderful for the body!