Organic Raw Shea Butter
Available Colors: Golden and Beige
Botanical Name: Butyrospermum parkii
Country of Origin: West Africa, including Ghana, Mali, Burkina Faso
Color/scent: slightly yellow or ivory/nutty
Texture: solid at room temperature, but melts upon contact with skin
Extraction Method: expeller pressed
Description and Properties:
Like cocoa butter, shea butter has its roots in both the food and body care industries. The health benefits of shea butter when applied topically are vast, making it a great component in both skin and hair care products.
Shea butter, a slightly yellow fat with a nutty scent, is expeller pressed and extracted from the nut of the African Shea tree. In Africa, it has been referred to as “women’s gold” because of the jobs and income opportunities it has provided to women there. The Shea tree does not begin producing nuts until about its 15th year at which point it may or may not be ready for picking.
The production of shea butter begins with separating the nuts from their outer shells and then crushing the nuts to prepare for roasting. After roasting, the nuts are then ground into a paste-like substance and combined with water to separate the oils that float to the top. Finally, the butter oil curds are melted and boiled to remove the excess water and then collected and shaped into formed balls, which are then left to harden. It is at this point the butter is ready to be packed and sold to consumers – many of which are manufacturers of body care products.
Shea butter is solid at room temperature and melts upon contact with the skin. When used as an ingredient, the scent of shea butter can often surpass that of others, as it emits a somewhat strong nutty odor. However, its beneficial properties make it an extremely sought after component in the body care business.
Products that generally utilize shea butter are meant to help moisturize and heal both hair and skin. Such products include, but are not limited to: lotions, hair conditioners, soaps, anti-aging creams and massage oils. Vitamins A and E found in shea butter help keep the skin healthy and relieve sun damage while vitamin F protects and heals dry, chapped skin and damaged hair.
The healing properties of shea butter contribute to the restoration and health of burns, psoriases, scars and sores and the high concentration of fatty acids help skin retain moisture and elasticity. Shea butter is also useful in treating skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis. It helps improve skin tone, soften calluses, prevent stretch marks, relieve dry skin, and sooth minor rashes.
Shea butter has a shelf life of about one year and should be stored in a cool, dark location. If making your own body care products, it can be found in both unrefined and refined forms – choose according to preference, because refined is usually more pleasant smelling, but unrefined retains more health benefits.
Shea butter is non-toxic, non-irritating and contains no hazardous components, but as with every new product, always test a small amount on your skin before full use to ensure no allergic reaction occurs. NOTE: Shea butter should NOT be used by those with nut allergies.
Remember, the FDA has not evaluated the above statements. No claims are made regarding any medicinal value of shea butter. The information presented here is for educational purposes and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.