All About Shea Butter

All About Shea Butter

About Shea Butter:


Shea butter has high concentrations of fatty acids that make shea butter best for cosmetic ingredients & makes your skin soft. It has healing & anti-inflammatory properties. You can use shea butter on your body & face; it will condition, tone & soothe your skin.


In Essence:


‘Tree of life’ is the nickname of Shea tree; this name is given as it can address different skin, hair & health conditions. Shea butter is also known as “Mother Nature’s Conditioner” it is known by this name as it has moisturizing & softening properties. 

It is derived from the kernels of the Shea.

It is known as the ‘skin superfood’ that nourishes the skin to promote the skin’s clarity & addresses the problems like dryness, blemishes, dark spots, discolorations, stretch marks & wrinkles without clogging pores.

It is used in hair as it moisturizes & nourishes hair from root to tip & protects from dryness & brittleness, repairs damage & conditions.

It is used in massage as it supports skin elasticity & suppleness, boosts collagen production & increases circulation. It can ease the joint pain & rheumatism & reduces stretch marks.   It is used in medicines as it prevents skin-irritation & acne-causing bacteria; it creates a barrier on the skin that protects it from harsh environmental elements. 


History:


Shea butter (vitellaria paradoxa) also known as Butyrospermum parkii. Shea butter is derived from the Shea nuts. Shea trees are found in the Savanna belt. Shea word is derived from the word “S’i” the Bambara name that is given to the tree in Mali. ‘Tree of life’ is the nickname of Shea tree; this name is given as it can address different skin, hair & health conditions. Shea butter is also known as “Mother Nature’s Conditioner” it is known by this name as it has moisturizing & softening properties.

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In some poor African regions, the Shea tree is the important part to the economy & the livelihood. Here, it is also known as ‘Women’s Gold,’ as it is used as the source of income for many women in Africa. The women used this butter to purchase food, clothing, and personal items & afford education. It has many healing abilities that’s was recognized as sacred. In West African cuisine, it has high nutritional value & reasonable price. It was a staple ingredients that was used for medicinal benefits.


Benefits:


Let’s know about its main constituents:

OLEIC ACIDS (OMEGA 9) are known to:

  • Maintain the softness, suppleness, and radiance of skin and hair
  • Stimulate the growth of thicker, longer, and stronger hair
  • Reduce the appearance of aging, such as premature wrinkles and fine lines
  • Eliminate dandruff and thereby support hair growth
  • Boost immunity
  • Exhibit antioxidant properties
  • Prevent joint inflammation, stiffness, and pain 
  • Impact the hardness or softness of the butter

STEARIC ACID is known to:

  • Have cleansing properties that purge dirt, sweat, and excess sebum from hair and skin
  • Be an ideal emulsifying agent that binds water and oil
  • Help products remain potent when stored for long periods of time
  • Condition and protect hair from damage without diminishing luster or making it feel heavy
  • Have exceptional cleansing properties
  • Soften skin
  • Provides the butter with a solid consistency

PALMITIC ACID is known to:

  • Have emollient properties
  • Soften hair without leaving a greasy or sticky residue
  • Be the most common saturated fatty acid

LINOLEIC ACID (OMEGA 6/Vitamin F) is known to:

  • Moisturize hair and promote its growth
  • Facilitate wound healing
  • Be an effective emulsifier in the formulation of soaps and quick-drying oils
  • Exhibit anti-inflammatory properties
  • Soothe acne and reduce chances of future outbreaks
  • Promote moisture retention in skin and hair
  • Make oils feel thinner in consistency when used in an oil blend, thus being beneficial for use on acne-prone skin
  • Soothe and promote the healing of skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis
  • Slow the look of premature aging

CINNAMIC ACID ESTERS are known to:

  • Have SPF properties that make it act as natural sunscreen
  • Soothe inflammation, irritation, and redness
  • Contribute antioxidant properties
  • Promote cell regeneration, making skin look rejuvenated

ALLANTOIN is known to:

  • Contribute protective and regenerative properties to skin that facilitate wound healing
  • Effectively soften skin and soothe irritation
  • Stimulate cell regeneration, thereby promoting the growth of healthy skin and tissue
  • Be an effective moisturizing agent
  • Be gentle and non-irritating, making it ideal for use on sensitive or irritated skin
  • Increase the water content of cells, making it an ideal ingredient for anti-aging products
  • Enhance skin’s texture, making it smoother

POLYPHENOLS are known to:

  • Soften skin
  • Exhibit antioxidant properties that slow the look of aging
  • Protect against harmful UV radiation
  • Boost skin cell regeneration and elasticity, thereby enhancing overall skin quality
  • Promote greater circulation and oxygen to the skin
  • Have antioxidant properties that slow the look of aging and boost circulation
  • Repair scarred and blemished skin
  • Prevent moisture loss from skin and hair
  • Offer soothing relief to skin that has been burned
  • Deeply cleanse pores and balance oil production

VITAMIN A is known to:

  • Protect skin against damage caused by UV radiation
  • Slow the appearance of aging by smoothing wrinkles and fine lines
  • Stimulate production of collagen
  • Stimulate cells regeneration to keep skin healthy, strong, and firm
  • Facilitate faster healing of wounds
  • Protect skin against toxins and bacteria and promotes cell production, thus boosting immunity
  • Lighten unwanted blemishes and dark spots, thus balancing skin tone to create an even glow
  • Slow the production of oil in the skin and clears pores, thereby preventing acne breakouts

Shea butter is rich in vitamin A, E & F as it nourishes skin to promote its clarity & health. It has moisturizing, circulation-boosting & anti-inflammatory properties as it is used for dryness, wrinkles, dark spots, discolorations, stretch marks & blemishes. It balances oil production without clogging the pores. It melts at body temperature & it is known to soothe & hydrate mature skin that has been damaged by the harsh effects of the elements.

It is used in hair as it moisturizes & nourishes hair from root to tip & protects from dryness & brittleness, repairs damage & conditions. It is used to repair, prevent or reduce the damage caused by the environment elements or heat styling. It provides relief from the itchiness, irritation & dandruff.

It is used in massage as it has anti-aging & skin-protecting benefits that slow the signs & symptoms of maturing skin by supporting skin elasticity & suppleness. It boosts collagen production & increases circulation by promoting skin cell regeneration. It has anti-inflammatory properties that ease joint pain & rheumatism.

It is used in medicines as it is an ideal post-sun ointment for skin damaged by UV radiation as it creates a barrier on the skin that protects it from the harsh environment. It prevents skin-irritation & acne-causing bacteria. It eliminates germs & can effectively alleviate pain & itchiness. It can reduce the discomfort of the skin.


Extraction method:


Earlier it was extracted by women in Africa that’s why it was called ‘Women’s Gold.’

In the industrial process, it is extracted by the cold pressing method. In this process, nuts are placed inside the pressing mechanism. They undergo the pressure & friction to release the oil. There are small openings that prevent Shea fibers from leaving the barrel. This results in butter similar to the Shea Butter that is in a light color with a fainted scent.

Varieties of Shea Butter into 5 Grades: 

GRADE QUALITY PROPERTIES
A Raw/Unrefined/Pure/Organic
  • Is derived from trees that have been grown and harvested using only natural processes
  • Is the first, the least processed, and the purest
  • Undergoes a basic filtration process involving clays or cheesecloth
  • May contain a few impurities such as brown specks, due to the absence of processing and as a result of being packaged immediately after extraction
  • Retains its vitamins, minerals, and other natural properties due to manual extraction
  • Can be further processed in several ways, in order to produce other varieties mentioned below
  • Is often sold in the form of bars or sticks
  • Extraction Method: Water
  • Color of Butter: Ranges from cream to grayish yellow or light green to the color of rich honey
  • Aroma: Nutty; a scent that is removed in the other grades
  • Appearance: Resembles whipped butter
  • Is naturally high in Vitamin A and E content
  • Contains more antioxidants than Green Tea
B Refined
  • Is the most popular
  • Is processed with care taken to maintain its natural properties; however, nutritional value is reduced
  • Undergoes deodorizing by airing or with chemicals; may have an appropriate scent added to it
  • Undergoes bleaching
  • Color of Butter: Color removed; ranges from white to creamy yellow
  • Aroma: Odorless; sometimes may have a roasted aroma.
  • Texture: Hard; Smooth; Sometimes grainy

Extraction Method: Subjected to extremely high heat that extends the butter’s shelf life; naturally occurring essential fatty acids, vitamins, proteins, and other nutrients are eliminated. (Cold Pressed) Nutty, smoky scent is reduced but healing and restorative properties remain

C Highly-/Ultra-Refined
  • Is smoother and whiter than other varieties and is thus ideal for use in manufacturing cosmetics
  • Extraction Method:Solvents
D Lowest uncontaminated grade  
E Contains contaminants  


Uses:


It protects the skin from the harsh, drying & irritating effects of the wind, salt, water & sun exposure. It has excellent conditioning properties that make it ideal for manufacturing lip balms as it hydrates & soothes chapped skin; it also heals the cracks & peeling caused by dryness.

It can be used as a full-body lotion for dry, cracked skin on the elbows, knees & heels. It can be directly applied to the affected areas.

It is used for hair as it moistures the dry scalp & stimulates hair growth. It has anti-inflammatory & anti-fungal properties that eliminate itchiness, irritation & dandruff. It locks moisture into each strand without making hair greasy. It improves the texture of hair & makes them soft & silky. It also works as a hair styling tool or protects hair from harmful UV radiation.

It is used in massage as it boosts the skin’s collagen production & elasticity by reducing the signs of aging. It is not only used as massage balm but also moisturizes & softens the skin but also relaxes the muscles. It has anti-inflammatory & anti-oxidant properties that alleviate pain & swelling.

It is used in medicines as it alleviates cold symptoms. It can be directly applied during a cold or flu. It has healing properties. It heals wounds & prevents scarring. 

Guide to Shea Butter Varieties & Benefits:

Shea Butter Varieties Benefits
SHEA BUTTER (POYA BRAND)
  • Be a cream-colored solid at room temperature
  • Have a soft-cream texture and a faint nutty aroma
  • Be an excellent all-natural moisturizer that gives a nourished look to the skin
  • Be rich in essential fatty acids, primarily Stearic and Oleic acids
  • Replenish the skin’s moisture barrier and promote elasticity
  • Penetrate deeply into the skin to keep it well hydrated while leaving it soft and smooth
  • Absorb quickly into the skin, despite its rich texture
  • Soothe dry skin to keep it looking young and radiant
  • Be ideal for use as a body butter or as a moisturizing massage balm
SHEA BUTTER – CRUDE (GHANA)
  • Be unrefined and unprocessed in any way, thus possibly containing tiny bits of impurities and sediment (remnants of the shell, plant fibers, etc.)
  • Have a strong, nutty, pungent, oily aroma that is characteristic of a pure & natural Shea Butter from Ghana
  • Have various natural inconsistencies in color, including darker spots and gray streaks
  • Be solid at room temperature with a rather hard consistency
  • Have a texture that may vary from batch to batch with some possibly being grainier than others in texture
  • Be natural and unprocessed
  • Be handcrafted without the use of sophisticated machinery and therefore, possibly contain some impurities that cannot be removed
  • Contain copious amounts of Omega-9, Omega-6, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, and catechins (a kind of antioxidant previously thought only to exist in Green Tea)
  • Not only beautify but also heal, when used in hair, on burns, scratches, scars and bruises, as a lotion, massage crème, or wrinkle reducer, for eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, razor bumps and rashes, or to protect skin from sun damage
  • Have a natural SPF 6
SHEA BUTTER – REFINED – DEODORIZED (GHANA)
  • Have its color, anti-oxidant content, and vitamins removed, in order to make it more usable in the cosmetic process
  • Have an off-white color and almost no odor
  • Be solid at room temperature and creamier than its crude counterpart
  • Be highly moisturizing, though not curative
  • Have the same applications as other Shea Butter types
SHEA BUTTER – ULTRA REFINED
  • Be highly refined and pure white in color with a smooth texture
  • Be exceptionally soft without a discernible scent
  • Be less grainy than other Shea Butters
SHEA ORGANIC BUTTER – CRUDE (GHANA)
  • Be ideal for use in manufacturing cosmetics that require organic ingredients
  • Be natural, unrefined, and unprocessed in any way, thus possibly containing tiny bits of impurities and sediment (remnants of the shell, plant fibers, etc.)
  • Have a strong, nutty, pungent, oily aroma that is characteristic of a pure & natural Shea Butter from Ghana
  • Have various natural inconsistencies in color, including darker spots and gray streaks
  • Be solid at room temperature, sometimes with a hard consistency
  • Contain copious amounts of Omega-9, Omega-6, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, and catechins (a kind of antioxidant previously thought only to exist in Green Tea). 
  • Not only beautify but also heal, when used in hair, on burns, scratches, scars and bruises, as a lotion, massage crème, or wrinkle reducer, for eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, razor bumps and rashes, or to protect skin from sun damage
  • Have a natural SPF 6
SHEA ORGANIC BUTTER – REFINED (GHANA)
  • Have a mild aroma and a consistent texture
  • Be refined and off-white in color
  • Be solid at room temperature and have a very faint, pleasant scent
  • Be highly moisturizing, though not curative
  • Sometimes have a grainy texture that can be made smoother with reheating and cooling
  • Have its color, anti-oxidant content, and vitamins removed, in order to make it more usable in the cosmetic process

Contraindications:


  1. Do the patch test before use to check whether it suits you or not.
  2. Consult a doctor if pregnant or breastfeeding.