The English word “shea” comes from sǐ, the tree’s name in Bambara. Shea butter is a fat that’s extracted from the nuts of the shea tree. But unlike most tree nut products, it’s very low in the proteins that can trigger allergies. It is solid at warm temperatures and has an off-white or ivory color. Shea trees are native to West Africa, and most shea butter still originates from that region. Shea butter has been used in Africa for food and traditional remedies as well as cosmetics. Shea nuts only grow on trees in Africa’s dry savanna belt.
Shea butter has been used as a cosmetic ingredient for centuries. Its high concentration of vitamins and fatty acids combined with its easy-to-spread consistency make it a great product for smoothing, soothing and conditioning your skin and hair. Shea butter is appropriate for nearly any skin type.
Shea butter contains high levels of linoleic acid and oleic acid. These two acids balance each other out. That means shea butter is easy for your skin to fully absorb and won’t make your skin look oily after application. Shea butter has significant levels of vitamins A and E, which means it promotes strong antioxidant activity.
Shea tree products have been established as powerful ingredients to fight skin infections caused by fungi. While shea butter may not be able to treat every kind of fungal infection, we know from scientific studies that it kills spores of the fungi that causes ringworm and athlete’s foot.
Shea’s moisturizing and antioxidant properties work together to help your skin generate healthy new cells. Your body is constantly making new skin cells and getting rid of dead skin cells. You get rid of anywhere between 30,000 and 40,000 old skin cells each day. Dead skin cells sit on the top of the skin while new skin cells form at the bottom of the upper layer of skin (epidermis).
Shea butter can’t be used by itself as an effective sunscreen, but using shea butter on your skin does give you some added sun protection, so layer it over your favorite sunscreen on days you’ll be spending outside. Shea butter contains an estimated SPF of 3 to 4. Shea butter has also been used to soothe bee stings and insect bites. Anecdotal evidence suggests that shea butter may help bring down swelling that bites and stings can cause. The most common usage for shea butter is hair treatment products, anti-aging and anti-wrinkle, moisturization for body and face, after sun products, and hair treatments for dry scalp.
We use certified organic and fair-trade unrefined shea butter in all of our conditioner bars, our solid lotions, and a few of our shampoo soaps.
You must be logged in to post a comment.