Shea Butter 101
About Shea Butter
Shea Butter is used in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and in Europe it is also used in the confectionary and chocolate industry as a cocoa butter substitute.
People of all ages and skin types utilize shea butter because of its many uses. Every house should have a jar of shea butter for smoother skin or for treatment of minor skin injuries around the house. Shea butter can be used to treat various skin problems including dry skin, psoriasis, burns, blemishes, eczema, wrinkles and stretch marks. Other uses: Adds and maintain moisture to dry and brittle hair, revitalizes, repairs breakage & split ends and promotes hair growth.
- Eczema, Infant eczema
- Dry skin, dry scalp and hair
- Cracked skin
- Cracked, bleeding skin
- Cuticle repair
- Itchy Skin
- Muscle fatigue, tension & aches
- Rough heels
- Sunburn relief
- Skin rashes, diaper rash
- Surgical incisions and scars
- Skin blemishes, dark spots
- Stretch mark minimization
- Wrinkle, fine line reduction
- Reactivation of collagen synthesis
- Increases skin balance,elasticity and tone.
- Eliminates dull, grayish complexion
- Stretch marks during pregnancy
- Wrinkle formation
- Dry, chapped, itchy skin
- Skin peeling
For Skin Protection
- Amazing skin moisturizer
- Maintaining healthy skin
- Softer, smoother skin
- Shaving Cream
There are two main varieties of shea butter, Butyrospermum Parkii (West African) and Vitellaria Nilotica (East African). Butyrospermum Parkii is produced in West Africa where as Vitellaria Nilotica is produced only in Northern Uganda and Southern Sudan. At room temperature Eastern African shea butter is softer than West African shea butter. It is creamier and silky, making it quick and easy to apply. Eastern African shea butter is also slightly in higher therapeutic properties. Eastern shea butter has a sweeter scent than West African shea butter. Eastern African shea butter is rarer because of lower shea production and also because of civil unrest in Uganda and Sudan.
There are many differences between unrefined and refined shea butter. Most noticeably are the scent, color and benefits. Unrefined shea butter maintains its nutty scent, ivory - beige color and all of its healing properties. Refined shea butter has been chemically altered to remove shea butters natural scent, is bleach white in color and retains only a small portion of its natural healing properties. Please note that some companies sell refined shea butter as 100% pure shea butter.
The 9 major stages of processing include Sorting, Cracking, Roasting, Grinding, Kneading, Boiling, Filtration and Stirring, Packaging, and the final most important stage- Quality Control:
· SORTING: Separating the nut from the unwanted particles (tiny dry leaves, spoiled nut etc and grouping the good nut into different grades.
· CRACKING: An adjusted surface Grinder machine will break the good nuts into the desired size/form to ensure even roasting.
· ROASTING: The cracked nut is roasted in a rotating drum over controlled heat until the nut fully roasted care is taken to avoid burning the nuts.
· GRINDING: The roasted nuts are grinded into a paste (Colordeep brown).
· KNEADING: The paste is cooled, kneaded or beaten adding water until the oil (foamy form) comes up for collection. The collected oil (foamy form) is washed with water until the color becomes light grey. -The best Shea Butter for skin and hair use is prepared either by cold press or a traditional kneading process without the use of added chemicals or preservatives.
· BOILING: The product (foamy form) is boiled under controlled temperatures until all excess water evaporates.
· FILTERATION AND STIRRING: The resultant oil is filtered and stirred until it becomes a pale yellow/cream or beige Butter.
· PACKAGING: Products are packaged in 50lb plastic lined boxes or heavy duty plastic containers in various sizes as per customers specifications.
· QUALITY CONTROL: Every batch of Shea Butter is tested for quality by running an analysis on the following values requiring that the results be within the parameters indicated next to the values. These parameters set forth by the UEMOA (Union Economique Monetaire Ouest Africaine).
Unrefined shea butter has a distinctive nutty scent. However, once applied to skin the scent will start to fade and become very faint in about 20-30 minutes.
The shelf life of our shea butter is 18-24 months when kept in a cool dry place. You can extend the shelf life of shea butter by keeping it refrigerated.
Is your shea butter fair trade?
Yes, our shea butter is produced by several fair trade cooperatives in Ghana and Uganda. All of our shea crafters produce unrefined virgin shea butter using traditional processing methods.
DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this site is not intended to constitute professional medical advice. Please consult your personal physician with any questions you may have regarding any specific medical condition.