About Shea Butter

Shea Butter | A Gift of Nature

What is Shea butter?

Shea butter is a creamy substance rich in fatty acids and essential nutrients such as vitamins A, E, and F which provide important antioxidant properties excellent for the skin.  Shea butter also possesses anti-inflammatory qualities that offer natural protection against ultra violet rays of the sun. These natural properties have made Shea butter an increasingly popular moisturizer for the skin.

 Shea butter is found only in the tropics of Africa. It is extracted from the nuts of the Shea-Karite tree which begins to bear fruit after about 15 years, and can take up to 30 years to bear a quality crop of nuts with a high content of irremovable fatty acids. The presence and retention of these irremovable fatty acids give Shea butter its unique and amazing moisturizing and healing properties that are superior to cocoa butter and other vegetable butters.

What are the chemical and physical properties of Shea butter?

Shea butter is particularly useful for improving conditions of dry skin because of the high content of irremovable fatty acids and essential vitamins. Shea butter is superior to cocoa butter and other vegetable oils. A recent study by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) confirmed:

“Shea butter has important therapeutic properties, particularly for the skin - Ultra-violet (UV) protection, moisturizing, regenerative and anti-wrinkle properties, as well as in personal care products, like pomades, soaps, and pharmaceuticals.”1

How is Shea butter useful?

Shea Butter is effective against itchy, irritated, or sun-burnt skin because of its soothing and anti-inflammatory qualities. It naturally absorbs UV rays to protect the skin from the sun, and possesses antioxidant proeprties as potent as those of green tea and reduce blemishes and scarring, eliminates scalp irritation from dryness or chemical processing, reduces acne, resores elasticity to skin, restores luster to hair, and more.

Note: It is always prudent to consult with your doctor or dermatologist if you have a serious skin conditon.

How does Shea butter benefit my skin?

Shea Butter nourishes the skin with Vitamins A, E, and F which help keep it clear and healthy. Particularly helpful for sun damaged skin, shea butter also helps prevent premature wrinkles and facial lines. Specifically, vitamin F acts as a skin protector and rejuvenator, soothing rough, dry, or chapped skin and softening dry or damaged hair. Shea butter easily penetrates the skin allowing it to breathe without clogging the pores. It possesses a high level of cinnamic acid, a natural sun screen, which offers some protection from UV rays. Its anti-inflammatory properties have also been used to treat rheumatism, eczema, and/or psoriasis.

 1 The Shea Butter Value Chain- Production, Transformation and Marketing in West Africa. West Africa Trade Hub (WATH) Report No. 2. November 2004. This publication was prepared for United States Agency for International Development (USAID) by Dr. Peter Lovett, Consultant for WATH.