The Benefits of Shea Butter
Shea butter or Butyrospermum parkii is obtained by cold pressing the fruits from the nut of the Karite tree. They are picked, cracked, grilled, and then pounded. Then they are boiled in water to extract the shea butter. It's scooped out and allowed to cool. It solidifies at room temperature and is usable.
Shea is an excellent moisturizer. It can reportedly relieve dryness and can help soothe the itching of dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, and other skin issues.
Shea is known to soothe sunburns, help chapped lips, and help with stretch marks, burn, and wounds. It is considered to be anti-inflammatory.
Shea butter benefit is derived mainly from its high content of steric acid and oleic acid. It also contains cinnamic acid. These acids along with sterolins and high vitamin A and E content work to maintain the skin's moisture and elasticity.
Cinnamic acid offers some mild protection against UV rays. Oleic acid is a good skin penetration enhancer. Vitamin is important for cell development. And Vitamin E is a potent skin antioxidant and well know skin moisturizer and has skin healing properties. Sterolins are said to be beneficial in healing scars and moisturizing upper layers of the skin.
Raw, organic shea butter will offer all the goodness. The refining process uses hexane and strips the butter of some natural vitamins. The unrefined butter has an aroma that tells you it's real. And it keep for about a year and is best stored in a cold, dark area.
There are two kinds of West African shea butter: Butyrospermum parkii, and Vitellaria paradoxa. Vitellaria nilotica comes from East Africa and is generally refined to remove the odor.
I love making products with shea butter and find that body butters made with shea butter often help tremendously with a variety of skin conditions both with and without essential oils.
I offer several shea products in my web store and am able to create custom products -- just contact me.
Try these products and you'll understand why I'm so excited about our raw, unrefined shea creations. They're awesome. And just have to say, people LOVE, love, love, the shea sugar scrub.
Stay healthy my friends,