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Jan
14

Shea Butter

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Shea ButterShea Butter

An essential element to Africans for thousands of years, the benefits of Shea Butter are quickly becoming center stage in many western parts of the world.  Shea butter is a substance that naturally contains vitamins a and e.  This butter is very beneficial to skin care and medicinal industries.  It can be added to various body products such as lotions or salves for anti-inflammatory (reduce inflammation), emollient (softening or soothing skin), and humectant (retaining or keeping moisture) properties.   But, more over, Shea butter also assists with the removal of scars and stretch marks.  Shea butter can even help with skin irritations such as diaper rashes.

Shea Butter comes from the wild growing Karite tree in Africa. The Karite tree can live up to 300 years of age.  The Karite tree starts to produce seeds at 10-15 years of age.  These seeds (or nuts) parallel that of a large plum. The fruit of the Karite tree has become a priceless item to the people of Africa.  Often considered “women’s gold”, these nuts not only provide food and medicine to the people of Africa, but they are also a main source of income for many of the women who are employed by the production of Shea butter.

Shea butter can be made in various different ways:

When a Karite tree produces nuts, they are collected.  Traditionally, the nuts are then opened and roasted.  This roasting is done to ensure a constant texture in the Shea butter.  When this consistency is achieved, the butter is then removed from the nuts, kneaded, and finally is analyzed for quality.  Once it is approved, the Shea butter, which has a ivory or cream like color, is then exported out of Africa.

Another way to get Shea butter is the crushing and boiling of the nuts.  Since the Shea butter is really a fatty substance, it will float to the top of the water.  The Shea butter is then skimmed out of the water and then it naturally solidifies.  Once it is in a solid form, it is checked for quality and exported.

Shea butter can also be extracted by the cold pressing method.   

Shea butter can also be filtered.  This form of Shea butter involves a process of clay filtering which allows for a smoother texture.  This clay filtering method allows for the removal of any shell particles that may still be in the Shea Butter.

Physically speaking Shea butter is a great substance to apply raw (right on the skin).  Its butter like consistency readily melts (from the heat of our bodies), and is absorbed into the skin.  Shea butter is invaluable to both the medicinal and cosmetic industries. 

Medical Uses:

Some of the key components as to why Shea butter is beneficial to the medical industry are that Shea butter is:  antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti inflammatory.

Shea Butter works as a natural sun block.  This is because it is able to absorb some ultraviolet rays, due to the fact that Shea butter contains the component cinnamic acid.  The addition of Shea butter to a lotion or cream will allow the product to provide some sun blocking properties against harmful UV rays.

Shea butter is also used as a base in many medicinal ointments because of its anti-inflammatory properties.

This amazing product can even help to alleviate discomfort from bruises and even burns (heat/wind/sun burns).  Medicinally speaking, using raw Shea butter on sore and achy muscles will actually drain the toxins from the area, helping to reduce the soreness.

This is a go to ingredient for massaging people who suffer from arthritis and pains in their joints.  This is because Shea butter contains stigmasterol, an agent for preventing stiffness.

And, within the realm of massaging, Shea butter is a perfect massaging agent.  Because this ingredient melts when it is in contact with the skin, it creates an ideal situation for deep tissue massages.

Cosmetic Uses:

Shea butter is one of the best all natural skin care products available hence it growing popularity in this booming market.

Due to its moisturizing benefits, Shea butter prevents chapping and extremely dry skin.  It is a great go to ingredient for dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema.  As an exemplary moisturizer, Shea butter contains many fatty acids.  These fatty acids are necessary to help keep skin looking supple and youthful.  Shea butter also assists our skin in keeping its elasticity.  This is because Shea butter can actually encourage collagen production from our bodies.

Shea butter can be used as a natural hair conditioner.  But, the healthy hair benefits do not stop there.  Shea Butter can actually prevent hair from breaking and thinning and actually stimulates hair growth!  Shea butter can even be used as hair pomade.

For hand creams and body lotions, not only does the addition of Shea butter help to keep skin moisturized, but it also helps with cracked cuticles and even fortifies nail beds.  This ingredient is ideal for the super dry areas of your skin such as elbows, knees, and heels.

In shaving creams Shea butter can help to prevent irritations.  It even promotes the skin to have a radiant and healthy glow.

Shea Butter is ideal for soap making.  Because many of the components of Shea butter are non-saponifiable, therefore, many of the nutrients and skin loving elements are still existent in the finished bar of soap.  To view a great cold process soap making recipe that contains Shea butter and all its healthy benefits, please click here. 

To help firm and rejuvenate sagged, wrinkled, or aged skin, use Shea butter in the formulation of your bath and body products.  Promoting cell renewal and increasing circulation, this is an overall great ingredient for your whole body product line.

A great makeup remover that does not clog pores, Shea butter can be used to remove facial makeup in a cinch.

As you can see, Shea butter has many versatile uses.  A great addition to any bath and body recipe, Shea butter is easy to work with and will provide your products will numerous healthy benefits.  To purchase Shea butter from a trusted supplier in the soap and cosmetic industry, please click on this link.