Shea butter is a fat extracted from the nuts produced by the shea tree (vitellaria paradoxa), which grows in a number of African countries, including Cameroon, Chad, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Togo, Uganda and Kenya.
The English word "shea" comes from "shisu" or "shiyiri", in the Bambara language of Mali.
According to the American Shea Butter Institute, 100% pure shea butter is an all natural vitamin A cream, and is a superb moisturiser with exceptional healing properties for the skin. The vitamin A is important for improving a number of skin conditions, including blemishes, wrinkles, eczema and dermatitis. Additionally, premium quality shea butter has properties to treat a number of skin allergies, including insect bites, sunburn and frostbite. Also, many users have reported thet shea butter promotes and accelerates wound healing.
15 Reasons to use shea butter
1. Dry skin
2. Skin rash
3. Skin peel after tanning
4. Blemishes and wrinkles
5. Itching skin
7. Small skin wounds
8. Skin cracks
9. Rough skin on feet
10. Frost bites
11. Stretch mark prevention during pregnancy
12. Insect bites
13. Skin allergies
All shea butters are not equally effective
Only high quality, premium shea butter can offer the benefits mentioned above. Once shea butter is aged or loses its natural integrity, many of those wonderful benefits may be lost. Shea butter containing the ingredient cinnamic acid, a substance which is closely related to the cinnamon found in many kitchens. The cinnamic acid in shea butter is bound to other ingredients, but as it loses natural integrity the amount of bonded cinnamic acid decreases which leads to a decrease in the effectiveness of shea butter for healing.
Poor quality shea butter is only good for standard moisturising purposes.
A good quality shea butter is soft, uniformly beige in colour that readily melts in the hands and is absorbed quickly by the skin. When left in a hot room or near a hot source, it will quickly melt, like any other butter.
Shea butter is not green, grey or dark brown and products with these colours are modified substitutes. Pure, natural shea butter also has a distinctive small. If the butter that you are using is perfumed, then it is likely to be a modified product and not 100% shea butter.
Ways to use shea butter
By itself as a face and body moisturiser
Those with nut allergies should consult a doctor or dermatologist before using.
Additionally, those with underlying skin conditions should also consult with a doctor or dermatologist before using shea butter.
The information provided here is not intended to constitute professional medical advice for treatment. We encourage you to speak to your GP any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.