- Peak use of this oil came in the 1930-ies, then in fashion at a cheaper cocoa butter it disappeared from sales and returned only in 1980-ies, as Shea began to be used as a natural basis for production of many products.
- The Shea tree (karite) grows in Tropical Africa. Other names vary in different countries: Shea butter, Karede, Shea, Colo, rack.
- Evergreen Shea tree lives up to 300 years and can grow solely on their historical homeland, known to many failed attempts to grow in other latitudes. Like an oak tree, the tree can grow sometimes up to 20 meters tall and reach a trunk diameter of up to 2 meters.
- The fruit resembles a plum. The harvest — painstaking work and predominantly female. In the fall the fruits sink into the sodden earth, and they need to have time to fish out there before competitors, pigs and sheep.
- One of the first records found about Shih from the Arab geographer already in 1348: “the oil is used for whitewashing houses, gas station lamps, the manufacture of soap. Keep it in the vessels of the pumpkin, as it corrodes the rest”.
- Fruits nuts fermented and dried in the sun and then heated for several hours in large vats with the addition of water, until the oil has collected on the surface.
- The tree is considered sacred in Africa. The African peoples are famous for supple and smooth skin, and because they have always been known for the magical regenerative properties of the oil, they rubbed even children, protecting from the scorching sun.
Shea butter part of our cosmetic lives for so long and firmly that no one thinks about how and why it appears in cosmetics. Hand creams, Soaps, hair products, balms – they all contain Shea butter as the main ingredient.
The external characteristics of the oil:
- dense granular mass.
- whitish hue, closer to a cream;
- thin subtle scent, closer to peanut flavor.
The beneficial properties of Shea butter:
- Unlike other oils, Shea butter, when skin is slightly emulsifies and heated – that’s why it penetrates easily into the skin without leaving an oily trace on the surface.
- But it is not only a great softener for the skin, not at all. Shea butter contains natural Tocopherols (vitamin E), which moisturizes and makes skin elastic. Vitamin E in Shea butter is about 1%, and that’s a lot for vegetable oils.
- Due to the content of specific components, Shea butter soothes irritated skin and has anti-inflammatory properties (ideal for sensitive skin prone to irritation).
- Shea butter has sun protection properties: it is responsible for the natural esters of cinnamic acid contained in the oil. Although the protection factor is not very large (SPF 2), it will last in order to stay in the sun twice as long.
- In cosmetics the oil is referred to as a transport, as it has a great ability to penetrate deeply into the skin, affecting even its deeper layers.
- Unsaponifiable oils have regenerative properties, which oil is capable of stimulating the synthesis of collagen — feel free to use it for Mature, aging and prone to stretch marks!
Basically, the oil is composed of triglycerides (0.8 part) — that is, of substances which are formed oleic, stearic and palmitic fatty acids. The rest is fats and vitamins F, E and A. Also it is composed of unsaponifiable fats (characterize) – that is, the active substance of the pulp of fruit seeds. It is the Union of fatty acids and unsaponifiable fats makes the oil so sought after in cosmetics.
How to use pure Shea butter?
In the cold season particularly well, apply on clean skin a thin layer of Shea butter and put on all night with cotton gloves: in the morning the skin is so tender and soft that this simple procedure will be repeated again and again.
We offer 10 ways to use Shea butter in its purest form:
- Shea butter replaces the cream and oil for dry cuticles
- Add 2 tablespoons of Shea butter while taking a bath to soften and hydrate the skin
- The anti-inflammatory properties, Shea butter easy to apply on the skin after depilation and shaving
- Shea butter is ideal for skin regeneration after sun
- Soften the heel using a thin layer of Shea butter instead of cream
- Winter use Shea butter to protect lips and face from the cold, and to restore chapped skin after a long walk on the street
- The oil is not possible to narrow the blood vessels, but with the cold it’ll be fine — thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties
If you’re a fan of homemade natural cosmetics, you probably don’t miss the opportunity to make a useful tool with Shea butter.
In order not to lose useful properties, try not to heat it once again for fun (this applies not only to Shea and other oils). For blending with other melt the butter in a water bath until then, until it becomes liquid.
Nourishing and toning
Raw yolk add 1 tbsp. l. crushed to a powder dried lemon peel. Stir and leave for 15 minutes. Then 1 tsp, add melted Shea butter and walnut oil. Apply the mask for 20 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water.
For more dry skin
2 tbsp crushed pulp of avocado (or banana) and spoon of liquid honey add 1 tsp. of Shea butter and jojoba oil. All mix thoroughly, apply the mask for 15-20 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water.
Remember that Shea butter does not cause irritation, and excess skin just won’t absorb.
Apply melted oil to your hair before washing, paying attention to roots and ends, half an hour wrap the hair with a towel. Then wash your hair as usual.
Don’t be afraid to overdo it: the Shea butter does not cause any unpleasant reactions, and the excess skin to absorb will not.
The finished products with Shea butter:
Avalon Organics Aloe Unscented Bath & Shower Gel
Caudalie Night Infusion Cream
L’occitane Shea Butter Extra Gentle Soap
Not so long ago, it turned out that an Allergy to natural latex slightly darkens the use of Shea butter, but agree that it occurs infrequently, so the magic of this product is still unique and undoubtedly.
Finally I will share the recipe of Fragrant balm with Shea butter:
I experimented a lot with Shea butter and texture balms, and settled on the following proportion: 4/5 of Shea butter and 1/5 of the liquid oil. As a liquid oil can be almond, apricot, jojoba or argan oil. With this formula it turns out the balm a pleasant hardness and non-sticky.
To flavor balm I usually use 1% essential oils, this dosage is suitable for anyone, including pregnant women and children. For fall I suggest to choose citrus essential oils, they lift the mood and immunity, and if you suffer from insomnia, then take lavender essential oil, it relaxes before bedtime.
Since this recipe has no preservatives, I suggest to do a balm in small amounts and use it for a few months. You can keep it at room temperature.
20 grams Shea butter 5 grams jojoba oil 5 drops of essential oil of sweet orange or lavender
How to prepare: Heat the Shea butter in a water bath on low heat, add the jojoba oil and stir the mixture. Remove from heat, cool slightly, add essential oil and pour the mixture in a jar of glass. Leave overnight to balm frozen. Make a label and sign the name of the balm and the date of its preparation. Enjoy!
Some advice to prospective fans of Shea butter:
- If possible, buy unrefined Shea butter, it contains more anti-inflammatory substances. This oil can be distinguished by color: white it never happens.
- If you buy refined Shea butter, inquire from the seller how it’s done. Well, if the packaging can be marked “no hexane”.
- Store oils in a cool and dry place. Shi remains fresh for 2-3 years.
- Shea butter and Shea oil are different names for the same oil. Call it what you like!
- Before use warm the oil in hands and indenting movements apply to the skin.