I really could wax lyrical about the wonders of shea butter (as my friends would no doubt agree!). To me, it’s proof that nature really has provided everything we need for our skin care. It nourishes dry skin, soothes sore, cracked patches and can help to treat a myriad of skin complaints, including eczema. Shea butter is also a natural anti-inflammatory, so can ease insect bites, sunburn and allergy-related rashes.
One of the reasons shea butter is such a miracle worker is that it’s packed with vitamins, including A, E and F. You can use it all over your body, including your lips, although it can be too rich for everyday face care. As well as healing damaged skin, shea butter can prevent damage in the first place; such as helping you to avoid stretch marks and deep wrinkles for example. And it’s not just great for your skin, shea butter makes an effective nappy cream. In 2011 our Baby Bottom Butter won Best Nappy Cream in the Green Parent Magazine Natural Beauty Awards (not that we like to boast!). Oh and it’s a great alternative to astringent shaving foam.
Shea butter is pretty well known for its skincare properties, but did you know that it can also be used as a hair conditioner? It’s particularly suited to afro-textured, or very damaged locks.
As with olive oil, shea butter is a very sustainable beauty ingredient, as the trees are not harmed when the nuts are harvested.
But not all shea butter is created equal. Some has sadly been processed to a shadow of its former glory. Some has come from less than ethical sources. And some is so diluted in body butters that it’s hardly worth including on the ingredients list. Our shea butter, on the other hand, is as pure as you would expect from us. It’s organic, and hasn’t been chemically processed, bleached or diluted. As with most of our products, it’s also fairly traded, so you get great results, and the suppliers get a fair price.
Did you know that in some parts of the world shea nuts are referred to as ‘women’s gold’? It’s usually women who gather them and often the nuts are their only source of income. We buy our shea butter direct from women’s co-operatives in Ghana. The women gather the nuts of the African karité tree, then extract the shea butter using age-old methods. The women receive a decent price for the butter, which means that they can choose to send their children to school, rather than out to work.
Along with selling Pure Shea Butter (half price all week!) it’s also the star ingredient in several of our skin care products and soaps, including our African Black Soap and Organic Shea and Olive Body Butter.
What do you use shea butter for? Leave a comment below, or tweet us @akamuti.
(I did warn you that I could talk about shea butter for hours didn’t I?)