Shea butter: the 1001 virtues

le-beurre-de-karite-shea-butter

Shea butter: the 1001 virtues

What is shea butter? 

Shea butter, in English “Shea Butter” is a rich paste extracted from the nut of the shea tree “Butyrospermum parkii”, which moisturizes, softens and protects the skin and the body. It is a beauty ritual of Black Africa, because for millennia, African women are coating their bodies and that of their babies with shea butter. Native to West Africa, more precisely Nigeria, Mali, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Ivory Coast, they grow in the African savannahs. It can be used in the culinary industry and cosmetics.

 

A little reminder about the shea tree!

The shea tree “Butyrospermum parkii” is a sacred tree of the African savannah. The name Shea means butter tree. It is a tree measuring up to 15 meters in height. It has slow growth and can live up to 200 or 300 years. Very difficult to grow, it is a tree that does not bloom before the age of 20 years. It produces an average of 15 to 20 kilos of fruit. Inside fruits contain shea butter, extracted nuts. The nuts are drowned, boiled and after processing, we obtain a yellowish paste called shea butter.

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Its nutritional value. 

Shea butter is rich in vitamins A, D, E, F and latex. But also minerals (zinc, potassium, magnesium), oleic, stearic and linoleic acids (omega 6), and karitene.

  

Shea butter in history.. 

For thousands of years, shea butter has been one of the beauty rituals of African women. The legendary Egyptian beauty queen Nefertiti used shea butter as one of her beauty secrets.

In Africa, since the dawn of time, shea butter has been used for culinary and cosmetic purposes. For example, shea pulp and bark are prepared in traditional recipes. Shea butter fat is a condiment. But shea butter is also used as a natural remedy for many ailments.

Shea butter, thanks to its benefits, is gaining popularity and has responded worldwide.

In Europe or in developed countries, shea butter is used mainly in the cosmetics industry. It is now found in many beauty products such as lotions, cosmetics, shampoos, conditioners, etc. Check that the botanical name Butyrosperum parkii of the famous Scottish explorer Mungo Park (the first who brought it to Europe) is written on the labels, that means that it is genuine shea.

Moreover, in Europe, shea butter is also used in the manufacture of chocolate (as a substitute for cocoa butter), margarine and confectionery.

By gaining popularity, it has attracted the attention of a large number of international aid agencies. It has become a flagship fair trade product thanks to its moisturizing, healing and nourishing properties.

 

Precautions and recommendations.

Also, although shea nuts seem to be safe for those who are allergic, if you have tree nut allergies please consult your doctor before using Shea.

The only problem with Shea butter is its strong smell when it is pure and the fact that it is very greasy. To reduce the odor, we advise you to mix the shea with a scented cream or to apply it only in the evening before going to bed.

  

The different uses of shea butter in everyday life.

The information in this blog is for informational purposes. Always refer to your doctor for treatment. 

 

Benefits and uses of shea butter for skin and body care. 

With time and external aggressions (wind, cold, sun, pollution), your skin is often put to the test. Shea butter is a true beauty ally to overcome all its problems.

 

  • Restores the elasticity of the skin.

The application of shea butter moisturizes, protects, nourishes and softens the skin deep in the epidermis. It helps fight against dehydration of the skin and maintain its flexibility and elasticity, thanks to its nutritional properties and its high content of vitamin F, a vital component of the cell members. It relieves all skin problems of the family (babies, adults, pregnant women, seniors, athletes)

How to use it ?

In your bath, added some shea butter directly into the water, it will make your skin soft as a baby.

 

  • Fight against dry skin.

Shea butter keeps your skin healthy and combats the extreme dryness of the skin.

How to use it ?

Massage your body with shea butter. That is to say rubbing a little shea butter, morning and evening, on your body.

 

  • Fight the aging of the skin.

The continuous use of shea butter helps fight the aging of the skin. Considered the best anti-aging, it stimulates the production of collagen and the youth protein of the skin. With its vitamins A and E, it moisturizes, nourishes and softens the skin. It is a beauty ally for the whole family.

How to use it ?

Apply shea butter on your body. That is, rubbing some shea butter in the morning and evening on your body.

 

  • Delay the formation of wrinkles.

Shea butter is an excellent natural product that can be used as a facial treatment. We know that the more we age, the more the skin becomes dehydrated, dries and loses its elasticity. In anti-aging treatment, thanks to its vitamins E, shea butter protects, moisturizes and restores elasticity to your skin while fighting wrinkles. The shea nut contains phytosterols or fatty acids that are true cell replenishers that promote cell renewal and softening of the dermis.

 

  • Fight against dry and chapped lips.

In winter, because of the cold, the lips are chapped and parched. Shea butter can be very useful for moisturizing and shining.

How to use it ?

Apply shea butter, as balm, on the lips in the morning. It will protect your lips all day long.

In addition, you will notice that many commercially available lip balms contain shea butter. For example, we can cite the balm “intensive mix-chapped lips. “

  

  • Prevent the formation of stretch marks.

When we gain weight or when we are pregnant, our skin is likely to have stretch marks. Shea butter is used, moisturizing and toning your skin naturally.

How to use it ?

Applied shea butter, in circular massage, on the breasts, belly, hips and buttocks. It will promote the elasticity of the epidermis and effectively fight against stretch marks.

 

  • Protect the skin of babies and children.

In Africa, mothers use shea butter to protect the skin of their babies and their children. By coating the body with shea butter, they treat the various irritations and redness of the skin.

How to use it ?

It can be used in massage after applying the bath on the skin and also for the healing of eczema or diaper rash on babies’ skin. Shea butter helps prevent irritation from diapers and loose stools.

 

  • Shea butter as aftershave.

When you shave, the skin may be red and irritated. This causes dehydration of the epidermis. It’s called “razor burn.” Thus, to cope with its inconvenience, one can apply shea butter as aftershave. Same, after hair removal.

How to use it ?

Just apply the product on the skin after shaving, to soothe irritated skin.

 

  • Protect from the sun.

Thanks to karitene, shea butter can be used as a sunscreen. It soothes sunburns and accelerates their healing. But, it must be noted that this is not a sunscreen. It is more the hyper-moisturizing side of shea which must therefore be taken into account for sun care.

 

  • Shea treatment for hands and nails.

When cleaning, your hands tend to dry out because of the industrial products and detergents used. The use of shea butter helps fight against dry hands and chapped skin.

How to do ?

Rub a dab of shea butter on your hands and nails.

 

  • Shea treatment for the arms and legs.

he arms and legs are dry areas in the body. You can use shea butter to soften and moisturize your arms and legs.

 

Benefits and uses of shea butter for the hair.

 Hot and cold temperature changes or stress often damage the hair. They become dry, dull and brittle. Thanks to its moisturizing and healing properties, shea butter is considered as a natural conditioner for the hair.

 

  • Moisturize the roots and tips of your hair.

Shea butter provides moisture from the roots to the ends. Rich in vitamins A and E makes shea butter is an excellent moisturizer to regenerate your hair and split ends. It restructures the capillary structure, bringing softness, shine and volume

How to use it ?

Massage the hair with generous amounts of shea butter from the tips to the roots.

It is necessary to carry out this step twice a week for the hair growth, the improvement of the texture of the hair and to moisturize the hair.

 

  • Revitalize and protect dry and brittle hair.

Ideal for softening and revitalizing dry, brittle hair, shea butter protects hair from harsh weather and harmful free radicals in the air and water. It will make them soft and silky.

How to do ?

Make a hair mask with shea butter to nourish and moisturize the hair. This shea butter treatment has been practiced effectively for hundreds of years by African women.

It is necessary to apply a nut of shea butter on the dry and brittle hair, before the day before your shampoo. Then wrap them in a hot towel and let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Then wipe your hair so you do not stain your pillows and let it work all night. The next day, shampoo to remove the remaining butter.

 

  • Fight against dandruff and itchy scalp.

For centuries, shea butter has been used to soothe the scalp and fight against dandruff and itching. It has anti-inflammatory properties and is absorbed into the skin without leaving any greasy residue or clogging pores.

How to do ?

Apply small amounts of shea butter directly to your scalp. Rub in a circular motion.

 

 

Benefits and uses of shea butter for medicinal purposes (health).

In Africa, Shea is used as a natural remedy against certain conditions thanks to these anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, curative and healing effects.

 

  • Fight against aches.

If you suffer from body aches, massage with shea butter. Indeed, in Africa, shea is known for its anti-aches properties.

How to use it ?

For example, in Côte d’Ivoire, shea butter is mixed with coconut oil. Called karicoco, the balm enhances the effectiveness of massages on luxated limbs.

 

  • To relieve the muscular pains of the sportsmen.

For athletes, shea butter can be a real ally for the muscles and joints of the elbows, knees and underfoot and heels. It stimulates the elimination of toxins from muscles and reduces muscle pain.

How to do ?

Apply shea butter before and after exercise

 

  • Treat irritated nose and nasal congestion.

Shea butter relieves irritated nose, colds and nasal congestion.

In addition, a study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found that shea butter is effective in the treatment of nasal congestion of nasal drops.

On which ? : Congestion subjects (mostly associated with seasonal allergy) were given 2-4 grams of shea butter applied inside the nostril “by means of the right index finger of the object.”

Results: The airways of those who use shea butter (as opposed to those who use nasal drops or petroleum jelly) became clear within 30 to 90 seconds of application, and remained so for 5 to 8 seconds. hours, outperforming other treatment methods.

 

  • Protect yourself from insect bites and mosquitoes.

With its anti-inflammatory effects, shea butter soothes the swelling of insect bites.

 

  • Fight against cardiovascular diseases.

With its anti-inflammatory effects, shea butter is effective against cardiovascular diseases.

 

  • Take care of cracked heels.

If you suffer from a cracked or cracked heel, apply a little shea butter on your heels to relieve them. Do not forget to wear socks during the night and you will notice a huge difference the next day.

 

How to select and keep it?

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You have 2 possibilities:

1 / Choose a raw shea butter (unrefined).

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Raw shea butter in its natural state is yellow or pale gray. It has been extracted manually or mechanically. It has a nutty fragrance.

Advantages: it is organic and more than 100% effective.

Disadvantages: it has a very strong smell. Better to use it before sleep, when you do not see anyone.

 

2 / Choose a refined shea butter.

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Refined shea butter is white. It has been extracted with a chemical process (mostly with hexane), which involves bleaching, deodorization and overheating. It is found in many cosmetic products under the name of “pure” or “natural” shea butter. “

Advantages: odorless.

Disadvantages: less effective than pure shea butter. It loses 50 to 80% of its natural benefits, because they added a chemical process.

 

Where to buy shea butter and at what price?

You can buy shea butter (raw or refined) in African shops, organic, exotic, or internet shops. The prices vary on average between 5 € and 10 € for 100 ml.

If it is a refined shea butter, check that it is written Butyrosperum parkii on the label, which means authentic shea.

If you have the chance to travel to Africa, you can find shea butter cheaper and more effective.

 

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What do you think ?

Do you use shea butter in your beauty routine?

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