Shea butter has been around for a thousand of years. It has long been used by ancient Egyptians for skin and hair care and health treatment. Today, it is widely used in various products or just as it is for these same purposes.
Many of us have probably never thought of it before, but where really does shea butter come from? It is a natural butter that has been extracted from a nut. This nut, the shea nut, comes from a tree called the Karite which is native to several West African countries. Interestingly, these trees grow wildly in several areas in these countries. In these African countries, shea butter is considered as women’s gold due to the numerous benefits of the bi-product to the skin and hair especially.
Usually, women are the ones who carry out the special process of extracting the butter from the nut. What happens is that the nuts are crushed with the hands, and then they are put to roast to get the butter texture. The butter is then hand-kneaded in basins of water to separate the oils. The shea butter which rises to the top would then be removed from the pot and put to cool. At cooling point the butter then hardens. At this stage, the shea butter is raw and unrefined; totally pure. For refining, the butter goes through a whole other process in which other chemicals might be added.
Shea butter has been adapted as an ingredient in a number of moisturisers, deodorisers, ointments, soaps and so on in the international market. Today, more persons are attuned to the benefits of pure organic shea butter and prefer to use the pure unrefined product. Since it has been realised that shea butter offers the same benefits to persons with different skin and hair types, the demand for pure organic shea butter in the Western world have been great, especially in the United States.
Uses and Benefits
Shea butter includes active properties that actually help to stimulate the production of collagen in the skin. It does not remove the natural oils from the skin, but rather helps to produce it. It is very useful in soaps, lotions, ointment and other skin care products as well as on its own. The active properties in unrefined shea butter organic by Skin Ritual are what make shea the effective skin moisturizer and skin, an anti-wrinkle agent. So, it can be used to alleviate those wrinkles and leaving your skin looking young, even and smooth.
Pure shea butter is added to creams and ointments to treat several skin conditions including eczema and psoriasis. By itself, in its pure state, it can be much more potent. The active anti-inflammatory properties in shea butter can help with cuts, minor burns and soreness. Rubbing the pure shea butter over the affected area can offer some relief and help to heal the skin. The high content of a substance called cinnamic acid in shea butter also makes it a mild natural sunscreen. It can be used to prevent the skin from sun burn and to heal the skin from these burns, restoring the evenness of tone.
A number of studies reveal that the pure shea butter can be used to help in cases of arthritis since it contains a specific anti-stiffness substance. This makes it also helpful with pains that come with rheumatism.
Due to its natural moisture, shea butter is used by many masseuses for therapeutic tissue work. It is usually added to essential oils to allow for the smooth, frictionless contact during massage therapy.
Shea butter is also a great hair care product. It provides the same results for all types of hair. Applied to the scalp, it does not leave an oily base that causes your head to sweat like many hair moisturizers and oil on the market. It has all natural properties that promote healthy hair growth and care. It is a very effective hair and scalp moisturizer that works for everyone; even those with dry brittle hair. Shea butter can also be used when styling the hair as a pomade to help to hold the hair and for getting nicely relaxed curls.
Since shea butter is a natural butter extracted from an actual nut, it can be ingested, but only in its pure unrefined state. Some women in Africa use the butter when cooking or baking. It can also be used in the nostrils to help to decongest when having a cold.
The organic pure shea butter is much better for use all over the body. A highly recommended shea butter is the 16oz pure Unrefined Organic Shea Butter by Skin Rituals. Shea butter usually goes through a process which uses additional chemical to extract and purify the butter. This makes the butter less potent and introduces the risk of side effects. Skin Ritual’s 100% unrefined shea butter organic for example, is completely natural and safe for use on all types of sensitive skin and hair – which is directly sourced from Africa. When it comes to skin care and hair care it is important to consider the pros and cons of using a product. After all, these products actually seep into your body through your skin when you apply them on your body or the scalp. All natural products are less likely to come with dangerous side effects that would leave you displeased and perhaps developing serious health complications after use.