Shea butter is a naturally occurring fat extracted from the nut of the African shea tree from where it takes it's name. Shea fat is made up of stearic acid and oleic acid and is widely used as a moisturiser. Shea butter is also so pure and natural that it is edible and widely used in the chocolate industry as a substitute for cocoa butter. In some African countries such as Benin, Shea butter is used as a cooking oil, as a waterproofing wax, for hairdressing, for candle-making, and as an ingredient in medicinal ointments. It is used by makers of traditional African percussion instruments to increase the durability of wood and leather tuning straps. Medicinally, Shea butter is used for the management of sinusitis and relief of nasal congestion, it is also massaged into joints and other parts of the body where pain occurs.
Shea butter extraction is a long process, if done the traditional method: First, the outer pulp of the fruit is removed, when dry, the Shea nut is separated form the outer shell. The Shea nuts are the crushed, usually with a pestle and mortar. The nuts are then roasted and ground into a paste, with water gradually added. The next vital stage is the separation of the oils, the paste in kneaded by hand in large basins and water is added to separate the nut butter oils. As they float to the top, the butter curds are removed and the water is squeezed out. The curds are melted in large open pots and then cooled so it will harden which is then formed into balls.
This wondrous beauty product was being used cosmetically as early as Cleopatras Egypt. In ancient Egypt it was used to protect the hair and skin in the fierce sun and desert winds. Shea butter benefits include:
Shea butter is a skin superfood that comes from the seeds of the fruit of the Shea (Karite) tree and that is naturally rich in vitamins A, E and F. It offers UV protection of around SPF 6 and provides the skin with essential fatty acids and the nutrients necessary for collagen production. Shea butter has been used in Africa and other countries for years to improve skin and hair.
Moisturising: The concentration of natural vitamins and fatty acids in Shea butter makes it incredibly nourishing and moisturising for skin. It is often used to remedy dry skin and to help protect the skin’s natural oils. It alleviates the pain associated with tightness and itching of eczema and dry winter skin conditions.
Reduces Inflammation: A 2010 study found that due to its 'cinnamic acid' and other natural properties, shea butter was anti-inflammatory. One compound in particular, ‘lupeol cinnamate’, was found to reduce skin inflammation and even potentially help avoid skin mutations. This also makes it beneficial for some people with acne and scar tissue damage.
Skin Smoothing: Shea butter aids in the skin’s natural collagen production and contains oleic, stearic, palmitic and linolenic acids that protect and nourish the skin to prevent drying. With long term use, many people report skin softening and strengthening as well as wrinkle reduction. Shea butter melts at body temperature. Proponents of its use for skin care maintain that it absorbs rapidly into the skin, acts as a "refatting" agent, and has good water-binding properties.
Used regularly, Shea butter products can enliven tired dried out winter skin and boost your skins natural oils! Treat yourself and your skin, ready for the warmer months, Spring is just around the corner…Take a look at our Shea butter enriched products:
Once you’ve tried Naturally European Hand Cream we’re sure you’ll agree it’s the best hand cream around for soothing dry hands. With 20% Shea butter, Naturally European Luxury Hand Cream provides outstanding skin care at a fraction of the cost of other hand creams on the market. This rose petal fragranced hand cream with lift your mood and improve and protect the delicate skin on your hands.
Naturally European intensely moisturising hand cream is paired up with a luxury foot cream in this gift set. Both creams contain essential oils and 20% Shea butter to provide ultra conditioning hand and foot therapy. The ultimate hand and foot care comes in a range of fragrances. Choose from Neroli & Tangerine, Ginger & Lime, Verbena, Rose Petal, Lavender and Milk.
The Candle Tree has a selection of French soaps enriched with Shea butter, here is just a couple of great seasonal favourites:
Oval Mimosa soap from Marseille.
This soap is enriched with Shea Butter, along with a beautiful light and refreshing aroma combined with enriching moisturising properties of shea butter. Mimosa has skin healing properties and is nutrient rich, a treat for any bath tub!
Orange blossom soap from Marseille.
Savon de Marseille Orange Blossom Soap, is specially enriched with BIO Shea Butter. It is the perfect fragrance for Spring, and will enliven your skin care regime with its light orange blossom fragrance and rich soft lather.
Here’s a link to some of our other wonderful Shea butter soaps we sell: