Shea butter

Shea Butter

What is Shea Butter? Evidence of the production of shea butter actually dates back to the 14th century! Shea butter is a fat extracted from the nut of the African shea tree. This tree (Vitellaria Paradoxa) is indigenous to West Africa. Another name for the tree is “karite tree” which originally means “tree of life”. Shea butter is also known as “women’s gold” because it provides employment and income to millions of women across the African continent. Shea butter is graded from A – E based on its level of refinement. The refining process removes the healing properties and its odd natural smell. What sets Shea Butter apart from other seed oils? Most seed oils are divided into two fractions; a saponifiable fraction and an unsaponifiable fraction. The saponifiable fraction contains most of the moisturizing properties (moisturizing fraction) while the unsaponifiable fraction contains most of the healing properties (healing fraction). Shea butter has an exceptionally large healing fraction (5% to 17% depending on region of harvest) compared to 1% or less in other seed oils. This fraction contains a large amount of nutrients, vitamins and phytonutrients essential for healing, allowing shea butter to be used as treatment for various skin conditions. What are the benefits of using shea butter? Shea butter is incredibly moisturizing due to its high fatty acid content. The structure of the butter allows it to melt at body temperature allowing easy application and quick absorption. Shea butter also acts as a “refatting” agent, which means it restores your skin’s natural oils. Shea butter is rich in Vitamin A which promotes cell growth and elasticity. A recent study has also shown that shea butter can inhibit the reproduction of keloid fibroblasts (scar overgrowth). Shea butter also has rich anti-inflammatory properties. Shea butter is rich in antioxidants and moisturizing properties, helping your skin generate new and healthy cells. Studies have also found UV protection properties within shea butter, also promoting tissue cell regeneration. The triterpenes found in shea butter has been shown to promote the production of collagen, the main structural protein in our bodies. Together with the promotion of cell regeneration and collagen production, shea butter reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Shea butter is rich in Vitamin E which neutralizes free radicals that cause cellular damage. Shea butter contains cinnamic acid which provides some protection from harmful UV rays by absorbing and reflecting them. With an SPF of around 3 – 4, shea butter can be used as an addition to your normal sunscreen for a more synergistic solution. Acne is primarily caused by an imbalance of the natural oils in your skin, known as “sebum”. Shea butter helps to restore the natural balance of these oils. Shea butter is high in anti-inflammatory properties that help to soothe your skin. Studies have also shown that shea butter can reduce the reaction to skin irritants, and due to its quick absorption shea butter can bring relief to flare-ups. Shea butter is noncomedogenic, which means it doesn’t clog pores. There have been no documented cases of allergic reactions to the topical application of shea butter, even though shea is a tree nut. The anti-inflammatory properties also help to reduce the reaction to skin irritants. Why is shea butter so beneficial? Which of our products contain shea butter? Sources:

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