Origin: For thousands of years, Shea Butter has been derived from the nut of the Shea or Karite tree which grows in sub-Saharan Africa. Shea Butter is created in approximately 21 countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Togo, Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya and Guinea. Amongst these countries, the most common sources of high-quality Shea butter are Ghana, Nigeria, and Northern Uganda.
Its origin dates back to the legendary Queen Cleopatra’s Egypt, where it was carried in a large clay pot for cosmetic use. Historical accounts suggest that Queen Cleopatra demanded that large jars of Shea butter travel with her as she applied it every day.
Global trade of Shea butter dates back to Cleopatra's Egypt and was a very popular item of trade in the middle age in entire West Africa and into the coastal regions. Evidence suggests that Shea butter has been commercially produced since the 14th Century.
In European markets, it was also traded heavily as an oil. As the trade of Shea Butter spread across different regions of Africa in particular, it found expression in varied products such as soap and nasal decongestant.
This off- white or ivory-colored fat has been used for thousands of years for its ability to protect, heal and moisturize dry skin.
Scientifically: Shea butter has intensive anti-inflammatory properties that calm the redness and swelling on your face. Shea butter’s carboxylic acid and vitamin K concentration additionally help your body in healing quickly when your skin barrier has been compromised.
Shea butter’s consistency and solid characteristics facilitate your skin to soak it once it melts at room temperature.
The rich tree nut oils in Shea butter can soak into your skin, making a sleek and soft barrier that seals in moisture. This moisturizing impact will last many hours, not like another moisturizer that wears off within one hour or less.
Shea butter has high levels of oleic, linoleic, and lipid acids which are efficient ingredients to combating oxidative stress, i.e. the effect of the environmental toxin on skin cells. This helps your skin to possess a healthy turnover of latent cells and additionally supports the structure and tightness of your skin.
The vitamin E in Shea butter also helps defend skin from the ultraviolet rays of the sun.
This wonderful butter is zero on the comedogenic scale and thus it does not clog the pores. It is nutrients even out skin discoloration and diminishes hyperpigmentation. Those wanting to lighten their skin, it’s recommended to use raw, pure and unrefined Shea butter.
For those dealing with dandruff or cradle cap (in infants) should massage their hair with Shea Butter.
It reduces excessive oil generation by the scalp glands. Also, it rejuvenates hair follicles providing a conducive environment for hair growth.
Usage: Shea butter is commonly used in the cosmetics industry for skin- and hair-related products (lip gloss, skin moisturizer creams and emulsions, and hair conditioners for dry and brittle hair). It is also employed by soap manufacturers and massage oil makers. It is an excellent moisturizer for dry skin. In some African countries like Dahomey, Shea butter is employed for vegetable oil, as a waterproofing wax, for hairdressing, for candle-making, and as an ingredient in the meditative ointment.
Below are some DIY with Shea Butter:
-To make your own mask, mix together: 1 tablespoon of raw honey, 4 drops of grape seed oil and 1 tablespoon of pure Shea butter. Leave this mixture on your face for twenty minutes and then wash off.
-Take 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil and 1 tablespoon of melted Shea butter. Then add 1 teaspoon of Argan oil. Whip the mixture together for 5 minutes. Now, it allows sitting on dry hair for 30 minutes.
-Take a tablespoon of raw shea butter, microwave it for 30 secs and then add a few drops of lavender oil to it. Mix and apply on the scalp and gently massage. Shampoo as usual after 30 minutes.
-Take a tablespoon of shea butter with a tablespoon of coarsely ground coffee. Mix them together and apply on thighs, butts or areas with cellulite. Gently massage in circular motions and rinse after 10 minutes. This helps in exfoliating and removing the dead skin.