What is Shea Butter?
Shea Butter is an edible fat extracted from the nut of the karite tree (shea nut tree or "tree of life") that is located in just 21 African countries. The traditional production of making shea butter is a complex, hands - on process that includes gathering the nuts, removing the shells, drying them, and crushing them into butter.
Once made into its final butter form, it can be used as an emollient and moisturizer without needing further processing. The high fatty acid content (linoleic, oleic, stearic, and palmitic acids) contributes to the moisturizing effects, restoring the barrier between your skin and the outside environment and locking moisture on your skin.
It contains two components, one that contains bioactive substances (unsaponifiables), and one that contains moisturizing properties (triglycerides). The bioactive component includes antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti - inflammatory properties. The moisturizing component provides emollient properties that allows it to glide smoothly and melt into the skin.
Grade 1 or Grade A unrefined, raw shea butter is the highest quality and therefore provides the best healing and nutrient content for skincare products. Lower quality refined shea butter is stripped of its natural aroma and some of its nutrients, however it maintains the same consistency and emolliency as the higher quality.
Benefits of Shea Butter
Shea Butter has many benefits, including:
- Vitamin A content in shea butter can improve skin conditions like blemishes, wrinkles, and eczema / dry skin
- Contains natural anti - inflammatory agents that may reduce redness and swelling
- Contains triterpenes, naturally occuring chemical compounds thought to deactivate collagen fiber destruction, which may minimize the appearance of fine lines and result in plumper skin
- Triglycerides, the fatty part of the shea nut, nourishes and conditions the skin
- Anti - oxidant vitamins A, E, and F promote circulation, healthy skin cell growth, and protecting skin from free radicals that can lead to premature ageing and dull - looking skin
Our Products Formulated with Shea Butter
We choose to use shea butter in most, if not all, of our body care products because of the extensive skin health benefits it provides. For reference, you can find this ingredient in the following products:
Our Cream Body Washes use shea butter in a saponified state, which is essentially the process of making soap from a base - in this case, the shea butter. Along with other butters and oils, the use of shea butter makes for a moisturizing and cleansing body wash.
2) Body Scrub
Our Body Scrubs use shea butter to enhance the gentle cleansing abilities of the scrub and to provide a moisturizing effect to create smooth, supple skin.
Our Bath, Body & Shave Oils are a blend of plant based oils selected for their emollient, moisturizing & protective properties. Rather than using the solid form of shea butter, we use its derivative called shea oil, which essentially is a concentrated, vitamin - rich form of the plant ingredient.
4) Body Butters
Probably the most well - known use of shea butter is within body butters. It's a common ingredient to use because of it's emollient and sealing properties, as well as its ability to remain firm once introduced to other ingredients. We use shea butter in our body butters, alongside other vitamin enriched ingredients to create rich, creamy, and moisturizing skin butter.
Should You Use Shea Butter?
The short answer is - YES! It's no secret that shea butter is packed with essential nutrients that can enhance your natural complexion and help you glow from the inside out, and here at Bellavana Beauty, we capitalize on its amazing benefits by including it in almost all of our products!