Shea Butter and its benefits for hair and skin care
Shea butter comes from the African Shea tree found along the West African Savannah region. The shea tree is also known as “karite tree” which stands for “tree of life”. It is a wild growing tree that produces small, almond-like fruit from which Shea butter is extracted. The seeds, which contain butter, are mechanically pressed. Purification and refining are then carried out by traditional methods without chemicals or solvents to provide a natural material which has a soft, butter-like consistency. Shea butter’s abundance of fatty acids (dominated by oleic, stearic and linoleic acids), vitamins, and minerals make give it excellent moisturizing properties. Its high unsaponifiable lipid content makes it an excellent source of bioactive triterpene including lupeol, α- and β-amyrin and butyrospermol which are known for their anti-inflammatory activity.
Shea butter has long been used in different cultures to treat skin conditions. There is evidence that it has been used in Africa for beautifying purposes since ancient times. The INCI name for shea butter is Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter.
The use of Shea Butter for hair care and skin care
Shea Butter is an emollient and moisturizes and softens skin, scalp and hair. It is also beneficial to protect skin and hair from weather, chemicals, UV, and photo-aging and to retain skin elasticity. The non-comedogenic and anti-inflammatory properties of shea butter, combined with its fast absorbency, make it a good product for all skin types. In hair care, shea butter lightly coats the hair with a protective layer and thus locks in moisture, protects hair from environmental stressors, enhances softness and shine and helps reduce frizz. Given its high content of fatty acids, shea butter is particularly helpful for people with dry, curly, and coarse hair where it helps to smooth, soften and provide shine while helping to prevent hair breakage. Shea butter is used in in various of our shampoo bars and conditioner bars for its amazing hair care benefits.
Is Shea Butter safe to use in beauty products?
Shea butter has been determined to be safe for use in cosmetics by the Cosmetic Ingredient Assessment and is ranked with the highest safety ranking of 1 by EWG. It is plant-based and completely biodegradable, and not suspected to be an environmental toxin.