Shea butter is derived from the nut within the fruit of a wild grown tree in the savannah regions of East and West Africa. It’s a tree with many names, sometimes known as the Shea tree, the Mangifolia Tree, or our favorite, the Karité tree, which means the “Tree of Life”. The tree produces fruit once a year and lives for 300 years. Shea Butter has been used traditionally for cooking, healing, and personal care within tribes that produce it long before its introduction to the global cosmetic and food industry.
The production of shea butter is intensive! First the fruits are harvested, the nuts extracted, boiled, dried, sorted, crushed, roasted, cooled, and milled. The pulp is mixed with cold water, kneaded, separated, boiled, purified, solidified and packaged. The result is a pale yellow butter with a slightly nutty scent.
After it is shipped to our door we use this precious butter as part of our soap base for all of our soaps, an ingredient in our Shea Balms, Body Butters, and Lip Balms. Its healing, moisturizing, and hypo-allergenic properties make it an essential part of our recipes to soothe dry or sensitive skin.
While we love shea butter and its beneficial properties for the skin, the soap and cosmetic industries only use a fraction of shea butter produced. Interestingly, it is the chocolate industry that uses the most shea butter!
There are so many reasons to use shea butter every day. It soothes dry and itchy skin, rashes, cracking, sunburn, and peeling. It softens rough skin like on your heels and elbows! It relieves muscle tension and aches through massage. Shea butter heals skin damage from cold, frost bite, wind, stretch marks, and wrinkles. It is also perfect for treating skin conditions like eczema, dermatitis, small wounds and burns.
Not all shea butters are created equal! Be aware of refined and processed shea butters. Some are deodorized and/or bleached and sold at markets where they can be adulterated with lesser quality additives.