Shea butter is an amazing natural fat extracted from the shea nuts of the shea tree which is indigenous to only 16 African countries. It’s a yellow-ivory colored, buttery, thick, and solid substance at room temperature.
There are specifically 2 species: the West African species that is very hard and is a good substitute for cocoa butter used in chocolates; and the East African (Nilotica) species which is very buttery and is a great ingredient for cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. The Nilotica species melts at 29 DegC while the West African species at 36 DegC.
Traditionally, shea butter was used for medicinal and cooking purposes in Africa. The making of shea butter is an indigenous craft of many African tribes.
Shea is packed with essential fatty acids and vitamins, making it perfect for collagen production and UV protection. Its buttery texture contains 60% fat, which makes it ideal for penetrating the skin. Plus, the natural moisturizers in shea butter are analogous to the sebaceous glands of our skin extract. All this together makes shea a moisturizing miracle for your skin.
Shea butter is indeed excellent for the skin. Its unique nutrition concentration works wonders on the skin. It’s an impressive addition to your skincare routine due to its versatile nature – It works for both dry and oily skin, protects the skin from UV rays and sunburns, and hydrates skin. Shea butter is also perfect for hair and most especially curly hair because of the high absorption which leaves the hair very well fed, bouncy and moisturized. Here are 10 benefits of shea butter:
The benefits of shea butter come from its chemical makeup. Shea butter contains:
Keep in mind that the exact makeup varies according to where the shea nuts are harvested from. Nilotica shea butter found in Uganda and South Sudan has the best composition for cosmetic and pharmaceutical properties.