This treasure of African savannahs is the great secret to sport hydrated and nourished skin and hair.
The shea tree ( Vitellaria Paradox ), from which the popular butter of the same name used by the cosmetic industry is obtained, grows in the savannahs of central and western Africa.
It is an imposing species: it can reach 15 meters in height with a trunk one meter in diameter, and can live up to 300 years.
Shea means “tree of butter” and obtaining butter – the result of a laborious artisan process in which the peel is removed, the pulp is dried in the sun, crushed and finally boiled – gives work to many women in countries like Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast or Mali.
This butter can be eaten and is part of the traditional recipes of the region, but it has also been used for skin care, an application that has been successful worldwide.
SHEA KEEPS YOUR SKIN NATURALLY HYDRATED
Its richness in unsaturated fatty acids -especially oleic acid-, vitamin E with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties phytosterols – vegetable “hormones” that promote skin regeneration – are the reasons why it is included in many cosmetics. In manufactured products we can find it in the list of ingredients with the name of Butyrospermum parkii .
Pure butter can also be used at home : it favors the hydration of dry skin and hair, improves chapped lips and irritated nose, and prevents the appearance of stretch marks.
To speak accurately, it is not that the shea butter hydrates the skin, as no oil does, but that by spreading a film it prevents the skin from dehydrating on contact with air.
On the other hand, having emollient properties, the products based on shea are also used as an alternative to cortisone in the treatment of skin with eczema or dermatitis.
RAW OR REFINED SHEA BUTTER
Shea butter can be found raw or refined.
Raw, unrefined: No treatment received and no additives added. It is yellowish or gray in color and gives off a strong aroma.
Refined: its natural odor will be eliminated along with other components, which favors its use as an ingredient and its conservation. It is whiter and has a finer and more uniform texture than the raw one.
HOW TO APPLY PURE SHEA BUTTER
Take the right amount that we are going to use.
Since at room temperature it has a solid consistency, but it melts with the heat of the skin , it is convenient to rub it first in the hollow of the hand so that it is better applied.
Apply with a light massage until it has been absorbed through the skin.