What is shea butter

What is Shea butter and where does it come from?

Shea butter is a kind of butter known for hundreds of years for its good qualities for the face, body and hair. Shea butter is extracted from nuts of the shea tree. This tree is also known as the Tree of Life and only grows in Africa. The tree belongs to the natural vegetation of a 300 km. wide strip running from Mali to Burkina Faso to Ghana, Togo and Benin. Only in this area and nowhere else in the world the Shea butter trees grow in different varieties. They are up to 15 meters tall trees with plum-like fruits, which seeds contain up to 50% fat.

Unrefined Shea butter is a 100% natural vegetable oil, which is solid at room temperature. Shea butter is an ivory-like color and a smoky, nutty flavor. In Africa, Shea butter has been used for hundreds of years to solve many skin ailments. Shea butter has a very high dose of fatty acids, vitamin A and E, and cinnamic acid, which is a natural substance which protects the skin against UV rays. Because of all the good nutrients in Shea butter, it is suitable to hydrate the skin, improve blood circulation and improve skin elasticity. That is why it is so popular as an ingredient. Shea butter is often found in soaps, shampoos, creams and lotions.

Dipaliya unrefined Shea butter is a 100% natural butter is still really hand-crafted by village women in Tamale, Ghana.

What can you do with Shea butter?

 As we already know, Shea butter is a good product, but what can you with it. I will give you some examples:

  • you can use it as lip balm
  • everyday use for healthy, supple skin
  • (extreme), dry skin, hydration
  • skin irritation
  • sunburn and peeling (after sun)
  • pigmentation and scarring
  • acne (in some cases)
  • fine lines and wrinkles
  • itchy skin
  • shaving cream for a smooth shave
  • small wounds
  • skin cracks
  • stretch marks prevention or reduction / striae
  • eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis
  • the cold
  • insect bites
  • dry hair.
  • reduce wrinkles
  • If using hair mask against dandruff

Shea butter is frequently found in commercial creams, lotions and soaps, but the effect of Shea butter in these products are almost negligible, because almost always mechanically refined Shea butter is used as an ingredient. Refined Shea butter loses a part of its special features during processing. It is beter you use 100% natural, unrefined Shea butter to enjoy all the benefits.

How Dipaliya unrefined Shea butter helps your skin? 

  • Unsaponifiable: Moisturize the skin very well.
  • Vitamin A: Stimulates cell division and collagen, which improves the condition and elasticity of the skin.Improves the texture of your skin and helps against pigmentation, wrinkles and fine lines on your face.
  • Vitamin E: Is a natural antioxidant and protects the body against free radicals.Makes your skin retain moisture well.Ensures good blood flow.Helps reduce stretch marks and stretch marks.
  • Allantoin: Promotes the healing process of your skin.Helps in combination with Vitamin A and E in the prevention of acne.Relieves skin irritations and skin disorders such as eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis.
  • Vitamin F: Is rich in essential fatty acids that ensure proper hydration of the skin and restores dry and rough skin.
  • Cinnamic acid: Protects the skin against UV rays moderate. Shea butter melts at body temperature and therefore is quickly absorbed through the skin without the skin feeling greasy.

Shea butter does have a slightly smoky nutty scent where you have to get used to.The scientific name is Shea butter Butyrospermum parkii.

What makes Shea butter so special?

Most of the seed oils can be divided into two main parts. The one part is the saponifiable portion. This section contains the most moisturizing properties. The other part is the unsaponifiable part. This section contains the most healing and curative properties. What makes Shea butter so special compared to other natural oils is the high content of unsaponifiable parts. The healing properties to content varies from 5% to as much as 17%. For comparison, amounts in most natural oils, the healing properties, but 1% or less. Because Shea butter has a high level of healing properties, Shea butter can solve many skin problems and disorders; including spots, wrinkles, fine lines, itching, sunburn, minor wounds, eczema, skin allergies, insect bites and more. It is because of these unique healing properties that the Shea tree, called the Tree of Life.

How is unrefined Shea butter made? 

The Shea tree produces its first fruits after 20 years and carries from 45 years his greatest quantity of fruit. The tree can bear fruit over 200 years. To make Shea butter they first crack the shell of the fruit note. The nuts are then washed and dried. Hereafter the nuts are cracked and toasted. After roasting, the nuts are ground so fine until there is a dark chocolate-colored paste. The paste is kneaded by hand a number of hours and purified with clean water. The paste is then heated on a low flame in a cauldron until the fresh Shea butter rises to the surface. The layer is removed and dried to unrefined Shea butter.

What is the difference between refined and unrefined Shea Butter?

Unrefined Shea butter simply means that it is collected and produced without the use of chemicals or preservatives. In other words, it is still produced manually as it has already happened for centuries in Africa. This is extremely important because only unrefined Shea butter contains all the vitamins and minerals from the Shea nuts and so is its moisturizing and healing properties. Refined Shea butter is deodorized, heated to extremely high temperature and bleached in order to make the Shea butter aesthetically attractive. Preservatives may also be added to the Shea butter, so thayt the Shea butter is the longer tenable. By the refining process the vitamins and minerals in the Shea butter reduce and chemical residues remain behind. Therefore It is best to use unrefined Shea butter for your skin and hair.

What types of Shea butter are there? You have both West African (Vitellaria Paradoxa) and East African (Vitellaria Nilotica) Shea butter. East African Shea butter is also known as Shea butter Nilotica. East African Shea butter has a larger amount of olein. Because of this East African Shea butter creamier in texture and much softer at room temperature compared to West African Shea butter. East African Shea butter is thereby rapidly absorbed through the skin. East African Shea Butter is much scarcer than West African Shea butter because of the continuing unrest in countries such as Uganda. East African Shea butter is therefore three times as expensive and difficult to obtain.

Are there differences in quality Shea Butter?

Shea butter is subdivided into classes A to E. Class A is unrefined or raw Shea butter (there is only used water to separate the butter from the nuts). Class B is refined Shea butter. Class C is very refined Shea butter with chemical solvents such as hexane are used. Highly refined Shea butter (class C) is white and odorless and contains 95% less vitamins than unrefined Shea Butter (Class A). Shea butter in Class D and E is partially contaminated.

What is the best way to store unrefined Shea butter?

You don’t have to keep Shea butter in the refrigerator. By cooling it, it will be pretty hard to smear the Shea butter. You can store Shea butter under normal conditions in a dry place in a sealed jar.

How long is unrefined Shea butter sustainable? 

Shea butter can be kept for about two years. The older the Shea Butter is, the less effective the healing properties of the butter, but the butter is good enough to moisturize your skin with it. Keep Shea Butter in a sealable container to keep out dirt and dust.

Which scent has unrefined Shea Butter?

West African Shea butter has a typical smoky, nutty flavor. The scent evaporates quickly and does not remain on the skin. As Shea butter is older, the nutty odor is also reduced. If you keep Shea butter in a normal way, the butter is tenable for a long time. However, Shea butter can also spoil. Shea butter should not smell like mold or rot, regardless of the age of the Shea butter. If this is the case, the Shea butter is spoiled.

What color is unrefined Shea butter? 

The color of Shea butter can vary from ivory to yellow. The color depends on the Shea nuts that have been used. You can’ t determine based solely on the color what the quality of the Shea butter is.