The history of Shea butter can be traced back as early as Cleopatra’s Egypt, with records of caravans bearing clay jars of the valuable Shea butter.⠀⠀
One of nature’s many gifts of raw Shea butter is it deeply moisturizing, healing and nourishing properties. Sourced from the ‘karite’ (Vitellaria) tree, which is indigenous to Africa, raw Shea butter is the oil-rich extract of the Shea fruit.
This centuries old ingredient has a multitude of benefits and uses so we answered some the most frequently asked questions about Shea butter.
What is Shea butter?
Shea butter is produced from Shea nuts (Butyrospermum parkii) which is a fat extracted from the Shea kernel. Shea nuts are found in countries of West to East Africa, from Nigeria and Sierra Leone to Uganda and South Sudan. They contain high levels of vitamin E, B6, C, D and essential fatty acids, and antioxidants. Raw Shea butter is a multi-purpose Vegan moisturiser made from a single ingredient that can be use from head to toe.
What is the difference between refined and unrefined Shea butter?
Refined Shea butter is made using high levels of heat and chemical solvents to remove the natural oils. These chemicals strip away the natural scent and colour of the butter making the Shea white in colour, as well as removing the natural nutrients found in the oil, leaving behind only hydrogenated solidified fat.
In contrast, unrefined raw Shea butter has all its nutrients and the skin nourishing properties intact. Unrefined Shea butter contain an enzyme called propionyl-glycine, which helps your body produce its own collagen and elastin that’s essential for skin cell regeneration .
Our Gold and Ivory Shea butters are unrefined and raw, so, no additional chemicals or preservatives added during the extraction process thus retaining all of its incredible natural properties
What are the benefits of raw Shea butter?
Shea Butter is known for its high content of fatty acids and its naturally occurring content of Vitamins A and E. It is known to have anti-inflammatory and healing properties - Shea butter has amazing skin nourishing properties that soaks into your skin, creating a smooth and soft barrier that seals in moisture. This moisturizing effect can last several hours. It aids the body’s natural collagen production helping your skin dryness. As unrefined raw Shea butter is rich in essential fatty acids as well as Omega-6 and 9 it’s ability to soothe skin aliments like eczema, psoriasis, rashes, sunburn and dry skin is unrivalled.
Traditionally used as a “cure-all” balm, with women in Africa using it on everything from stretch marks and scars to babies' bums. An excellent natural alternative to petroleum jelly.
What the difference between your Gold and Ivory Shea?
At LIHA Beauty we offer two types of vegan raw Shea butter: Ivory and Gold. Both our Shea butters are unrefined. The difference in colour is attributed to the region in which the Shea butter was extracted and can also be based on the season and production methods. The same amazing skin health properties remain, regardless of the colour, however, depending on your personal usage of the butters you may prefer one over the other. Both are rich in Vitamins A and E and work wonders for multipurpose moisture.
Ivory Shea butter is from Ghana and can be crumbly in texture. It has a nutty vanilla scent, it's perfect butter for keeping small areas such as the lips, hands and feet moisturised on the go.
Gold Shea butter is from Nigeria and has a more smoky, earthy smell remnant from the roasting process of the Shea fruit and waxy in texture. It can be seamlessly smoothed into larger areas of the body as well as being the quintessential weapon against dry, flaky and itchy scalps.
They are both really hydrating and nourishing but we would say the Gold Shea butter is slightly more moisturising and have had amazing reviews for treating eczema and other skin conditions. Check out what some of our customers told us about using our raw Shea butter to treat their eczema.
Does raw Shea butter work well for eczema?
We have had a number of rave reviews from customers who have told us that Shea butter has helped massively with their skin condition- read here
‘When applied topically, Shea butter can increase moisture retention by acting as a protective layer over your skin and preventing water loss on the first layer, as well as penetrating to enrich the other layers.’
Thus Shea butter is known to relieve the itchy, dryness and inflamed skin associated with eczema.
Can you use raw Shea butter on my face?
Shea butter is great for hydrating most of your skin and is low on the comedogenic scale. However, raw Shea butter is very thick and rich, and can make some people break out but everyone is different and we have customers who use it on their face with no issues. We therefore advice to patch test for yourself to see if it suits your skin. Personally I use it on dry patches of my face especially in winter or as a 10 minute face mask.
So, need the hit of hydration on your face, leave the Shea butter on for about 10mins and then use a warm flannel or micellar water to gently wipe it off.
Can you use raw Shea butter on my baby/kids?
Yes, our raw Shea butter is made from one natural vegan ingredient so it’s great for babies and kids. 100% safe.
Is raw Shea butter suitable for during pregnancy and/or nursing?
As most women prefer to use unscented products during this time, so our raw Shea butter is a customer favourite to keep stretch marks at bay during pregnancy and as a nipple balm during nursing. It even works wonders as a nappy balm.
Why not try this very simple recipe for a multipurpose moisturiser?
1 heaped tablespoon Shea butter – mash with back of spoon until smooth
2 heaped tablespoons Kitchen oil of choice ( coconut, hemp or olive) -add in mix with spoon and then whisk until light and fluffy ( around 10 mins)
Add 6-9 drops of your essential oil of choice ( or 3 drops of 3 mixed together) holding at eye level to control flow. Fold in with a spoon, decant into a glass jar and leave to cure in a cool dark place for up to a week