What is shea butter?

everything you need to know about our favourite body butter.

what is shea butter?

The shea butter is made from the fat extracted from the nuts of the shea tree, a plant native to West Africa (almost all of the shea butter used today still comes from this region). Historically, it has been used by indigenous populations for centuries, both as a topical application and as a cooking butter (food-grade shea butter is still used for cooking today). Currently, it is best known for its use in the beauty industry. Shea butter is incorporated into a plethora of lotions, creams and more... It is found under the I.N.C.I. name 'Butyrospermum Parkii Butter (Extract)'.

From a physicochemical perspective, shea butter is a solid fat substance, which liquefies around 37°C. Ranging from white to beige in colour, shea butter has a pronounced almond scent.

what you'll find in this handy guide:

Discover our raw shea gold

Traditionally used as a “cure-all” balm, with women in Africa using it on everything fromeczema, stretch marks and scarringtobabies' bums. An excellent natural alternative to petroleum jelly (Vaseline).

What compounds are present in shea butter?

Its composition primarily contains fatty acids, namely:

  • 40 to 50% oleic acid or omega-9.This monounsaturated fatty acid is a lipid that forms part of the composition of sebum, a substance naturally secreted by the body to counteract the dryness of the skin and hair. It stimulates the production of sebum by the sebaceous glands. Sweet almond vegetable oil is thusrelipidating, it is recommended for the care ofdry and dehydrated skin and hair.
  • 36 to 50% stearic acid.In skincare, stearic acid is recognised for its emollient, nourishing, and protective (film-forming) properties.
  • 4 to 8% of linoleic acid oromega-6.
  • 3 to 8% of palmitic acid.

Shea butter also contains a significant proportion of unsaponifiables, at least 4%.This remarkable content of unsaponifiables (tocopherols, phytosterols, triterpenes, kariten...) gives it great penetration properties. These components also provide it with UV protection properties, making shea butter a good ingredient to enhance the SPF of sun care products.

From a physicochemical perspective, shea butter is a solid fat substance, which liquefies around 37°C. Ranging from white to beige in colour, shea butter has a pronounced almond scent.

What are the benefits of shea butter for the skin?

The most evident advantage, of course, is its moisturising and nourishing properties. The shea vegetable butter is suitable for all skin types due to its moisturising and repairing properties. Acting deeply, it provides the necessary nutrients to dry skin with the help of fatty acids. Moreover, it strengthens the action of the skin's lipid barrier, allowing it to protect against external aggressions and dehydration. Hydrated and nourished, the skin becomes supple and soft. 

It has been demonstrated that this plant-based butter seals moisture into the skin and protects the skin barrier. One study even suggests that it has topical effects similar to those of ceramides, the polar lipids naturally present in the epidermis and responsible for the impermeability of the skin barrier. Shea butter and its components are even nicknamed asphytoceramides.

RAW SHEA BUTTER: GOLD (15ml) - LIHA Beauty

What are the benefits of shea butter for hair?

When applied to hair, shea butter is also valued for its moisturising and protective properties. Hydrating the scalp and hair fibres is essential to give them softness and shine. This makes the hair easy to style, and in the case of curly hair, the curls are well-defined. 

Furthermore, shea butter is also thefriend of coloured hair. By protecting the hair from the sun's rays, it maintains the colour and prevents a brittle appearance. This protective action is equally useful to prevent hair ageing, which is the cause of a dull and greyish colour.

Precautions to take when using shea butter.

For topical use, the shea butter does not present any specific contraindications. It is suitable for all skin and hair types, and is even appropriate for infants and pregnant women. 

Given that it contains latex, it is however not recommended for individuals allergic to this substance. In such instances, it can cause irritations, inflammations, or even respiratory distress. 

In order to determine whether or not you are tolerant to shea butter, apply a small amount of the product to the crook of your elbow 48 hours in advance. If you notice any irritation, tingling or itching, this indicates that you may have a sensitivity to the product. Otherwise, it is always necessary to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer to avoid any adverse reactions.

In which skincare products can one find shea butter?

The shea butter is primarily found in moisturising and nourishing treatments (balm, cream, etc.). It can also be incorporated into formulas designed to combat stretch marks and signs of ageing. For hair care, it is often used in the form of a mask. Its concentration in a treatment can vary between 1 and 60% depending on the desired benefits and texture.

Typology has developed several treatments using this vegetable butter.

  • The nourishing lip balm with 9 ingredients has been designed solely from ingredients essential to its function. Shea butter helps to protect the lips from skin dryness.
  • Ournourishing face creambased on hyaluronic acid also contains shea butter. Thanks to its content of moisturising and lipid-replenishing active ingredients, this treatment provides suppleness to the skin. Furthermore, it reduces feelings of tightness. It is suitable for normal, combination and dry skin types.
  • You can also find this vegetable butter in the firming night mask based on prickly pear oil, a nourishing balm to nourish and regenerate weakened skin, and firm up the tissues.
  • Thenourishing body creamalso contains shea butter alongside squalane and plum oil to restore the skin's lipid barrier, reduce feelings of tightness, and protect the skin from external aggressions.
  • Shea butter is also present in the gel-in-oil stretch marks
    with baobab oil to prevent and visibly reduce the appearance of stretch marks, while providing flexibility and elasticity to the skin.
  • Finally, our two solid cleansing treatments cold-processed (CP) 100% natural are enriched with shea butter.

sold? explore our shea:

sold? explore our shea:
RAW SHEA BUTTER: GOLD
RAW SHEA BUTTER  | LIHA Beauty
RAW SHEA BUTTER  | LIHA Beauty
RAW SHEA BUTTER: GOLD - LIHA Beauty
£25.00
RAW SHEA BUTTER: GOLD
Repairs moisture barrier & soothes and nourishes dry irritated skin
Select Size
RAW SHEA BUTTER: IVORY
RAW SHEA BUTTER  | LIHA Beauty
RAW SHEA BUTTER  | LIHA Beauty
RAW SHEA BUTTER  | LIHA Beauty
£22.00
RAW SHEA BUTTER: IVORY
Rich in Vitamins and fatty acids that helps repair dry and irritated skin
Select Size
GOLD SHEA BUTTER - TRAVEL SIZE
RAW SHEA BUTTER: GOLD (15ml) - LIHA Beauty
RAW SHEA BUTTER: GOLD (15ml) - LIHA Beauty
£9.00
GOLD SHEA BUTTER - TRAVEL SIZE
Repairs moisture barrier & soothes and nourishes dry irritated skin
IVORY SHEA BUTTER - TRAVEL SIZE
RAW SHEA BUTTER: IVORY (15ml) - LIHA Beauty
LIHA BEAUTY RAW SHEA BUTTER
£9.00
IVORY SHEA BUTTER - TRAVEL SIZE
Rich in Vitamins and fatty acids that helps repair dry and irritated skin

The LIHA Story

Founded in 2014 by best friends Abi and Liha, LIHA is a brand built on paying homage to ancestry and blending African Beauty Secrets with modern day British culture.

Blending Abi’s Yoruba roots and access to rare ingredients from trips back home with Liha’s knowledge of Aromatherapy passed down from her mother, they started making in their kitchens and have grown to be stocked internationally over the years in retailers such as Liberty, Le Bon Marche and Net A Porter, among others.In Yoruba Culture, the concept of Asé is linked to communion with yourself and your personal energy, similar to the eastern concept of Prana or Qi.

All our products are designed to enrich your life with a daily ritual of attuning to the symphony of your bodies and getting your energy or Asé where it needs to be, something our ancestors were truly passionate about.We embrace the healing alchemy of nature.

Our ingredients and products are 100% cruelty free and untouched by harmful petrochemicals or unsafe toxins.

Hyper-functional products targeting multiple concerns for a streamlined routine.

This is LIHA.