VIRGIN SHEA BUTTER
Virgin Shea Butter from Togo, Africa (Butyrospermun
Butter is the oil from the nuts of wild Shea trees
(Vitellaria paradoxa) which gown throughout the
wooded savanna of West and Central Africa. Shea
Butter has been used for centuries in Africa.
Some historic reference from as early as Cleopatras
time mention caravans bearing clay jars of Shea
Butter for cosmetic use.
Shea Butter has been used for centuries in Africa
as an anti-inflammatory for sprains and arthritis,
healing salve, lotion for hair and skin care as
well as a cooking oil. The protective and emollient
properties of Shea Butter are most valued for
skin care. In recent clinical trials*, Shea Butter
was found to help to protect skin against climate
and UV aggressions, prevent wrinkle formation,
soothe irritated and chapped skin, and moisturise
the epidermis. Shea Butter also enhances cell
regeneration and capillary circulation, which
helps prevent and minimise stretch marks, inflammations,
and unrefined (we like to call it 'virgin') Shea
Butter contains the maximum amount of healing
and moisturising properties. This butter is cold
pressed by hand from the nuts of the shea tree.
It is rich and creamy, icory in colour, and has
a characteristic nutty scent which quickly disappears
when rubbed into the skin.
Chemically extracted and refined Shea Butter
is white and odourless and has reduced beneficial
properties. In addition, refined Shea Butter has
usually been extracted from the shea kernels with
hexane, sodium hydroxide or other petroleum solvents.
The extracted oil is then boiled by heating to
over 400F to remove the toxic solvents, and then
refined, bleached, and deodorized. If extracted
in this manner the butter will still contain some
undesirable solvent residues, and its healing
values would be significantly reduced. Antioxidants
or preservatives such as BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole)
or BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) may be added
tool. The end result is an odourless, white butter
that may be aesthetically appealing, but lacks
the true moisturising, healing and skin nourishing
properties of true traditional Shea Butter.
* source Alaffia/Agbanga Karite Group