Where does Shea Butter come from?
Shea Butter is fat that is extracted from the oil rich 'nuts' produced by the Vitellaria Paradoxa, otherwise known as the Shea Tree, which is indigenous to Africa. It's important to note that Shea Butter is technically a tree nut product but unlike most tree nut products it’s very low in the proteins that can trigger allergies so is safe for sufferers of nut allergies for this reason.
How is it made? Shea Butter is extracted by pounding the kernels and grinding them to an oily smooth paste. It is boiled and the oil is skimmed off after removing the scum containing the impurities. Some countries use Shea Butter in food preparation but we don't tend to in the UK, we use it in skin and haircare preparations. We here at The Good Soap use Shea Butter as an ingredient in our skin balms, moisturiser bars, deodorant bars, lip balms and in our shea and jojoba soap / shampoo bar and baby soap.
Why is it such a great ingredient in skincare products?
Firstly it is safe for all skin types, it doesn't clog pores and it generally smoothes skin out. It melts on skin easily so doesn't drag. It is super moisturising due to it's fatty acid content, containing linoleic, oleic, stearic, and palmitic acids. Due to the balance of these fatty acids it makes it a non greasy moisturiser. If it sounds amazing that's because it is!
Shea Butter is anti inflammatory too, when applied to skin it triggers anti inflammatory cells which means it can help soothe certain skin conditions such as eczema, dermititis and psoriasis. Shea Butter is also anti fungal and can help treat certain fungal conditions including athlete's foot, now that's suprising! This super ingredient is healing too and when applied to new scarring can help healing and minimise the end result of the scars.
The chemical make up of Shea is what makes it so amazing:
- The fatty acids which balance the oils from your skin
- Vitamins A,E and F, antioxidant vitamins that promote circulation and healthy skin cell growth
- Cetyl esters - the waxy part of the shea nut butter that conditions skin and locks in moisture
- Triglycerides - the fatty part of the shea nut that nourishes and conditions your skin
Visit our website to find plenty of products packed with this magical ingredient.