It’s possible that you may have only recently heard of Shea Butter, that is extracted from the nuts of a tree (Shea-Karite tree) only found on the continent of Africa. But, its use is far from a modern use.The traditional use of the butter is to reduce the appearance of fine lines, scars and stretch marks, and to ease a variety of skin irritations, such as psoriasis, eczema and sunburn. Makers of cosmetics also mix this natural substance with other botanical ingredients.
- Raw or unrefined– This Shea Butter will be extracted using only water. The color will vary based on the nuts used. The color will range from a cream color or slightly off-white to an actual yellow or yellowish gray. This is the original form of Shea Butter. It will also usually have a distinct nutty aroma.
- Refined– is more highly processed. It may be filtered and deodorized. Many of its natural components are still in there. But, some of the natural coloring and aroma will have been removed.
- Highly refined or processed– In this case something other than water is used to increase the amount of butter that can be taken from a bath. A solvent like hexane will be used. The color of this product will be pure white.
Unrefined Shea butter is naturally rich in a number of vitamins like vitamin A and E that balances and normalizes the skin.
Some of the benefits of Shea butter are:
– helps to restore skin elasticity;
– helps to heal cuts and burns without scarring;
– helps to minimize stretch marks;
– has natural sun protection qualities for skin and hair;
– it is an intensive general moisturizer, ideal for dry,cracking skin such as: elbows, heels, knees.
You don’t have to keep Shea Butter refrigerated. In fact doing so would make it very difficult to use. It will keep under normal conditions for about two to three years. Over time it will be less effective in terms of its healing properties. But, it will remain a good moisturizer. Keep it in a cool place and keep the container closed to keep out contamination.