What is Shea Butter?
It’s a yellowish or ivorish colored fat that is extracted from a nut of an African shea tree. The process consist of crushing the nuts to be roasted then grinded, then the oils are separated and cooled to form shea butter.
Uses For Shea Butter
- Great when used as a sealant because shea butter helps retain moisture within the hair and supports elasticity, shine and strength.
- Use shea butter as a conditioning treatment. You can find a homemade conditioner recipe here.
Other Shea Butter Benefits:
- Used as a moisturizer for dry skin especially during cold weather
- Moisturizes skin cracks, rough feet and elbow
- Soothes a Skin rash, skin peeling after tanning
- Blemishes and Wrinkles
- Itching skin
- Works great as a Shaving cream for a smooth silky shave
- Treats Small skin wounds
- Stretch mark prevention during pregnancy
- Muscle fatigue aches and tension
- For before and after strenuous exercise
- Treats Skin damage from burns.
Storing Shea Butter
- After purchasing raw or unrefined shea butter, you need to store it properly. Good quality shea butter has a shelf life of about 18 months if stored properly.
- Transfer the shea butter from a sealed package to a dry airtight plastic or glass container.
- Keep the container away from direct heat, light and moisture. Exposure to high temperature will make it go bad.
- Store your shea butter in a cool dry place.
Signs that your shea butter has gone bad :
- The color will change, so pay attention to the original color when you get your shea butter. If you see any change in the color then chances are it’s going bad or is bad.
- Unpleasant smell. Good shea butter has a nutty smell and sometimes odorless.
- Good shea butter should have a smooth, creamy and sometimes a grainy texture.
The Difference between unrefined shea butter(raw shea butter) and refined shea butter:
Unrefined shea butter
It’s extracted using water only, either by hand or machines, without the use of chemicals and synthetics. The end product is also commonly known as raw shea butter or organic shea butter. It’s color ranges from beige to light golden yellow and has a nutty aroma to it and its texture is usually grainy.
Refined shea butter
Is extracted using hexane and other petroleum solvents. It’s refined and then bleached by heating it to high temperatures. Other additives and preservatives are added to remove the nutty smell and then it becomes odorless. It’s white in color compared to the yellowish color of the pure traditional shea butter. It’s smooth in texture because it has been refined to get rid of the grainy molecules.
Companies are incorporating shea butter as a major ingredient in their products. Most well known products like Shea Moisture line, Cantu shea butter, Organix smoothing shea butter conditioner, Loccitane shea butter ultra rich conditioner, Dr woods shea butter black soap and many others contain shea butter.
What are your best shea butter products or mixes? Do you use shea butter? Please share your reviews with me below.
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