RAW AFRICAN SHEA BUTTER
What is Shea Butter?
True Shea Butter is only found in the tropics of Africa. It is extracted from the nuts of the Shea-Karite tree which begins to bear fruit after about 15 years; and can take up to 30 years to bear a quality crop of nuts with a high content of irremovable fatty acid. It is this irremovable fatty acid that gives Shea Butter its unique healing properties and makes it far superior to cocoa butter and other vegetable butters. Traditionally, Shea Butter was extracted by people who picked the nuts, cracked them, grilled them and pounded them. They were boiled in water for hours until the Shea Butter rose to the surface. It was then scooped into gourds and left to cool and set. Shea Butter is solid at room temperature although it quickly liquefies right around body temperature. This Shea Butter is called unrefined Shea Butter or raw Shea Butter. Since Shea Butter is an all natural product, it can vary widely in quality, appearance and smell depending on where it is produced from and how it is refined or extracted.
Pure Shea Butter can be found in three types of extractions. Also, recently, Shea Butter has begun to be graded.
Raw or unrefined- extracted using water. The color ranges from like cream (similar to whipped butter) to grayish yellow. This is the original form of Shea Butter. Refined- is more highly processed. Has many of its natural components still intact. Highly refined or processed- solvents are used to increase the yield (hexane is an example). The color is pure white.
How should Shea Butter smell?
Shea Butter has a natural smell, which is not unpleasant to most people. The smell of raw or lightly refined West African Shea varies from nutty to similar to shortening. Over time the smell of the Shea Butter will diminish. If an unrefined Shea Butter has almost no smell, it is probably getting old. Shea Butter should not stink, not matter how old it is. It is possible for Shea Butter to go rancid. If it does, do not use it. If you do not like the smell of natural, raw Shea Butter, you can purchase more highly refined Shea Butter that has been de-odorized and filtered through clay. However, we do not recommend ever buying Shea Butter that has been refined using hexane or other solvents.
How do I store Shea Butter?
Shea Butter does not need to be refrigerated. However, over a period of two or three years, the Shea Butter will begin to lose some of its effectiveness. As the natural ingredients begin to break down, some of the healing benefits will be reduced, but the Shea Butter will continue to be an effective moisturizer. Store Shea Butter is a cool (not necessarily cold) place. If you’re going to use it within a couple of years, you should have no problems.
My Shea Butter melted
One of the great things about Shea Butter is its low melting point. When you apply it to your skin, it literally liquefies. However, one of the bad things about Shea Butter is its low melting point. It’s quite possible it will melt in a hot room. It may even be melted when it’s delivered to you in the summer months. If this happens, don’t worry. The Shea Butter is good. Just take the lid off of the container and set it in the refrigerator until it gets hard again. As it begins to cool, you might want to give it a stir to bring the olein (liquid parts) back into contact with the stearin (solid parts) so that the Shea Butter is uniform throughout.
What color should my Shea Butter be?
The color of unrefined Shea Butter depends on the Shea nuts used. Shea nuts will vary in color from almost white to yellow. Therefore, refined Shea Butter will vary in color. You will not be able to determine the authenticity or quality of Shea Butter based strictly on its color. There is even a naturally golden yellow colored Shea Butter. Shea Butter should never be extremely hard or greasy though. Most Shea Butter is a creamy color. Shea Butter that is pure white is highly refined and may or may not have its healing properties intact depending on how it was refined.
How can Shea Butter benefit me? Shea Butter can provide relief from everything from just dry skin to many minor dermatological diseases (if you have a serious skin condition, you should see a doctor). It has been clinically shown to provide benefits. Here are some of the benefits of Shea Butter for the skin:
Daily skin moisturizer (face and body)
Dry skin relief
Skin rash- including diaper rash
Skin peeling, after tanning
Blemishes and wrinkles
Itching skin due to dryness
Shaving cream to reduce razor irritation
Small skin wounds
Soften tough skin on feet (especially heels)
Stretch mark prevention during pregnancy
Sun and wind protection
Even skin tone
Reduce blemishes and scarring
Eliminating scalp irritation from dryness or chemical processing
Preventing bumps after shaving
Reducing acne (especially in combination with African Black Soap)
Absorbs quickly without leaving a greasy residue
Helps restore elasticity to skin
Restores luster to hair
How does Shea Butter benefit my skin?
Shea Butter nourishes the skin with Vitamins A, E and F. Vitamins A and E help maintain the skin and keep it clear and healthy. They are particularly helpful for sun damaged skin. They help prevent premature wrinkles and facial lines. Vitamin F acts as a skin protector and rejuvenator. It soothes rough, dry or chapped skin and helps soften dry or damaged hair. Shea Butter is high in unsaponifiables (a type of fat). Shea Butter has between 7-12% unsaponifiables. For comparison, avocado oil, a well known skin conditioner, has between 2-6%. This high level of unsaponifiables is one of the properties that makes Shea Butter so invaluable in treating the conditions listed above. Also, Shea Butter easily penetrates the skin allowing the skin to breathe and not clogging pores. Shea Butter has a high level of cinnamic acid, a natural sun screen. So, it provides some degree of protection from the sun. Shea Butter is also anti-inflammatory making it useful in treating rheumatism.
While we make no medical claims about our Shea Butter, we do have anecdotal evidence that it is very useful in treating minor skin conditions. We have had several customers who have used Shea Butter for eczema and/or psoriasis and told us it works as well as steroids at a fraction of the cost and without the side effects. We have a customer with an allergy to the sun. When she began using our Shea Butter lotion (not even pure Shea Butter), she accidentally discovered that it prevented the rash she normally would get from even a small amount of exposure to the sun.
How does Shea Butter benefit my hair?
Shea Butter provides moisture to dry or damaged hair from the roots to the very tips, repairing and protecting against weather damage, dryness and brittleness. It also absorbs quickly and completely into the scalp to re-hydrate without clogging pores. It is particularly beneficial for processed and heat-treated hair. It is an excellent treatment for dry scalp. It restores luster to damaged hair.
Is all Shea Butter the same?
All Shea Butter is not the same. Shea Butter loses some of its healing properties as it sits on the shelf, so very old Shea Butter is not as beneficial. Refining techniques will vary. Highly processed Shea Butter will not be as effective. Sometimes Shea Butter is mixed with other ingredients that reduce its benefits. Then, there are those products that add very little Shea Butter but prominently display “Shea Butter” on the label. While Shea Butter is not very expensive, you should be aware of products that claim to provide the benefits of Shea Butter and sell for very low prices. Many manufacturers are taking advantage of the Shea Butter buzz by adding a little Shea Butter to a very inexpensive product implying you can get the benefits of Shea Butter in their product.
All Natural Now takes care to source our Shea Butter only from reputable sources to ensure freshness, quality and the refining technique to ensure there are no contaminants and that the “good stuff” is left in.
Where can I get good Shea Butter?
You can get quality Shea Butter products right here. We carry a wide variety of products from pure Shea Butter to Whipped Shea Body Butters. All of the Shea Butter we carry is of the highest quality. We are very selective about where we obtain our Shea Butter and the extraction methods used. We will not carry any Shea Butter that has been extracted using solvents. You can find cheaper Shea Butter and Shea Butter products. But, you will not find better ones. Our Shea Butter products use Shea Butter and Organic Coconut Oil ONLY. Some other manufacturers are adding small amounts of Shea Butter to their products. Don’t be fooled by this. Our pure African Shea Butter is of the highest grade.
What’s the difference between raw Shea butter, refined Shea butter and highly refined Shea Butter?
The differences between raw, refined and highly refined Shea Butter lie in how the Shea Butter is extracted from the nut and how it is processed after that. Manual extraction processes leave more of the raw ingredients in the Shea Butter. After it is extracted, it can be further refined removing color and impurities that some people don’t like. This further refining can also remove some of the smell. You can think of the difference between raw Shea Butter and refined Shea Butter as being similar to the difference between wheat bread and white bread. Truly raw Shea Butter can even be unfiltered. That is one end of the spectrum. On the other end, there is Shea Butter that is extracted using chemicals that is pure white, has no smell and has lost a lot of its healing properties in the process.
All of our Shea Butter is mechanically extracted. No chemicals (other than water) are used in the process. Our raw Shea Butter is lightly filtered. But, retains its natural color and smell. Our Ultra Pure Shea Butter is refined. It is further processed by being put through clay filters and the odor is vacuumed out. It retains its healing properties and moisturizing ability.
Raw Shea Butter or Refined Shea Butter?
This is really a matter of preference. I prefer raw Shea Butter. Unless you do not like the smell of Shea Butter, we recommend you go with raw. The more the Shea Butter is processed, the higher the chance some of the “good stuff” is going to be removed. Certainly, none of the healing or moisturizing properties of Shea Butter are enhanced by the further processing to make it white and odorless. If you do not like the smell of Shea Butter, try to get refined Shea Butter that is refined without the use of solvents. Or, you could try the East African Shea Butter, which has a much milder aroma than West African Shea Butter.
Shea butter and pain relief?
When massaged into aching joints and inflamed areas, Shea butter provides relief. This makes the butter highly useful to people suffering from arthritic and rheumatic pain. Essential oils such as lavender, roman chamomile or Helichrysum may be mixed into the Shea butter to make it more potent.
Muscle soreness resulting from exercise, sports practice, or other strenuous activity may be relieved by massaging in Shea butter. Triterpenes in the butter may even accelerate healing by relieving inflammation. Applying Shea butter both before and after exercise has been found to provide faster pain relief. For best results, unrefined, organic Shea butter should be used.
Although available research remains inconclusive, moderate improvements have been observed concerning the use of shea butter in improving the appearance of skin and stretch marks. Essential oils help the skin recuperate, promote skin rejuvenation, and stimulate the production of collagen and elastin fibers.
Even at a time when prescription-only tretinoins and over-the-counter collagen creams are readily available, nature still offers the best options. In the case of improving the appearance of your skin and ridding your skin of stretch marks, your best first option could be the regular application of Shea butter.
All Natural Now, LLC. is a company whose purpose is to bring healing and health to others through Natural Organic Products.
Using the finest ingredients, we handcraft products in small batches to ensure freshness and maintain our stance on not using preservatives.
We strongly believe in the ability to improve health and well being through “Alternative Medicine”. The results we have seen over the years….health being improved or restored to those who had given up hope. This has guided our path to create All Natural Now.
Our company was born from necessity, due to health concerns, we began using recipes that were handed down from the generations before us. We found that simple, pure, natural, and organic was the key to health. This led to us making the decision to spread our knowledge. As the owner of this company with a severe chronic illness CRSP, Endometriosis, Recurrent Bowel Obstructions from Adhesions, and one of my favorites a spine that has had major surgery, along with many more herniated and compressed nerves still not yet dealt with. I have found that using Essential Oils has given me back an immune system. I have created pain products that not only relieve pain but decrease inflammation, which we know causes a lot of other diseases and issues. I went from being bed ridden, unable to walk or move, not able to eat, I was very sick. And the oils have brought me back. They have brought back my health. And this is why I chose to share this with others. Helping another person to achieve better health makes everything I have been through worth it!
Please join us on this journey to health and well being. Whether you just love the smell of Essential Oils or you are suffering from any health condition. All Natural Now is here to help. We promise high quality oils, specialized services. We will go above and beyond for you, our client!
All Natural Now