When you order any amount of unrefined Shea butter, you’re supporting an amazing group of women in different parts of Africa who make their living by making this underestimated body butter.
Shea butter is loved by many because it’s a rich, nourishing, and natural alternative to mainstream skincare products. It works like an emollient which helps soften or smooth dry skin. Shea butter also contains substances that can reduce skin swelling. This might help treat conditions associated with skin swelling such as eczema, acne, burns, dandruff, dry skin and many other skin conditions.
In some parts of the world, shea butter is used as a fat for cooking. In manufacturing, shea butter is used in cosmetic products.
Before we get into how Shea Butter is made, here’s a little background.
Shea butter is sometimes called “women’s gold” due to its wonderful good impacts on skin and hair and it provides employment and income to women in some African nations.
The butter is extracted from Shea nuts from the Shea tree. This tree can take up to fifty years to reach maturity and is considered precious due to the nuts it provides. It is also called the Karite tree.
Steps to making the shea butter:
A block of Shea butter begins its life as a pile of nuts harvested by hands.
These nuts are then boiled in a large pot, which makes the shell easier to break.
When the nuts are cooled, they are extracted from their shells. This is done by hand, and while it can be time-consuming, it is often done by groups of women who make it a social activity.
The discarded shells are then used cooking fuel, while the seeds are cracked and roasted.
These roasted seeds are then beaten with water, which releases their rich fats.
The fat extracts are boiled, skimmed, and cooled, and the result is the Shea butter we all know and love.
For many African women, making Shea butter is a family tradition where mothers pass on the technique to daughters, preserving traditional methods. Though it is physically strenuous, this lifestyle provides a steady source of income for many families.
The demand for Shea butter globally is on the rise in recent years mainly because of the growing awareness of the dangerous ingredients used by many manufacturers in skincare products. More and more people are looking to Shea butter to create cosmetics of their own as it is rich in vitamin A, vitamin E, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants.
So, when next you apply Shea butter on your skin, appreciate the process that went into making it work.
Do you have a unique and natural product in your community that can be beneficial to the world? Do share with us in the comment section.