This week on the blog we are back with one of our favourite series all about our natural ingredients and just what makes them so special. It is the turn of the star of the facial soap show, shea butter.
To explore more posts in the series, click here.
Where does it come from?
Shea butter is a nourishing fat extracted from the nuts of the shea tree. The English name shea comes from the Bambara name for the tree, s’í. It natural grows across the Savannah belt in Africa and can be found in 21 countries. The butter is ivory in colour and is edible, although we wouldn’t recommend chowing down lumps of the stuff!
Did you know?
Evidence of the production of shea butter for food, medicinal and cosmetic purposes can be dated back to the 14th century.
Benefits of Shea Butter
1. Deeply moisturising
Shea butter is essentially a gorgeous gentle and natural moisturiser. It is also very easily absorbed. Our skin naturally produces sebum which works brilliantly with oleic acid, a saturated fatty acid, which is found in shea butter. It is readily absorbed into the skin and can also speed up the absorption of other ingredients to help nourish the skin.
The butter is also naturally rich in vitamins A E and F. It even contains a tiny amount of UV protection but unfortunately not enough for full coverage.
Shea butter has a long history of being used medicinally including wound care and even as a treatment for leprosey.
In today’s society, shea butter can be used as an anti-inflammatory. Studies have found that the compound lupeol cinnamateto reduce skin inflammation and help avoid skin mutation.
For the above reasons, shea butter is also a great natural product for people with acne and warding off stretch marks.
In some countries in Africa where the tree is found, people massage the butter onto the body to ease painful joints.
Nigerians often use shea butter to help clear and ease nasal congestion and sinustitis.
There is even evidence of shea butter helping reduce signs of ageing. The butter contains oleic, stearic, palmitic, and linolenic acids which protect and nourish the skin, aiding in the skins natural collagen production. Over time, people report their skin softening and strengthening.
Did you know?
Shea butter melts at body temperature. Our shea butter soaps contain excess shea butter nourish your skin. This basically means we add in extra shea butter which doesn’t react with the other ingredients and turn into soap. You’ll get a lovely moisturising effect as the butter melts into your skin.
Our Shea Butter Facial Soap ticks all the boxes for us. Not only is it plastic and palm oil free, but it also contains excess shea butter to nourish our skin. The compostable paper wrap and accompanying reusable muslin cloth (to use instead of wipes) mean this little gem is as good for the environment as it is great for your skin. Take a closer look here.