Raw Shea Butter is full of nutrients and has many healing properties for the body. Buying the best quality can actually save you money as it has many uses in your house.
Shea Butter is originally from Africa. It locally made by shelling the Shea nut, crushing them, roasting, grinding, and mixing with water. As the butter floats on top the water, it is skimmed and slowly heated to evaporate any remaining water. This is labor intensive but retains all its qualities and smoky smell.
Commercially, a mechanical Sheller is used and the refined Shea Butter is generally extracted using chemicals including hexane. The refined Shea Butter can be odorless and is stripped from its natural qualities. Even worse, some extracting chemicals can remain in the final products.
Shea Butter has many Qualities and Uses:
Moisturizer: Shea Butter keeps moisture again the skin when applied right after bath, shower, or hands wash. My hands dry out quickly. Therefore, I have unrefined Shea Butter in the bathroom that I rubbed my hands with after washing them to keep them from cracking.
Lip Gloss: It is heavily used in West Africa during the Harmattan season (November to February). During Harmattan, a dry air blows from the Sahara desert to the south. During that season, the air is so dry in West Africa that lips crack and bleed easily. Shea Butter used as lip moisturizer keeps them soft enough not to crack. I know what I am talking about because I am originally from Togo (West Africa).
Hair conditioner: Shea Butter is good conditioner for hair. It can be used lightly after washing hair and before combing. It is a deep conditioner also. As a deep conditioner, wash your hair, dry with tower and comb. Part your hair with fingers and apply generous amount of unrefined Shea Butter to your scalp and hair straight from the container. Don’t rub it in your hands to melt it first. Cover your head with a plastic cap for at least 4hrs or overnight. As the temperature under the cap increases, the Shea Butter in your hair melts slowly and conditions your hair to its core. Time to times, you can apply a gentle massage to you head with the cap on it. If it drips, wipe the excess off. But most of it gets soaked in to the hair. At the ends, rinse your hair with warm water and comb your hair. You would see and immediate difference between applying Shea Butter as a deep conditioner and a store bought deep conditioner.Your hair will feel conditioned for a long period of time you don’t even have to do this often may be once every 3 months at most. Other ingredients can be added to your hair as you deep condition with Shea Butter such as one beaten egg yolk, and or mashed overripe avocado. If you use eggs, don’t use hot water to rinse the hair as you might have to comb scrambled eggs out of it later.
Soap Oils Ingredients: Shea Butter is used in soap as lye discount or in high quantity like in black soap for instance. Shea Butter is not fully saponifed by lye in soap. A big part of it remains intact in the final soap making the soap carrying the benefits of the Shea Butter.
Sun Blocker: Shea Butter has some properties that can limit the body from absorbing ultraviolet radiation. Therefore, it can be used in summer time as sun blocking cream.
Nasal Decongestant: Shea butter when applied to nose can decongest. It is helpful to babies when they have running nose. Similarly, during winter in my zone 5b, my house can be dry as I keep the heat high. Often times in the evening, I feel my nose dry. I put a little unrefined Shea Butter at the tip of my finger and rub inside of my nose and it makes the breathing much easier. I apply to my kids fingers and they do the same.
Eczema relief: Because, Shea Butter has an excellent property to hold water, it can help people with dry skin and eczema. I moisturize my body with it daily as well as my children. It is very helpful to our dry skin. It is very helpful for one of my daughters with eczema. My first daughter, during her first year had very dry skin and her doctor recommended Eucerin that I used for her for her first year or more. When my second one was born with eczema, at that point, I decided to start going natural on a lot of things and decided to use unrefined coconut oil, unrefined cocoa butter. They worked and harmonized her skin by the end of her first year. However, it remains in few spots like near ankles, behind knee and arms fodders. Coconut oil and cocoa butter didn’t work well on these hard patches and her doctor prescribed a medicine to use on her hard patches only. I used it few times without a result. I stopped using it and decided to try Shea Butter instead as it is heavier than coconut oil. It worked like charm. I remarked that her eczema completely disappeared from those areas during winter and came back in spring in few spots like behind the knee. However, I am glad I didn’t have to use any chemicals on her to ease the itching or to soothe the dry patches. Shea butter did the job. It is excellent at easing dry skin, itchy skin and eczema.
Saving Money: Shea butter with many uses around the house can save you money on many cosmetic products it can be substituted with. For instance, I don’t buy Eucerin anymore for my first daughter or baby lotion and cream for either one of them. Similarly, I don’t buy body lotion or cream for myself either. I don’t use lip stick or lip gloss either. I daily apply Shea Butter to my lip to moisturize them and sometime, I apply Lanolin on top of it and I give my lips a glossy look. My kids love rubbing their lips with Shea Butter after shower and I don’t need to buy them lip gloss or lip moisturizer either. At bed time they rub their nose with it to keep moist when the air gets dry. A little in a baby jar food glass container can be put in your purse and used as hands cream and lip moisturizer at work all day long.
Shea Butter’s Grades;
In the USA, Shea Butter can be classified into different grades depending on the quality and the extracting methods used. The grades range from A to E with A the best quality yellowish color, nutty smoky flavor and E the lowest quality that contains contaminants. The Grade B is refined and the grade c can lose up to 95% of Shea Butter vitamins and nutrients.
In conclusion, Shea Butter has many uses in your house and can save you money if you decided to go green or naturals. It can be used as lip gloss, adult body cream, baby body cream, nasal decongestant for adults and babies, hair moisturizer, deep conditioner, dry skin reliever, eczema reliever, hand moisturizer, sun blocker and it doesn’t make the skin to oily at all once the skin absorbs it. Cleopatra was known to use it. No wonder she was known as having skin like a baby skin. When buying Shea butter, make you buy unrefined Shea Butter or raw Shea Butter, or grade A Shea butter to benefits from its healing properties, vitamins, and nutrients.
As a reminder, this content is fully based on personal experience and should replace your doctor advice.
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