A LITTLE BACKGROUND SHEA BUTTER:
I absolutely had NO idea that this ingredient is from the fat pulled from the nut of the African shea tree- Vitellaria paradoxa. It's usually a white or ivory in color and is composed mostly of fat in the form of triglycerides; these fats come from stearic and oleic acids. In Africa, Shea butter is edible and utilized in the preparation of food. Shea butter is also used very widely in cosmetics and skincare in products like lotions or salves.
The history of Shea butter can be found as far back as Egyptian times with canvases displaying jars of Shea butter for cosmetic use and as valuable commodities. They believed in the healing properties of Shea butter and used it to protect their hair and skin against the elements of their harsh environment- it's still used in this area today for the same reasons!
There are many methods in preparing Shea butter for extractions and refining: there's separating or cracking, crushing, roasting, grinding, separating the oils, and lastly collecting and shaping. With the first mentioned method of cracking, the outside pulp is removed from the fruit and is traditionally done by Women elders and young women who will utilize small rocks and break the shells on the ground.
With Crushing, the nuts are simply crushed and done traditionally using a mortar and pestle; then the crushed nuts are roasted. With Roasting, the crushed nuts are heated over open wood fires and stirred quite frequently with wooden paddles in order to prevent the butter from burning; then this paste is hand-kneaded with water to help separate the butter oils. The process ends with this paste being re-melted over a slow-burning fire and this helps evaporate the remaining water.
Grinding is similar to crushing except the Shea nuts are roasted first and then ground into a smooth paste that's mixed by hand with water. As for separating the oils, the Shea paste is kneaded by hand with water in large containers until the butter oils separate and float to the top; the butter is then easily removed since it's in a curd-like state and then the remaining water in the mixture is squeezed out. The last method- collecting and shaping takes creamy Shea butter from the top of pots and put into a cool place in order to harden; this is then formed into balls. Did I mention there were quite a few methods?!
SHEA BUTTER BENEFITS :)
There's a reason why Shea butter is put into so many cosmetic products today- lip glosses, creams, moisturizers, emulsions, leave-in hair treatments, and more! This is because it works! It's an awesome moisturizer, while also improving blemishes and skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis, in addition to providing healing properties to treat skin allergies, bites from insects, sunburns, and even frostbite!
RECOMMENDED PRODUCT WITH SHEA BUTTER:
OZ NATURALS OLIVE & JOJOBA OIL NOURISHING SOUFFLE
8 FL. OZ./$26.49*
* Amazon.com pricing!
Organic Herbal Infusion, Organic Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera), Isopropyl Palmitate (Palm Oil), Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, Organic CarthamusTinctorius (Safflower Oil), PAcrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, (2s)-2-Amino-5-Guanidinopentanoic Acid, ButyrospermumParkii (Shea Butter), OleaEuropaea (Olive Oil), Organic SimmondsiaChinensis (Jojoba Oil), Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexyl Glycerin, Xanthan Gum, Allantoin, Organic Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea), Citric Acid
If you're seeking a good body lotion that doesn't break the bank, actually does what it says it will do, and is power-packed full of organic and good-for-you ingredients...then look no further than THIS product from Oz Naturals. I'm a huge fan of their products- I've tried almost ALL of them by this point and LOVE the quality, price, and effectiveness that they have consistently brought with their products time and time again!
It has a nice light scent and lasts ALL day- you won't have to put this on again once you apply it in the morning. This product does a fantastic job of providing all-day moisture without feeling heavy or greasy, but at the same time it feels lightweight and continues to moisturize throughout the day :) You're given a very generous size at 8 ounces for under $27 which means you aren't going to spend tons of cash to get an effective product!
That's always a WIN in my book. This product would make an excellent gift too and its something that could work for the entire family as it's easy on the nose and the squeeze tube makes for a no-mess application and usage. I've provided the link below where you can find this awesome lotion too :)