Brief History of Shea Butter
The history & origin of Shea Butter dates back to Ancient Egyptian times and as early as the 14th century and was used as an invaluable skin care product during the reign of Queen Cleopatra. Queen Cleopatra understood the vital benefits in which Shea butter offered for not only Skincare & Haircare purposes but an all round natural ingredient for Cosmetics. She kept large jars of pure, unrefined shea butter on hand, it was one of her finest beauty secrets. To understand why Queen Cleopatra treasured Shea Butter, often referring to it as ‘woman's gold,’ we need to delve into the History of Shea Butter.
Shea Butter originated in the West African continent of Ghana, where wild Shea Trees grow native to the land producing tiny, almond-like fruit with a nut inside. The process of growing Shea Trees begins naturally & freely, the shea fruit blossoms in the early part of the dry season December-January. Once the blossoms set, they transform into a fruit and reach maturity during April-May in the rainy Season. Shea fruit is very similar to a peach with a pit, if you break the husk there are seeds inside. The shea fruit has a husk on the outer layer and a seed located inside which is extracted to produce what we know as Shea Butter.
Real Organic Shea Butter is handcrafted with labour of love that uses old age techniques passed down through generations by the woman of West Africa. They use centuries old techniques and practices to extract high quality organic butter from the shea tree.
The production starts off with the process of gently handpicking the shea fruits from the tree/ground, separating the nuts from the actual fruit, then the shea nut is then parboiled to remove any remaining flesh and to sterilize the seeds. Next, the women lay out the seeds to sun-dry, once they have dried, the shea nuts are then shelled by hand with a mortar & pestle. These nuts are then carefully hand selected and inspected for high quality seeds then are bagged and transported to other communities for the production of shea butter. This product is as close to the shea tree as is possible without visiting African personally. This is the traditional stuff with a very distinctive smell.Process of Making Shea Butter:
- Seeds are hand washed 3 times to get rid of any impurities
- Hand selected for the best & highest quality (Triple A rating is required for the shea butter to be certified as ORGANIC)
- Sun-dried then hand roasted
- Once roasted, the shea nuts are spread out to cool down, then the process of milling begins.
- The shea nuts are then hand milled to produce a brown viscous substance
- The women then gently whip and churn the butter while slowly adding cold water until the coagulated shea oils float to the top and separate from the butter & water.
- The solids slowly form and dry while the impurities float to the top of the pot. The women then carefully skim the impurities out.
- Once the butter solidifies, it's packed and transported around the world.
Raw Shea Butter vs Refined Shea Butter
Refined Shea Butter
Refined Shea Butter refers to the process in which very high levels of heat is used to extract the butter from the shea fruit. Because of this intense temperature, the heat refines the shea butter enabling the colour of the butter to appear white, in turn many of the benefits of the shea butter are lost in this process. This process of refined shea butter also means that 75% of its bioactive ingredients are lost. Although it appears to be still moisturising, your skin wont receive the same healing properties as raw shea.
Colour: Cream to pale yellow
Refining Process: Naturally filtered through diatomaceous earth to remove impurities and steam to remove all odor.
Non Saponables: 5 -7%
Uses: Cosmetic and Soap Manufacturing.
Organic Shea Butter
Organic, unrefined shea butter is extracted using traditional, non harmful methods to ensure the highest quality of butter is extracted from the shea nuts. Although it may be time consuming, the West African women, gently and carefully handcrafted shea butter. Organic, unfiltered, unrefined shea contains vast amounts of Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Fatty acids and other vital properties that restore your skin from dull to a beautiful glow. The colour can vary from pale yellow-ivory colour and has an earthy scent. In order for shea butter to be classified as organic, the area in which the shea trees grow need to be separate from any roads, villages, built up areas and must grow organically.
Unrefined Unfiltered Characteristics
Colour: light yellow to dark tan
Filtering Process: None. Medium to strong nutty/smoky odor. All the impurities that were present in acquisition and processing of the nuts are present.
Non Saponables: 7 - 12%
Uses of Shea Butter Shea butter has unsurpassed ability to maintain and protect the skin from environmental damage. It is used to protect the skin from sunburn and eczema, as well as to rejuvenate the skin. Due to its exceptional healing qualities, it is employed in scalp and hair applications. When refined, it is utilized as an edible butter, which is used as a cocoa butter equivalent (in high quality Swiss chocolates, for example) as a base for high quality cosmetics; and, more recently, in the aromatherapy industry.
- High in vitamins C, E and A
- Teaming with unique antibacterial compound
- Emollient properties: The rich tree-nut oils in shea butter can soak into your skin, creating a smooth and soft barrier that seals in moisture. This moisturizing effect can last several hours
Shea butter locks in moisture, increases elasticity and evens out skin tone. Delivers soft, smooth and dewy skin- without a greasy finish.
Shea butter treats ailments such as:
- Most sensitive skin
- Collagen plumping goodness of Shea butter.
- Acne prone and oily skin.
- Severely Dry Skin
- Stretch Marks
- Cracked Heels
- Skin Irritation
- Redness and inflammation
Why choose BotaniqandCos Whipped Shea Butter? Our Beautiful Body Butters are infused with high quality essential oils that will leave your skin feeling loved and appreciated. Sourced sustainably, relieve dry flaky & itchy skin by using an all natural moisturizing, conditioning and repairing sealant for your skin.