Shea Butter Spotlight
Posted by Lynette Miller on
Shea butter is such a luxurious ingredient! This creamy butter comes from pressing the seeds of the African Shea tree. History records use from ancient Egypt, all the way back to 1st century BC, where caravans brought back clay jars for cosmetic use.
Shea butter is widely used in cosmetics, such as lotion, soap, lip balm and hair conditioner. It is still used for cooking oil in some African countries. It is an excellent ingredient in medicinal salves because of its ability to melt at body temperature and absorb quickly into the skin.
Traditionally the nuts are gathered, shelled, crushed, roasted and ground before the oil is separated out. The process of separating the oils uses the addition of water to the ground nuts, which allows the oils to float to the top and are removed and then boiled slowly to remove any excess water. It is then ladled out, cooled and shaped into balls.
When shea butter is raw or unrefined it is yellow in color and has a nutty aroma. We use this type of Shea in our Lavender Lotion Bar. It lends its color and aroma to the mix of oils and butters to give a warm, relaxing and moisturizing bar.
Shea butter can be refined to a perfectly white color as well. No need to worry about harsh chemicals in the refining processof the Shea butter that we use. The seeds are cold pressed and then uses diatomaceous earth, aka "bleaching clays" to remove color and impurities. The odor is removed via steam injection to "blow off" the volatile oils. This is the type of Shea Butter that we use in our Shea Butter Lotion.
We feel very good that we can offer you such a quality ingredient in our products.