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The Uniqueness of Shea Butter

One of the most popular components for skin and hair care is shea butter. This ingredient has a lot of benefits because it prevents from premature aging and wrinkles. It leads to soothing of skin and it is even able to help in treatment of eczema.

This butter is extracted from a nut tree which is called shea but it is also known under the name karite. Its name differs from country to country and it grows in nineteen African countries and because of this fact it can be also called bambukor galam butter tree.

Shea nut tree can be found in Central and Western savannahs of Africa. It bears fruit after it has been growing for 20-25 years and only then shea butter can be extracted. In Africa it is called «the tree of life» because it serves as a means of surviving for people of this country. Some parts of the tree are used for food, medicines, cosmetics and of course for sale.

How it is used in Africa
Shea butter contains cinamic acid which serves as a natural sunscreen that is why it is used as a protective ingredient that protects from the sun and wind. It is also used for medical purposes as a medicine for stomach and headache. Nigerians smear it under the nostrils in order to improve digestion. Many years ago it was used by rebel groups of Uganda,they were wiping their skin with shea butter as a way to stop bullets.Also it is often used in combination with couscous and taken in as a food. Nothing which comes from this tree is wasted. Everything is finds its application. Even when the tree is unfit and cannot be used as a cosmetic ingredient or cannot be consumed as a food, then it is applied to production of candles and lubricants for different aims. So we see that shea butter is like a panacea. It can be applied almost in every aspect of our life.

Shea butter is precious for women
Many years ago the fact that shea butter can substitute cocoa butter for cosmetics and chocolate was discovered. It is a great way to save money on ingredients. It was even called «gold for women», because when extracted it provides African women with job and high income for women and farmers of the village.

Extraction of shea butter is a long and complicated process. It takes from twenty to thirty hours to extract two pounds, but due to traditional extraction it preserves all the valuable and healthy qualities, which are highly appreciated in production of cosmetics and medicines.

Application in beauty industry
Shea butter has very effective anti-aging qualities just as the green tea has, due to the presence of phenolics in its composition. This butter contains five basic elements, such as phytosterols, vitamins E, D, A, and allantoin. This mix of components helps to prevent from damage caused by free radicals. It reduces wrinkles, age spots and stimulates production of collagen.

Stearic acid and oleic acid content is different in each crop that is why texture of butter can differ. Butter produced in Uganda and Southern Sudan is more expensive because it is harder to obtain due to complicated civil factors. It contains higher percentage of liquid part of shea butter (which is by the way called olein) and that is why it is softer and absorbed by skin easier. Shea butter that comes from the Western part contains more vitamin A and it is more effective in struggle with wrinkles. There is a great number of positive qualities of this butter. It helps to get rid of acne scars, skin allergy, dry and cracked skin and to reduce psoriasis and dermatitis. It is said to reduce muscle pain because it removes toxins out of the body.

Maria K. Garcia