A natural treasure from Africa: SHEA BUTTER and its effects
Shea butter, also called karité butter, is a true “natural treasure”.
It is extracted from the fruit of the karité tree, and people in the southern Sahel have been taking advantage of its many nurturing, healing qualities for centuries. This soothing butter, used to protect the skin from hot desert winds, care for scar tissue and condition hair, is a staple cosmetics product in many African countries.
The green fruit of the karité tree are harvested between April and June. They contain a delicious, sweet pulp and a hard seed, the so-called karité nut. Once the fruit has been peeled, its nut is ground in a mortar and the brown mass is soaked in hot water. The resulting mixture is then kneaded until fat and water separate; the karité fat floats on top and is easy to skim off. This fat is left to cool down and the result is the versatile shea butter, which still has a yellow tint at this stage – it only acquires its white colour after the refining process.
Natural shea butter: effect on skin and hair
News of the positive effect of shea butter has already spread throughout Europe. And no wonder: ever-changing environmental influences put an enormous strain on our skin every day. Today, our skin reacts with redness, extreme dryness or even chapped areas much faster than it did in the past. It often appears tired, stressed and older than it really is. Similarly, our hair frequently suffers from dryness and split ends.
This is where the many active substances contained in shea butter come into play: thanks to its large amount of oleic and linoleic acid, vitamin E and allantoin, it soothes and protects, regenerates our cells and has an anti-inflammatory effect. Shea butter reveals its power especially well when it is used to heal wounds or treat rashes and skin conditions. Applied as a hair conditioner, it restores moisture and prevents breakage.
The role of shea butter in cosmetics
The many positive effects of shea butter make the substance a popular ingredient in cosmetics products. Very dry skin with frequent redness is thoroughly nurtured and becomes smooth and supple. Shea butter soothes skin that suffers from neurodermatitis and strengthens its resilience. Scar tissue appears softer. The butter decelerates ageing and alleviates lines and wrinkles. It is suitable for any age and any skin type and also makes a highly pleasant massage product.