We’ve talked about what Shea Butter is, but now let’s have a chat about how Shea Butter is made. It’s so valuable to know what we are putting on our bodies since most products that we apply to our skin are, in effect, absorbed by our bodies. THIS is why we think it’s good to know what the ingredients in our products are and do a little research on how they’re made.
In some cases, certain beauty product ingredients lose all their amazing properties during the processing period. Without doing a little research, we can be persuaded to buy beauty merchandise that does nothing for us or might irritate our skin. Shea Butter, however, is effective and safe.
Below we will go over how the Shea Nut is harvested and processed into what we purchase in stores. We love its background just as much as we love using it to nurture our skin.
Where Do Shea Nuts Come From?
Karité trees or Shea trees grow in the Sahel region from West to East Africa. You can find them from Guinea to Senegal and Uganda to South Sudan. Shea Butter is known as “women’s gold” because of its vibrant golden color, though it can be other colors, but mainly because it has created many jobs bringing income to many women across Africa.
Already, this is a big pro for Shea Butter. An amazing product that’s helping sustain women, Shea Butter is a win-win. The UN states that they estimate three million African women work either directly or indirectly in the mass production of Shea Butter.
The top producing countries include Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, and Togo. Any natural product that can be produced in its country of origin and creates jobs for women is an amazing feat, especially for developing countries!
These incredibly hardworking women use traditional methods often organized in co-ops to harvest shea nuts. The process after harvest consists of crushing the nuts inside to extract the butter. After the butter is extracted it is boiled, then cleaned, packaged, and ultimately sold to the local markets or exported.
How Shea Butter is Processed?
Shea Butter is edible, but it is mainly sold for cosmetic and pharmaceutical use. So, of course, how it’s processed is important for eating, but as we mentioned before, our bodies absorb products, and therefore it is also important to know how Shea Butter is processed for both cosmetic and pharmaceutical use.
Here is where some valuable research comes in and helps us understand more about Shea Butter. The butter from Shea Nuts is extracted using a high criterion set for quality by the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. The original form used to both extract and process shea butter does not conform to what is presently considered the acceptable standard.
Due to this, researchers did additional analysis into the ideal ways to process the nut. What is the process, you ask? Researchers analyzed to find the best method of drying the nut, how long to dry it, the quality of the kernel, and how long to roast it for.
These same researchers also made sure to look into hygienic factors and ultimately figured out how to meet the suitable standards. All this work has paid off because it is a highly coveted product, and we know we love it!
Is Shea Butter Useful?
Dermatologists unhesitatingly recommend Shea Butter for your skin. It is effective for dry skin, inflammation, and other skin conditions. One of the biggest, most annoying, and common issues many of us suffer from is dry skin, dry scalp, and brittle or dry hair. Studies have shown that Shea Butter is an amazing skincare product and overall beauty treatment. They have found the best way to process Shea Butter so we can all reap the benefits!
There is a litany of products you can find at your favorite stores or online shops that contain the irresistible substance that is Shea Butter. Some examples include body butter, bar soaps, moisturizing face masks, hair treatments, and medication creams. Without question, Shea Butter is one of the most desired ingredients by cosmetic companies and customers alike.
As always, with any nut product, if you suffer from nut allergies or have any concerns make sure you contact your medical provider with any questions. Although for most Shea Nut is safe and effective, you want to make sure you’re safe. For the rest of us, however, we absolutely benefit from this ingredient and so do the millions of women who work with Shea Nuts throughout Africa.