You may have seen shea butter as an ingredient listed in your body cream, soap, or hair products, but what exactly IS Shea Butter?

Shea butter is made from the nut of the West African Karite (or Shea) tree. The nuts are harvested and boiled, and the rich fat in the kernel is extracted. The processing of this nut is typically done by women, has many steps, and is VERY physical work! If you are interested, you can learn more in this brief video made by a woman in the Peace Corps.

Shea butter has been used to moisturize and soothe itchy, dry, and sensitive skin for thousands of years. It protects and nourishes the top layers of the skin, making a barrier against dryness. Rich in vitamins A and E, shea butter is often used to combat winter dry skin, and is known to be non-irritating to sensitive skin.

Unrefined Shea Butter vs Refined Shea Butter

You may also have heard of unrefined and refined shea butter, and wondered what the differences are.

When a butter is unrefined, it means it has been minimally extracted and processed either by hand or mechanically. The product’s healing nutrients, fatty acids, color, and odor remain intact.

When a butter is refined, it means that after being initially being extracted and processed, it is then exposed to an extremely high heat and a chemical compound called Hexane. The high heat and Hexane remove microscopic impurities, odor, and color, but also the butter’s healing nutrients.

Both unrefined and refined shea butter are excellent moisturizers; however, at LB Love Organics we choose to use unrefined shea butter in our products like lip balm, deodorant, solid lotion bars, and baby care. We want the moisture plus allllll those healing nutrients, and prefer our ingredients to be processed as minimally and gently as possible. Click on the product to learn more!

How about you? Have you used refined or unrefined shea butter?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published