Beauty Talk | Shea Butter

Thursday 5 December 2013
Hello, lovelies! How's your Wednesday? I just had a quick hand spa and dear, as if I could hear the whisper of my hands how they're so relaxed and happy after all those days holding pastels and whatnot.

Anyway, it's been a while since I last post on Beauty Talk category so this week, I'd love to share with you guys on a topic that me and my girls talked about recently which is Shea butter. 

Current favourite product: White Musk Voluptuous Velvet Body Creme 50ml

So what is Shea butter?

Shea Butter is an ivory yellow colored natural substance, widely used as a skin moisturizer. It’s extracted from the seeds of the African Shea tree, which typically bears quality crop nuts after about 15 to 25 years. Shea butter contains fatty acids which enhance its exceptional healing and moisturizing properties. It also stimulate the skins renewal process, providing a more youthful and vibrant appearance.

Shea butter is edible and may be used in food preparation, or sometimes in the chocolate industry as a substitute for cocoa butter.
Traditionally, Shea Butter was extracted by farmers who pick the nuts, crack, grill and pound them. The nuts are then boiled in water for several hours, until the Shea Butter rises to the surface. This raw, unrefined product is then scooped into gourds and left to cool and set. Although Shea Butter is solid at room temperature, it quickly liquefies right around body temperature. 

Since Shea Butter is an all natural product, it can vary widely in quality, appearance and smell depending on where it is produced from and how it is extracted and refined. 

In Africa, Shea butter is used as cooking oil, ingredient in chocolate fillings and for medicinal ointments. Outside of Africa, Shea butter is mainly used in cosmetics, as an emollient in lotions and moisturizers and for hair care products, such as hair conditioners for dry and brittle hair.

What sets Shea Butter apart from other seed oils is its exceptionally large healing fraction. The healing fraction contains important nutrients, vitamins, and other valuable phytonutrients, required for healing. Depending on the source, the size of the healing fraction may range from 5% to as high as 17%. The larger the healing fraction the better the chances are for a good quality Shea Butter.

In other seed oils, the healing fraction is very small, often in the range of 1% or less. While other seed oils may have a good to excellent moisturizing fraction, these oils contain little or no healing fraction. Shea Butter is often used to treat many skin ailments – notably, wrinkles, sunburns, stretch marks, eczema, skin allergies, insect bites and frost bite. It's because of these unique healing properties that the Shea tree got its name, the Karite tree, which means the Tree of Life.

Shea butter’s phenolics, a constituent element of polyphenols, have anti-aging benefits and properties similar to green tea. Shea butter contains five essential fatty acids, (a major amount coming from stearic and oleic acids), phytosterols, vitamins E and D, allantoin (good for healing skin irritations), and vitamin A. This combination of ingredients helps neutralize free radical damage, reducing fine lines and wrinkles and fading age spots, as well as stimulating collagen production.

Who should use Shea butter?

Just about everyone can use Shea Butter.  Every household should have a jar of Shea Butter handy to moisturize skin and treat minor skin ailments.

My choice of products?

I'm a big fan of The Body Shop body butters so I always purchase one after another. Do you know that The Body Shop is supporting the community fair trade Shea butter from Ghana?

Taken from The Body Shop MY

Shea butter is extracted from the kernel of ripe shea fruits by hand. The raw butter is heated to remove impurities and allowed to cool before it is shipped to Europe or kept in storage for the dry season. It takes one woman two days to extract 25kg of shea butter. Read more here!

Recently, I got myself The Malaysian Women Weekly magazine and got myself a freebie! A 50ml The Body Shop Body Butter (manufactured in Jun 2013) worth RM25!! Plus you can get a great deal if you bring the attached card i.e. voucher where you can get free 200ml Body Butter of your choice if you buy one! it's like a Buy 1 Free 1 deal but it only valid if you have the card though. 

By the way, do you guys know that The Body Shop has limited edition items for Festive season like Christmas? It's the Christmas Special Range and in Malaysia there are 3 ranges available: Cranberry Joy, Ginger Sparkle and Vanilla Bliss and each range has its Body Butter, Body Polish, Hand Cream, Hand Lotion, Hand Wash, Lip Balm, Shimmer Lotion, Shower Gel, Shower & Moisture Mini Gift and Manicure & Moisture Duo Mini Gift Sets. All of these available online and in store (though I don't see some of them items like hand lotion and hand wash in the store). Price ranges from RM29.90 to RM69.90. 

So how about you guys? What's your must-have body butter? Or do you have favourite festive edition product? Do share!

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