Shea butter (Butyrospermum parkii) is an ivory-coloured fat extracted from the nut of the African Shea nut tree (Vitellaria paradoxa). Other words for this tree are Karité, Shíyiri, Shísu, Nku, Ori or Bambuk butter tree. The tree grows wild in Sub-Saharan Africa between Senegal and Uganda where oil palms can’t grow because of insufficient rain. The height of the tree can reach up to 15 metres and its fruits are a bit like sweetish avocados which are used in different African cuisines.
In cosmetics, Shea butter has been used for at least 2000 years and can be traced back to Ancient Egypt, how do you think Cleopatra kept her beauty?
Today, Shea butter is found in many moisturisers and soaps because of the gentle and effective moisturising quality. This specific quality of the Shea butter is the exact same as the one already found in the human body, specifically in the sebaceous glands found in the human skin. So, Shea butter helps your body to repair itself with a substance that your body already produces.
Shea butter also contains an absolute wealth of vitamin A which does wonders on your skin and can be very effective in improving against blemishes, eczema, dermatitis, bug bites, sunburns and even frostbite, on top of that, it’s a fast-absorbing and anti-aging moisturiser. Shea butter is composed of five principal fatty acids: palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic, and arachidonic acids. These fatty acids must be ingested by humans because the body requires them for good health.