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Shea, a wonderful product for the body

Origin of shea

Vitellaria Paradoxa - Shea treeShea (vitellaria paradoxa), otherwise known as “butter tree” or even “green gold”, is a specifically African tree whose plant park is concentrated on a strip of 5,000 kilometers from the western region to eastern Sudan. It is found in Nigeria, the world's leading producer, in Burkina Faso and even in Senegal.

The shea tree can live up to 300 years. It only begins to bear fruit at the age of 15, but will only reach full production from the age of 25. Average production is 15 to 20 kilos of fresh fruit per tree. The shea tree has never been domesticated, especially because its vegetation requires both climatic and soil conditions very far from the sea and a long patience before full maturity (25 years).

Shea, a specifically African product, is largely consumed by local populations in food preparations or for therapeutic use. Since the dawn of time, shea has accompanied the lives of Africans, from birth to adulthood, because of its strengthening and moisturizing properties, but also for other uses as cooking fat, component in soap making. , lighting candle in rural areas.

But in recent years, global demand has been so strong that production is struggling to organize itself.

The export of Shea to the West is growing more and more with very strong demand in the cosmetics, pharmacy and especially the food industry markets (mainly for chocolate).

Shea : Extraction

Harvesting the shea seed

The harvesting and extraction of shea is mainly carried out by women in rural areas: this activity employs 300,000 to 400,000 women in Burkina Faso alone and in Mali, three million women derive 80% of their income from this crop. informal.

There are three processes for extracting shea butter. For a quality natural product, require extraction by mechanical pressure :

  1. By mixing the crushed seeds :
    The shea powder is put in a pot of boiling water. The butter floats and can thus be extracted. This process (indigenous technique) is better than the solvent process but has the disadvantage of overheating the butter.

  2. By solvent :
    For cost reasons, most fatty substances are obtained by chemical extraction. A solvent, most often hexane, is used. This method, which allows maximum yield to be obtained, is without competition in terms of cost price.

  3. By mechanical pressure :
    This method does not allow all of the butter present in the nut to be extracted, so the yield is much lower than other processes.

Possible uses of shea

Uses of Shea ButterThere are three main areas of use for Shea :

1 - Hair care :

The day before shampooing, coat the hair with a large knob of butter, massaging the ends, then wrap the hair in a warm towel.

Ten minutes after shampooing, on very dry hair, apply a small amount of product to add shine and vitality.

Do not hesitate to coat the hair before sea bathing. The application treatment must be continued after returning from vacation.

2 - Face treatment :

Massage for ten minutes, paying particular attention to inert areas (base of the nose, corners of the lips). Shea will provide facial skin with elasticity, hydration and protection. In addition, it is a wonderful lip gloss.

Our advices : In periods of extreme cold, you will need to regularly coat your lips with butter (faster absorption). A little grain of butter in each nostril battered by spring allergies or winter colds.

3 - Body care:

By adding a spoonful to your hot bath, a thin invisible layer will be deposited all over your body, providing your skin with hydration and protection.

After hair removal : the beneficial action of shea on your damaged skin will be immediate.

Remember that the best fight against aging is preventive. So protect all parts of the body exposed to the cold.

To obtain evenly tanned skin that will not peel, use Shea before and after tanning (in addition to your sunscreen product).

If you play sports, using butter before and after exercise will allow you to warm up better and recover faster.

Discover shea butter

Organic Shea Butter will provide your skin with nutrition, softness and comfort. It will also protect against external aggressions and help repair dry and/or damaged skin. To try it is to adopt it !

Access detailed information sheets and technical data sheets for our shea butter-based products.