Recently I purchased an 8 oz tub of 100% unrefined shea butter from a little shop in downtown Vancouver called Touch of Africa. Shea butter has been raved about in the beauty world for a long long time now and I wanted to see why.
It is very thick, but melts with your body heat. Shea butter can be yellow or beige depending on which part of Africa it's from; people there call it "Women's Gold" since it generates income for the villages and women living in Africa. Promising softer skin, wrinkle repair, rash or even bug bite relief, it's a multipurpose butter you can improve your skin with and even eat! It comes in different forms, the best kind is unrefined shea butter that's just been taken from the fruit of the karite tree with no filtering or processing done to it. The more processing it has had, the less good stuff the butter will keep.
I bought it originally to use as a leave in hair conditioner for my bleached and fried hair. It's VERY thick. I put a little it in my hair and it made my normally fluffy waves look like professor Snape's mop! My hair looked too greasy to even tell if my condition had improved! It was quite difficult to wash out but with a lot of shampoo and a little rough work it eventually came out. I don't recommend that you use pure shea butter for hair care, however,whipping the butter can make it light enough to use in your mane. I'm going to try that next time so I don't become a greaseball!
What shea butter looks like post whipping
Since my original purpose was shot down, I started using it as a body & hand moisturizer. HOLY COW...I've never, ever, EVER had a better hand cream! It can be a little greasy at first but give it a minute or two to sink in and my hands felt like a baby's bottom! They were smooth, firm, and beautifully soft. It works the same way for my body too but I noticed the biggest difference in my hands. The man who sold it to me also said I can ingest the butter by mixing a small spoonful into hot water or tea. I don't remember what the benefits are from drinking it but it has to do with prevention of some gastric problems.
Even though it's an amazing moisturizer, I have some issues with the smell...it's rank man! If I were to describe the scent to you it'd be that it smells like faint cow manure; good thing once you apply it to your skin or hair it doesn't have a scent anymore! I learned that shea butter can smell a little stinky because some people that make it ferment the shea seeds before extracting the butter or because dirty water was used to make it. The scent is starting to fade now into a more woodsy smell, the natural smell of unrefined shea butter.
It was about 21 CAD including tax (which is a little steep considering a whole pound, 16 oz, of shea butter online costs around 8 dollars...but...I didn't know that when I was buying it :(...) Hey, at least I was able to help an independently owned shop out and find the most amazing hand cream in the world! I'm so grateful there are karite trees, it's also women's gold here in North America where we benefit from its amazing healing, softening, and beautifying properties!
If you ever decide to try an all natural product or do a DIY that needs a moisturizing butter. Opt for shea butter because it truly does wonders for the skin!
Thanks for reading and ciao for now!