Origin – West Central Africa
Shea butter is natural plant oil extracted from the seeds or nuts of the wild African Shea tree (also known as Karite tree) or the “Tree of Youth”. Shea butter has its roots in northern Africa, where shea trees grow wild. Traditionally, it has been used as a skin and hair care product, soap and cooking oil.
Shea Butter is like food for the skin containing Vitamins A, E and F. Vitamins A and E help the skin keep itself healthy. These vitamins are especially important when it comes to helping sun damaged skin heal. Vitamins A, E and F assist in staving off premature wrinkles and facial lines. Vitamin F serves to protect the skin as well as help it heal. It soothes rough, dry or chapped skin and helps soften dry or damaged hair. Shea Butter is high in unsaponifiables (a type of fat). Shea Butter will contain somewhere between 7-12% unsaponifiables. To put that in perspective, avocado oil, a well known skin conditioner, has between 2-6%. It is this amount of unsaponifiables that is a contributing factor to Shea Butter being able to treat so many conditions. Because Shea Butter easily penetrates the skin allowing the skin to breathe and not clogging pores it can deliver it's nutritional payload better than other man-made moisturizers. Shea Butter also naturally contains cinnamic acid, a natural sun screen. It actually does provide some degree of protection from the sun's harmful rays (still wear a sunblock though).