What Do You REALLY Know About Shea? October 20 2013, 0 Comments

You have probably seen and admired the glowing, radiant and smooth complexions many African women enjoy and wondered what's their secret? Shea butter!

Shea butter has become a huge commercial success in the U.S. over the past several years, but the use of the all-natural body balm has been a long-standing tradition in many nations throughout Africa.
 Shea butter comes from the nut of the Shea tree that grows in West Africa and it is a great value for your dollar. Shea butter's uses are seemingly endless. It can be used for everything from moisturizing your skin, hair and nails to reducing the appearance of scars, regardless of your skin type. It is highly effective in treating a whole host of skin disorders such as psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis, burns, insect bites, cracks in the skin, acne outbreaks, sunburn, discoloration and even fine lines and wrinkles. Phew, that was a mouth full. 

Shea Butter for Cracked Skin

Shea butter really is an incredible all natural product that you will use over and over again in a million new ways every day. It can heal cracks in your feet, hands and skin in no time. Because it is safe and organic it is okay to use

 

 High quality shea butter comes in the colors seen here.
 (See the photos above for examples of high quality shea butter)
even on your lips and can protect those sensitive areas from developing cracks in the first place. Just apply the shea butter to the driest areas on your body while your skin is clean and damp to prevent drying flaking and cracking from summer to winter.

You may be curious as to how it can do all of this.

What’s Shea's Secret?

Shea is such a great skin multi-tasker because it is chock full of stuff like unsaturated fats and essential fatty acids as well as a profusion of Vitamins A, E and D that act as excellent moisturizers and nourishing agents for your skin. Combined with the high content of phytosterols and allantoin which are natural chemical compounds shea butter is a superfood for your skin. These are the chief anti-aging elements that repair and renew your skin cells by improving the skin's natural regeneration process. It is 100% all natural and is safe to be used on even your baby’s delicate, soft and sensitive skin. So you can feel very comfortable using it on your face to protect your skin from the elements. 

Don't Get the Cheap Stuff

Now that shea has become so popular in the U.S. there are many importers who have jumped on the bandwagon without really knowing how to select quality shea. Don’t be fooled when you are shopping around for shea butter. You will have a variety of options, but here is what to look for:

1. Bright, yellowish green shea butter is not high quality shea butter. Period. This type of shea butter is often sold as "unrefined," but if it is a neon yellow color it is the residue of higher quality shea and should not be purchased.This shea butter is often quite gritty even after being heated. Quality shea butter comes in a range of colors between those displayed above depending on how and when it was harvested.

(See the photos above to get a good idea for the appropriate range of colors for shea butter. If the shea butter is lighter than the lightest shea butter above it is too light. If it is darker than the darkest then it is likely not ripe or consists of remnants.)

2. When shea butter is in its natural state without any additives it will be a thick paste that feels greasy to the touch. By itself, shea butter is quite heavy in comparison to many oils; which is why we mix our shea butter with other oils that make it easier for your skin and hair to absorb the nutrients. 

Shea On You! Moisturizer

Natural shea butter is the main ingredient in Shea On You!, an emollient hair and body butter that combines 100% organic oils with shea butter to hydrate and revitalize skin without leaving a greasy residue. Shea On You! moisturizer is available from Sydelle Cosmetics in a variety of naturally scented options that smell and feel amazing.