At the Spirit Goat, we love the super products. Just like the goat’s milk, Shea butter is in almost all of our products because of the wonderful benefits it can have on your skin. If Egyptian queens used it to keep their “legendary beauty” it certainly was something we had to incorporate in our products!
Here’s a little history about how Shea butter came about:
Shea butter comes from the nut of the karite tree in West Africa. It has been used for millennia by local village women who harvest the naturally-growing tree and use the fruit to beautify the skin and hair. The Shea tree is considered sacred in Africa, and for a good reason. It has properties that can do a bounty of goodness for your skin, hair, beauty and health. The legendary beauty that is known of Egyptian Queen Nefertiti is soulely attributed to the magic of Shea.
Shea butter is considered one of the most viable natural resources. It has a very intensive process of making the nut turn into Shea butter. Sometimes Shea butter is referred to as “women’s gold”. So many women in Africa are employed for the production of Shea butter that its value is worth a lot to them. In Northern Ghana about 900,000 women receive income for making Shea butter. In small communities, it is hard for some families to earn an income for their household. To be able to utilize the natural resources and support their whole family empowers these women to live a life that they deserve.
It’s without a doubt, one of Africa’s best resources and using this product not only makes your skin silky smooth, but it also supports hundreds of thousands of African women. In fact, European countries tried to start growing their own karite trees to tap in to this revenue, but couldn’t because they take at least 25 years to start producing fruit. With a wait that long, you know its something worth waiting for.
So with all this hard work and the historic use of Shea butter, what’s all the fuss about?
Shea butter is rich in precious constituents, which include unsaturated fats with a large proportion of “unsaponifiables” components, essential fatty acids, phytosterols, vitamin E and D, provitamin A and allantoin. All these are natural and make Shea butter a superfood for your skin (and hair). It is also especially high in the healing fraction of a seed oil. Most seed oils have a healing fraction of less than 1% while Shea butter can have as high as 17%.
All of these components provide for a very healthy skin regime. Just on the skin, Shea butter can:
- Reduce wrinkles, fine lines, and scars (if used daily for at least 4 weeks)
- Act as a natural antioxidant– which calms inflammation, firms skin, and treats scars and sun damage
- Be anti-inflammatory– in fact, there was a study done in 2010 that found cinnamic acid and lupeol cinnamate which reduces inflammation and avoids skin mutations (source)
- Reduce acne– because of the previous point, that it reduces skin mutation dramatically
- Deeply moisturize your skin
- Stimulate superficial microcirculation– Enhanced microcirculation prevents and reverses the visible signs of premature aging. It beautifies the skin in two ways: increasing nourishment of skin cells as well as speeding the detoxification of the cells.
- Strengthen the skin by stimulating the production of collagen, which is the youthful scaffolding protein in your skin which makes the skin stronger, more supple, and younger
- Protect the skin from the environment because it provides the extra moisture, vitamins, nutrients and protection your skin needs during the cold season and summertime
- Protect the skin from UV rays– it actually has an SPF of about 6!
- Regenerate the skin- because of the high content of vitamin A which can heal various skin diseases such as burns, scaly dry skin condition, eczema, blemishes, and allergies, sunburns, itchy skin, inflamed and infected skin, stretch marks, frost and insect bites, muscle aches, and more
Shea can even be used to revitalize hair! Using just a nut size of Shea butter and applying evenly on your hair. Wrap your hair in a warm towel and leave on for 20-30 min. Shampoo as usual and apply either the Shea butter conditioner or pure Shea butter depending on the dryness and damage of your hair and your hair is naturally deep-conditioned!
Basically, Shea can be used to heal almost any ailment your skin may be suffering from. At the Spirit Goat, we include Shea in all of our soaps, our hair conditioner, lotions, creams, lip balm, or even just raw and natural Shea butter! If you’re interested in trying out this super-product yourself (and why not after reading all the small print!) you can find them in our store or online at The Spirit Goat.