Allow Shea to Sashay into Your Life

Mangifolia. Karite nut. Bambuk butter. Galam butter. These are all names for what we call shea butter.

SeaLuxe loves shea butter – especially during these cold and dry months. We love it because shea is truly multi-purpose; it’s such a powerful moisturizer that many notice a reduction in wrinkles, stretch marks, acne scars, age spots, and even frost bite after regular application. When shea is used in its whipped form (hello, Rainforest, Driftwood and Rose Body Butters!)  it is not only a tremendous moisturizer but also offers a tiny bit of natural sunscreen (with an SPF of approximately 6). Whipped shea butter massaged into the scalp can also help with dandruff.

Drawing by Howard Mitchell

Drawing by Howard Mitchell

SeaLuxe sources our shea butter from a local company in Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island. Baraka’s shea butter is handmade by women and their families from Kperisi village in Northern Ghana using traditional methods of cultivation passed down through generations. No chemicals are used. No environmentally harmful industrial processes are used. It also is not tested on animals. The company’s name “Baraka” means “thank you” in Wali, a Ghanaian language. Shea butter comes from nuts on the shea tree in west and central Africa. The nuts are crushed and boiled, and the resulting fat is shea butter.

In addition to being a superb skin care product, did you also know that shea butter in its purest form can be used as a cooking oil? We’ve heard of chocolate companies using shea butter instead of cocoa butter in production as it is said to extend a product’s shelf life as well as make chocolate less resistant to melting. A word of caution, though, many companies mix their shea butter with other products (and do not indicate this on the label). Not that we cook with it, but it is another reason we source our butter from a reputable, family-owned company such as Baraka.

Pure shea butter isn’t used in many commercial skin care products (synthetic moisturizers are cheaper and last longer). It’s too bad as it is the absolute best when it comes to moisturizing (it is chemically similar to the moisturizers produced by our body’s sebaceous glands). It has healthy fatty acids as well as a high content of a type of fat called unsaponifiables which is why shea butter is so great at treating skin issues such as blemishes, winkles, eczema, and dermatitis. It is also said to be a great nasal decongestant!

But no matter how you use it, shea butter will always be most appreciated for being a key ingredient for glowing skin.