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Unrefined Shea Butter

One of the most popular ingredients used in beauty and cosmetic products is unrefined shea butter.  Native to the Sudan, the Sapotaceae families of trees are found in the rain forest throughout Africa.  Butyrospermum parkii also known as the Shea tree, the nuts donít reach maturity for nearly three decades.  Nearly half of the properties contained in the shea nut is fat, making it one of natureís best skin emollients. Additionally, unrefined shea butter is edible and studies have shown that shea butter provides many health benefits when taken internally as when applied externally to the skin.

Some studies have shown that unrefined shea butter, when taken internally, can help rid the body of heavy metals.  Other studies have shown that shea butter is a better skin ointment than leading emollients and skin protectants such as cocoa butter, lanolin and petroleum jelly.  Unrefined shea butter also has antibiotic properties making it perfect for use on minor cuts and burns.  With the many benefits provided by unrefined shea butter, none may be as well sought after for its impact on the skin.


Unrefined shea butter is finding its way into numerous skin and hair care products worldwide.  The butterís high fatty acids (lipids) help ensure that skin is thoroughly moisturized and protected.   The secret to shea butterís power is that it is composed of five principal fatty acids or lipids: palmitic, oleic, linoleic, stearic and arachidic.  There are variations in these components depending upon where the shea nut is retrieved but all shea butter consists of high fat content making it a great choice for an emollient.


Unrefined shea butter creates a barrier between the skin and elements ensuring that skin retains moisture.  Additionally, unrefined shea butter can help keep skin soft and supple while supplying nutrients needed to help combat the aging process.  The lipids found in unrefined shea butter also contains vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.  As unrefined shea butter contains anti inflammatory and antibiotic properties it is the perfect choices for those with dry, cracked or chapped or extremely sensitive skins.  Unrefined shea butter is frequently recommended for those who have suffered skin damage as well.


As unrefined shea butter is all natural and contains a high degree of fats, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants it is interesting to note that at this point, allergies or skin reactions to unrefined shea butter have not been reported.  It is believed that tree nut allergies come from the protein contained within the nut.   As shea nuts are comprised mostly of fatty acids and have little protein they have not been known to cause allergies.  Youíll find unrefined shea butter in products ranging from baby wipes and diaper rash medicine to baby bath due to the fact that it is gentle and not a known allergen.


 This isnít to say that someone may not have a reaction to a product that contains multiple ingredients including unrefined shea butter.  If youíve never used unrefined shea butter, it is best to perform a sample test to ensure there is no reaction.  Due to shea butterís high lipid content and safety for sensitive skin, it is a good choice for those who may suffer from skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis or extremely dry, chapped skin.  Unrefined shea butter is a good choice for those who need to use frequent quantities of a skin cream or lotion on a regular, daily basis.  Refined shea butter does not contain the same health giving benefits as unrefined as the refining process strips the shea butter of many of its vitamins, minerals and therapeutic properties.


In addition to softening dry, sensitive skin, unrefined shea butter makes a good choice for massage oil as well.  It is often rubbed into the skin to supply nourishment and suppleness and may also be applied to the scalp as a hair treatment.  Unrefined shea butter can add shine and sheen to dry hair, promote hair growth and help manage curls.  Additionally, unrefined shea butter can help fade dark spots, treat skin rashes and is a topical application for stretch marks.


Unrefined shea butter will appear in consistency like whipped butter and will range in color between ivory and yellow.  There is a characteristic nutty smell which tends to dissipate after use not found in refined shea butter.  Though some may feel that refined shea butter looks and smells more appealing, the very properties that give shea butter its smell and consistency are the same properties that give it its health giving benefits.  By stripping shea butter of its characteristic smell and color it is also stripped of many vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

Unrefined shea butter is one of the top products in the cosmetic industry today. It provides exceptional benefits to the skin while remaining free of allergens.





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