What is Shea Butter?
Shea butter is an off- white or ivory-colored fat extracted from the nut of the African Shea tree (also known as Mangifolia), that grow in the semi-arid savannah regions of West and Central Africa. It contains beneficial vegetable fats that promote cell regeneration and circulation, making it a wonderful healer and rejuvenator for troubled or aging skin. It also contains natural sun-protectants. Shea butter is a triglyceride derived mainly from stearic acid and oleic acid and are widely used in cosmetics as a moisturizer, salve or lotion.
Origins of Shea Butter
It is not well known that Shea Butter is not a recent discovery or accomplishment. This all-natural product has existed for several centuries. It is believed that some of the early users of shea butter were women like Cleopatra and the Queen of Sheba. Shea butter has been used for centuries on the African continent and is completely enmeshed within the history and culture of the West African wooded savanna. Accounts from as early as Cleopatra’s Egypt speak of caravans bearing clay jars of valuable shea butter for cosmetic use. The funeral beds of early kings were carved in the wood of shea trees. Shea butter’s skin care and healing properties were first harnessed thousands of years ago. The history of shea as a precious commodity can be traced back to Ancient Egypt, where shea butter was and continues to be used to protect the hair and skin against the fierce sun and the hot dry winds of African deserts and savannah.
Shea Butter Natural Composition
Shea butter is smooth in texture and does not liquidfy at room temperatures; however, it will soften in your hands, making it easy to apply. Containing vitamins A and E, it has relatively high amounts of saturated fatty acids (like MCT oil) when compared to other plant-sourced lipids, such as grape seed oil, olive oil and canola oil. Shea butter extract is a complex fat that in addition to many nonsaponifiable components (substances that cannot be fully converted into soap by treatment with alkali) contains the following fatty acids: oleic acid (40-60%), stearic acid (20-50%), linoleic acid (3-11%), palmitic acid (2-9%), linolenic acid (<1%) and arachidic acid (<1%).
Shea Butter Benefits for Skin
Skin Super Food (Moisturizer)
The naturally high concentration of vitamins and fatty acids in Shea Butter makes it incredibly nourishing and moisturizing for skin. Shea Butter applied to our skin can acts as a skin loving moisturizer and gives your skin a nice healthy glow by providing our skin with super hydration. With regular use, shea butter can help make skin supple and well conditioned. Shea butter is also often used to remedy dry skin and to help protect and retain the skin’s natural oils. Pure shea butter absorbs rapidly into the skin and acts as a “refatting” agent and has good water-binding properties. In Ghana, shea butter, locally known as nkuto (Akan) or nku (Ga) are commonly applied as a remedy lotion to protect the skin during the dry Harmattan season.
Skin Doctor (Anti-inflammatory)
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information which published a study detailing that shea nuts and shea fat (shea butter) do constitute a significant source of anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor promoting compounds. One compound in particular, lupeol cinnamate, was found to reduce skin inflammation and could potentially help avoid skin mutations. Shea butter are sometimes also used as a base for medicinal ointments where some of the isolated chemical constituents are reported to be anti-inflammatory.
Anti-Aging Skin (Collagen Production)
Raw shea butter helps tissue cell regeneration and softening of the skin, which reduces wrinkles, treat skin issues like stretch marks and cellulite. The American Journal of Life Sciences reported a clinical study involving 30 volunteers in which shea butter diminished various signs of aging. Shea butter also aids in the skin’s natural collagen production and contains oleic, stearic, palmitic and linolenic acids that protect and nourish the skin to prevent drying. With long term use, many people report skin softening and strengthening as well as wrinkle reduction.
Skin Whitening (UV Protection)
Excess sun exposure without proper protection is one of the biggest and most common factors responsible for aging skin and skin cancer. While wise interaction with the sun is actually good for your skin because it helps produces vitamin D and has a mild anti bacterial effects, too much is still a bad thing indeed. Shea butter has a natural Sunblock ability of around SPF 6-10 for protection against ultraviolet radiation and are also great for light sunburn treatments. With regular use, you could enjoy fairer and healthy glowing skin.
Which Type of Shea Butter is Best?
In its natural state, Shea Butter is bursting with moisturizing fatty acids and is rich in vitamins A, E, and F. It also contains cinnamic acid which provides a small amount of UV protection (the equivalent of an SPF6). The combination of all of these factors make Shea Butter very useful for treating skin conditions ranging from dry skin to eczema to stretch marks. Because their nutrient content is kept intact, Raw or Unrefined Shea Butter will be the Best Type of Shea Butter for treating skin conditions. Raw and Unrefined Shea is usually removed from the seeds by hand using a time-consuming process and are normally filtered through cheesecloth, or another means, as long as the quality of the butter isn’t affected. In contrast. refined Shea Butter are produced in large plants using chemicals, such as hexane. These chemicals help break open the seeds and speed the process of separating the fat, or butter, from the whole of the nut and also remove any odor and make it smooth. However, the beneficial properties of the butter change during processing, and perfumes and preservatives are often added.
Where to Buy Shea Butter in Singapore?
Unless you have the luxury of traveling frequently to Africa to buy from the local markets , you might wish to consider getting one that is locally available. So, where do we find Real Organic Raw Unrefined African Shea Butter in Singapore? So to answer your question of Where Can I Buy Authentic Africa Shea Butter in Singapore? From us, of course! : )
Check out our Organic Shea Butter (Raw Unrefined) below.
Reference: W.G. Goreja (2004). Shea Butter: The Nourishing Properties of Africa’s Best-Kept Natural Beauty. Amazing Herbs Press. p. 41.  Davrieux, F., Allal, F., Piombo, G., Kelly, B., Okulo, J. B., Thiam, M., Diallo, O. B. & Bouvet, J.-M. (2010).  Hemat, R. A. S. (2003). Principles of Orthomolecularism.  Goreja, W. G. (2004). “Chapter 2”. Shea Butter: The Nourishing Properties of Africa’s Best-Kept Natural Beauty Secret. TNC International. p. 5.  Anti-inflammatory and chemopreventive effects of triterpene cinnamates and acetates from shea fat. – PubMed – NCBI  Akihisa, T; Kojima, N; Kikuchi, T; Yasukawa, K; Tokuda, H; t Masters, E; Manosroi, A; Manosroi, J (2010). “Anti-inflammatory and chemopreventive effects of triterpene cinnamates and acetates from shea fat”. Journal of Oleo Science 59 (6): 273–80.  Malachi Oluwaseyi Israel. Effects of Topical and Dietary Use of Shea Butter on Animals. American Journal of Life Sciences.
Vol. 2, No. 5, 2014, pp. 303-307. doi: 10.11648/j.ajls.20140205.18  E. T. Masters, J. A. Yidana and P. N. Lovett. “Reinforcing sound management through trade: shea tree products in Africa.
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