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shea butter

shea butter
1 August 2021 Marlies van Heusden
shea butter

What is shea butter?

Shea butter – also known as karite butter or karite fat – a 100% natural and plant bases butter. West African women have been using its beneficial effects for centuries. Because of the high amount of vitamins A, E and F, the butter is very nourishing. This makes shea butter excellent to hydrate the skin and to improve blood circulation and elasticity. That’s why every Nature Bar soap and shampoo bar contains a healthy dose of shea butter.

Some people even swear that it prevents wrinkles.

Origin Shea butter

Another name for the shea tree is karite tree. This tree only grows in a 300 km wide strip from Mali to Ghana, Togo and Benin in the African Savannah. This tree is even know there as the tree of life, for it’s wonderfull qualities. The tree can grow very tall (15 meters) and old (more than 200 years). It is only after 20 years that plum-like nuts grow on the tree. And these nuts are what matters. The nuts consist of up to 50% rich fat.

There are two types of karite trees: the Vitellaria Parodoxa grows in West Africa (most comom) and the Vitellaria Nilotica which grows in the East of Afrika (a rare sourch of karité butter).

Women’s Gold

Only women process and produce the butter, often it is also the only source of income. That’s why it’s called Women’s Gold. I think it’s fantastic that by using shea butter in every soap and shampoo bar I can support women in West Africa to build a better life.

Who is shea butter made?

Shea butter

Source: Dominic A. Kyilleh

Making unrefined shea butter is a laborious process.

  1. Picking the nuts in the wild.
  2. Washing and drying.
  3. Cracking and roasting.
  4. Grind to a dark almost chocolate-like paste.
  5. Knead and rinse.
  6. Heat the pasta over a low heat. The shea butter that comes to the fore is the end product.

Refined vs unrefined

Unrefined means extracted and manufactured without chemicals and preservatives. Of course you prefer the unrefined variant in all cases. However with shea butter it is extra important. To make refined shea butter hexaan and other chemical substances are used. Next to that shea butter is heated very high which causes miniral and vitemin los.

To make it easy the quality of shea butter is noted by class A till E.

Class A

The highest class (A) states that the shea butter is unrefined. This means that only water has been used to separate the butter from the nuts. E) The lowest class (E) states that the butter might be contaminated.

Nature Bar ‘s soap and shampoo bars contain only organic grade A Shea butter. Nature Bar chooses this because this butter is produced in a sustainable way and still contains all the beneficial powers.

Bijzonder aan shea boter

In a nutshell, seed oils can be divided into two caring properties. The saponifiable part, this has moisturizing properties. And the unsaponifiable part, this has caring properties. karitébutter has 5 to 17% of the unsapofineted parts. This may seem little, but many other oils contain only 1%.

Because shea butter has a high percentage of these properties, shea butter is perfect to give your skin a boost. No wonder the tree is also nicknamed “Tree of Life”.