What is Shea Butter
Shea Butter, or Karite Butter, is an all natural Vitamin A Cream with Vitamin E that comes from the seed of the Shea tree. Shea butter has a higher percentage of healing benefit than most seed oils. Shea butter is most known as a great product for the hair, adding moisture, repairing damage and adding nutrients to hair.
Shea Butter for Your Skin
Shea Butter has been known to treat eczema, dermatitis, reduce wrinkles, and treat insect bites, allergies and sunburns and wounds. Shea Butter has a lot of the same properties as the bodies natural moisture secretion from the sebaceous glands. Vitamin E is a phytonutrient that helps fight wrinkles, increase blood flow the skin and as an antioxidant help fight free radicals that cause skin damage that lead to sunburns and cancer.
Allergic Reaction and the Science of Shea Butter
Shea butter contains cinnamic acid, which is closely related to cinnamon. Some people have allergies to cinnamon and Vitamin E, so shea butter can be a cause of an allergic reaction. The cinnamic acid works in conjunction with other ingredients to maintain it's freshness and effectiveness. Old (18 months or more), or over processed shea butter can degrade in effectiveness from the cinnamic acid breaking down it's bonds to the other ingredients. C0hecking the expiration date, getting minimally processed shea butter and keeping it in a light reduced bottle and out of heat will help maintain the properties of the shea butter.
How to Look for the Real Shea Butter
Shea Butter is a uniformly off white color with a nutty smoky scent that has a consistency of butter and melts easily on contact with the body. It is crucial that Shea butter is unrefined cold pressed and processed minimally to retain it's healing properties. Buying a pure 100% Shea butter product will achieve it's maximum effectiveness.
Kpangnan Butter and How Sometimes it is sold as Shea Butter
Sometimes a cheaper butter called Kpangnan Butter, also called Golden Shea, Yellow Shea Butter or African Butter will be sold as Shea Butter. It looks more yellow, is softer, has a lower melting point and feels powdery and goes on dryer than Shea Butter. Kpangnan Butter is very beneficial to the skin as well but for different reasons. Kpangnan Butter has a higher moisturizing benefit than Shea Butter, being great for stretch marks during pregnancy and minor burns. For using on the hair, Shea butter works better because of it's properties of being less soapy. Kpangnan Butter contains stigmasterol which has shown to be an anti-inflammatory agent and may help fight some types of skin cancer.