The Shea tree grows spontaneously in the wooded savannas in West Africa. Associated cultures underneath can be made but trials to cultivate Shea trees have always failed. The tree is stout and can grow up to 20 meters tall, bearing leathery oval leaves with edible plum like fruit. The kernels are about 50% Shea oil.
Shea Butter has a soothing, moisturizing and protecting effect. Due to the presence of a sizable quantity of rich organic fats, its contents in vitamins and other active elements, Shea Butter adds other more precise activities to these general properties.
- It displays a protecting role against UV Rays because of its content in cinematic acid and can thus be incorporated in solar products.
- Shea Butter has also an activity on cell regeneration and capillary circulation. This favors the healing of small wounds, skin cracks and crevices and skin ulcers. An asset against skin aging.
- It has restructuring effects on the epidermis, also on dry and fragile hair.
- It has an anti-elastase characteristic, which makes it a good active ingredient against stretch marks.
- Shea Butter can also be used to treat rheumatism and aching muscles, and to ease colds because it decongests nasal mucous tissues.
- It is very well tolerated by the skin for it does not trigger any allergic reaction and can even be used on very sensitive skin areas such as mucous tissues and around the eyes.
Shea Butter is therefore an outstanding product for cosmetic and pharmaceutical purposes, even incorporated in high proportions. It is easy to work into all kinds of emulsions and makes a very good inert substance as it prevents allergenic reactions without altering the active principles. As of early 2002 the cosmetic industry is now drawing its attention to one of mother natures wonder, Shea butter.