Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Protect your skin and hair this winter with shea butter

100% Natural African Shea ButterImage by daveynin via Flickr
Do you want to have smoother and younger looking skin during this winter? Shea butter is a sure bet to give you just that.  It is loaded with fatty acids which give it  superlative moisturizing properties. From cracked heels to acne, shea butter is a miracle worker.

Let's look at some interesting facts regarding this natural nut butter.

What is shea butter?

Shea butter is a wonderful vegetable butter that has been in use for hundreds of years in  Africa.  Its healthful properties have protected the skin and hair of its users beyond compare.  Even though shea butter hails from the warm, tropical climates of Africa, it is very effective in providing protection against the harsh winter cold and wind. With its use you can say farewell to chapped lips, cracked heels and dry skin.

Shea butter is extracted from the shea-karite tree.  The fruit and nuts gave have an increased content of irremovable fatty acid.  It is these fatty acids that give shea its superb moisturizing properties.
The processing of the butter begins with nut picking followed by cracking and grilling.  They are then boiled in water for hours until the shea butter rises to the surface.  It is then scooped and placed in gourds to set.

The appearance of shea can vary depending on where it is from and how much processing it has received. Most shea butter is from West Africa, Basically, there are three forms of shea butter:

Raw or unrefined - this form has the least amount of processing.  Its color is usually a yellow-clay colored.
Refined - Has received more processing. Some of its beneficial and healthful properties are lost.
Highly refined which usually has chemicals and preservatives added. Color is likely to be white. Least suggested to use since most of the healthful ingredients are lost.

What are the health benefits of  shea butter?

Shea butter has wonderful health benefits in addition to the moisturizing properties. It is a great antioxidant which helps against the aging skin. It also provides vitamins A, C and E, all important in youthful glowing skin.

Below is a list of some of the more popular uses:

Moisturizing and conditioner for the hair and skin
Protects against dry, cracking skin and heels
Blemishes treatment
Uneven skin tones
reduces acne

Shea butter is a wonderful item to have for beautiful health. Take advantage of nature's wonderful products to restore your health and beauty Enjoy.

"What is shea butter?"
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