We begin with Shea Butter
Shea Butter comes from the nut of the African Shea tree (vitellaria paradoxa), found mainly in the West African savannah belt. It is harvested and extracted by women as a source of income and is used for food and medicinally. On the body, it is used to smooth and impart a sheen to the skin and hair of all family members.
Shea Butter is naturally rich in Vitamins A, E & F. High in fatty acids, its emollient properties seal moisture in the skin and help maintain collagen.
Shea Butter is anti-inflammatory, softens, and soothes skin irritations. Its vitamins and phytonutrients are absorbed deeply into the subcutaneous layer of the skin, boosting healing.
That's why all our products begin with Shea Butter as the main ingredient.
Did you know?
The West African Shea Tree, Vitellaria Paradoxa, was formerly known as Butyrospermum parkii. The name was derived from the term Butter seed + Park, after Mungo Park, a Scottish explorer of West Africa.
Shea Butter is naturally in the beige color range: we call it Ivory Shea, which is what we typically use. Gold/Yellow Shea Butter gets its hue from the added healing bark or root of the Borotutu tree [Chlorospermum angolensis].
Remember, Shea Butter is also used medicinally and as a cooking oil locally, where it's made. As with recipes all over the world, methods can vary in different locales. So, some women add the Borotutu root to the Shea Butter, and some don’t.
Vitellaria is from the Latin Vitellus: meaning Yolk, or the nutrient-bearing portion of an egg.
Paradoxa? We're guessing it comes from the wonderful paradox of a roasted nut yielding food, medicine and skin-protectant properties.
*Shea butter is also used as a cooking oil where it’s made, so those powerhouse nutrients can work on both the inside and outside of the body.
**Note: while our blends use food-grade oils, they also include therapeutic essential oils, so please, just use them externally, unless specifically noted otherwise.
Rufina & Eva
Makers of Chez Africa Shea Beauty blends.