Saturday, August 17, 2013

Secrets of Shea Butter

By Lisa VanWilliams

Every year there is a big Festival downtown on the green in our town. I look for the stand selling this concoction out of these humongous wooden tropical bowls. It's piled high and it looks like a mix of butter and wax and people are incredibly curious about what it is and what it does.  It's called Shea butter and it's from Africa. African healers have been using it for thousands of years. It does not have a smell and it's super duper for moisturizing. I used this to prevent stretch marks when I pregnant and I still use it now. Good for daily use, good for seasonal changes and the harsh New England winters that dry out my hands.

Shea butter is extracted from a nut that comes off a Shea tree. There can be color variations from an ivory to a tan yellow hue and that is due to the soil it is grown in.  Shea butter actually melts like butter when it comes into contact with warm skin and then the skin absorbs it without leaving a coated feeling. It's an ingredient used in many cosmetics, soap, lip gloss, skin products, and lotions. This a healthier natural alternative to use instead of the name brand chemical lotions.

What else is it good for?

  • used as an anti-inflammatory & pain reliever
  • helps block UV rays
  • relieves nasal congestion
  • suppress skin aging
  • helps repair damaged skin
  • hair conditioning
  • great for massage
  • prevent stretch marks during pregnancy

If you can't find something like this at your local fair or market, here's their website:

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