In Arica Sheabutter is called Karité butter or The Women’s Gold.
It is gained from the nuts of the sheatree, a 15 m tall tree growing exclusively on a wide strip of ground in the south of Sahel in Africa.
Collection and production are traditionally in women’s hands and provide the livelihood for millions of women and families in one of the poorest countries in the world.
We from All Organic Trading support two projects in Burkina-Faso where about 3000 women collect and manufacture sheanuts around the capital Ouagadougou.
African women have been using sheabutter for skin care for a long time being aware of the extremly nurturing qualities.
Sheabutter provides a variety of valuable ingredients, a high percentage of unsapponifiables, mainly phytosteroles, triterpenes and tocopheroles. Furthermore sheabutter contains wax esters,catechines, gallic acid and an especially eudermic fatty acid spectrum. Beside palmitic and linoleic acid the main part of the fatty acids consists of stearic acid and oleic acid adding up to ca 90 %.
The content of the single ingredients and fatty acids varies depending on climatic conditions of the area.
Sheabutter regulates the moisture content of the skin and shows a salving and smoothing effect. The high content of unsapponifiables restores the lipid barrier and is especially suited for treatment of dry, neurodermitic and barrier-damaged skin. Highly skin compatible the butter relieves irritaded and stressed skin and can be used undiluted or in combination with other oils.
In formulations sheabutter acts as natural stabilizer generating smooth emulsions with high penetration capacity but low spreading proerties.
Virgin Sheabutter of top quality shows a homogeneous smooth consistency and a light, sometimes yellowish colour.