Shea butter is mainly used in the cosmetics industry for skin- and hair-related products (lip gloss, skin moisturizer creams and emulsions, and hair conditioners for dry and brittle hair). It is also used by soap makers, typically in small amounts (5-7% of the oils in the recipe), because it has plenty of unsaponifiables, and higher amounts result in softer soaps that have less cleaning abilities. There are artisan soap makers who use Shea Butter in amounts to 25% – with the EU regulating the maximum use around 28% however it is rarely the case in commercially produced soap due to the high cost of Shea Butter against oils like Palm or Pomace (Olive). It is an excellent emollient for people who suffer dry skin conditions. There is no evidence that is a cure, but it alleviates the pain associated with tightness and itching.
Shea butter is really interesting because even though it has a high stearic acid content, it doesn’t seem to break people out. Sure, there ARE people who react badly to use it, but overall, many find that shea butter is an amazing oil to use during the cold, dry winter months. It’s heavy and leaves a greasy feel on the skin after applying, so you only need the tiniest bit. It forms a protective layer on the skin that reduces inflammation and smooths rough skin. It is especially good for elbows, knees, and heels.
Botanical Name: Butyrospermun parkii
Aroma: Nutty and Fatty
Texture: Solid but permeable at room temperature. Leaves an oily/waxy feeling on the skin.
Shelf Life: Up to 2 Years
(Store in airtight container in cool, dry location.)
Linoleic acid– 3-8%
Oleic acid– 40-55%
Stearic acid– 35-45%
Comedogenic Rating– 0-2