shea butter what is it

Shea Butter – USDA Certified Organic & Wild Crafted

Written by: | November 27, 2017 | Leave a Comment

African women have long known the powerful secrets of Shea Butter and have used it for centuries to protect their hair and skin from the dry, hot desert climate. In the ancient Egyptian days of Cleopatra, there are many accounts of caravans carrying jars full of shea butter for trade as well as cosmetic use. Rich in fatty acids, shea butter also contains triterpene esters, including cinnamic acid, tocopherols (vitamin A), and phytosterols making it an excellent ingredient for protecting hair and skin from environmental damage; however, the high level of unsaponifiables does make it somewhat challenging to use in soapmaking.

Shea Butter is ivory to slightly yellow and has a very faint inherent aroma. Shea melts at skin temperatures making it ideal for lip and body balms and lotions but is susceptible to heat. Each time the shea butter is heated, it increases the chances of forming fat granules or crystals. When using shea butter, make sure that you add as little heat as possible. We recommend that you heat the oils in your formulation or recipe first, remove from heat, and then add your shea butter in small amounts. Use a hand mixer to whip the shea butter into your heated oils to help prevent crystallization.

There are many great uses for Shea. Senior Vice President and Chief Formulator, Laura Badcock, says “One of my favorite things to do with Shea Butter is to add it to Essential Aloe Jelly in equal parts. It’s amazing as a skin conditioner AND a hair light styling gel when my hair is pixie cut. Love it.”  Suggested Use Levels: Lotions & Creams: 3-5% Balms: 5-100% Bar Soaps: 3-6% Conditioners: 2-5%

At Essential, we believe that being a good partner to our valued customers, and this amazing planet we call home is a top priority. Because of this belief, Essential carefully selects its USDA Certified Organic Shea Butter based on the harvest and processing of the wild, organic Shea seeds. The seeds are cold expeller-pressed to exude the butter. The butter is then heated to a liquid state to allow for filtration through organic clays (diatomaceous earth) and carbon. After filtration, the liquid Shea butter is injected with steam to help eliminate the volatile oils which can contribute to odor. This entire process is Certified Organic making it perfect for use in cosmetics.

Our supplier supports fair trade practices empowering farmers and workers throughout the supply chain to enrich the lives of people struggling in poverty through trade and commerce. Harvesting methods are designed to promote long-term sustainability of natural areas and resources and safe and healthy working environments for workers and employees.

What’s your favorite way to use Shea Butter?


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