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Nourishing and protective shea oil and butter

Hair, skin and nails

Shea butter, in particular, can also protect from sun radiation

Both shea oil and butter are highly valued in cosmetics for their nourishing and protective properties.

These substances, a real panacea for skin and hair, are both obtained from processing the seeds of Vitellaria paradoxa, a plant that grows almost exclusively in the areas of sub-Saharan Africa.

This woody and high-trunk tree, belonging to the Saponacee family, is also known as the "tree of youth" right because of the great virtues attributed to its seeds.

A characteristic feature of shea butter is its high percentage of unsaponifiables (ranging from 5 to 15%), significantly higher than those found in olive oil and avocados. It is precisely this fraction, rich in pro-vitamin A and E (antioxidant) that provides the butter with its renowned virtues:

  • antioxidant
  • elasticising
  • emollient
  • regenerating

By virtue of its nutritional and emollient power, shea butter can be used pure to regenerate the skin and dry hair. It is also used in the formulation of many masks for brittle and dehydrated hair, which can be used for compresses.

This substance is also often included among the ingredients of sun-care products, as it can boast shielding properties, which are useful for protecting against sun radiation and atmospheric agents.

Shea oil and butter, similar properties for different uses

Shea oil is perhaps less famous than butter, but has almost identical properties.

Butter is the result of the processing of the oily kernels of shea, which after being selected and washed, are fragmented and ground by local populations. The final product of this complex process is a thick paste, which is subjected to a further treatment to remove impurities: a butter with a characteristic mild and sweet odour, and with the famous, previously shown properties is thereby achieved.

Shea oil is nothing more than the result of a subsequent processing of butter, which is fractionated eliminating some triglycerides. Following this process, the oil loses a small part of the valuable elements contained in the butter, but it anyhow remains a product with high nutritional properties.

Both shea oil and butter can be used pure, directly on the skin of the face or the body since they are both absorbed easily, leaving the skin soft and smooth.

The oil, then, can also be "enriched" by adding essential oils , to obtain a different fragrance, according to personal tastes.

The choice between oil and butter, very similar in terms of "nutritional intake", thus depends on the habits of the individual consumer or the type of skin to be treated.

In general, oil is certainly more convenient to apply and lends itself to a possibly faster application on extended parts.

Butter, on the other hand, is ideal for localised applications, to regenerate cracked elbows, feet, hands or chapped lips and eye contour area.  

 


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