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Shea Butter Benefits

Shea Yeleen™ natural skin care products exclusively use pure, unrefined shea butter sourced fairly and ethically from women-owned cooperatives in sub-Saharan Africa. Our shea butter is high-quality, grade A, organic shea butter produced using traditional methods, never using chemicals or bleach.

Shea butter is a creamy, solid oil with many beneficial properties. Shea is extracted from the seeds in the fruits of the Shea or Karite tree grown in West and Central sub-Saharan Africa. The word “Shea” derives from the word s’í, which is the tree’s name in the West African language of Bamana.

Authentic shea butter should have a slightly yellow or beige color to it. Variation in color depends on the quality and type of the shea nuts, and the processing method used to produce the shea butter.

Shea butter is extracted from a fat that contains several acids including: oleic, stearic, linoleic, palmitic, and arachidonic acids. Shea butter is popular as it absorbs quickly into the skin without leaving a greasy feeling as it melts at body temperature. Its uniqueness is due to its high content of unsaponifiables and cinnamic esters, which have antimicrobial and moisturizing properties and provide protection from ultraviolet sunrays. The unsaponifiable fraction (anywhere from 5-17%) in shea butter consists of a large group of plant compounds that contributes to the regeneration process that heals dry skin. Shea butter also contains natural levels of Vitamins A, E, and F, which contribute to healthy skin. Vitamin A and E help keep the skin healthy by preventing wrinkles and hydrating the skin. Vitamin F acts as a skin rejuvenator and protector. Shea butter also inhibits elastase, an enzyme that breaks elastin and other proteins, which helps skin maintain elasticity.

Shea Butter Preparation

The traditional process used to make shea butter is quite labor intensive. The typical method requires the following steps:

The first step to Shea Production is the harvesting of the fruit. Women walk to the forest, collect the fruit, and bring it back to their homes. They take the fruit and extract the nut. After the Shea Nut is extracted, they boil the nuts. After the nuts are boiled, the seed contained in the nut is extracted. The extracted seeds are then roasted. After the seeds are roasted, they are crushed into a thick paste. The paste is mixed with hot and cold water. When the paste is mixed the water and oil separate. The separated oil is then heated. The heating kills germs as well as removes water that is contained in the oil. After the oil is heated, it is strained. The strained oil is kept at room temperature and solidifies. The solid Shea Butter can now be used for hair care and skin care.


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