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Shea Butter: What It Is, What It Does for Our Skin

Shea Butter: What It Is, What It Does for Our Skin

It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and every time I’ve opened a magazine lately, there is a picture of a tin of 100% Shea Butter for sale from L’Occitane, who donates part of the proceeds to breast cancer organizations. It got me wondering what shea butter actually is (how do you milk a shea?) and why everybody says it’s the best skin-healer and moisturizer around. A little research convinced me: Everybody needs to know about this fabulous stuff!

Shea butter is a solid fatty oil made from the nuts of Karite Nut trees, also known as Mangifolia, that grow in the semi-arid savannah regions of West and Central Africa. Shea butter is sometimes called “women’s gold,” because extracting the butter from the nuts gives employment and income to hundreds of thousands of rural African village women. Shea butter is so non-toxic and beneficial that it is used in foods and cooking as well as soaps and beauty products. (One of my favorite lip balms is a vanilla-scented treat from La Natura made with shea butter. It is totally delicious!)

African healers and beauties have known about shea butter for thousands of years: the substance is almost magical in its healing effects on burns, skin conditions, ulcerated skin, stretch marks, and dryness.

It contains beneficial vegetable fats that promote cell regeneration and circulation, making it a wonderful healer and rejuvenator for troubled or aging skin. It also contains natural sun-protectants.

To buy a 150 ml tin of 100% pure shea butter for $35 from L’Occitane (proceeds to benefit breast cancer organizations), go to L’Occitane’s website.

Or, to buy pure shea butter for much less, go to Sun Rose Aromatics.

Read more: Beauty, Skin Care

By Cait Johnson, Assistant Producer, Care2 Healthy Living Channels.

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Cait Johnson

Cait Johnson, MFA, is the author of six books, including Earth, Water, Fire, and Air: Essential Ways of Connecting to Spirit, Witch in the Kitchen, Celebrating the Great Mother and Tarot Games. She has been a counselor for more than 20 years, and teaches workshops on seasonal elemental approaches to self-healing, conscious eating, and soul-nurturing creativity.


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3:37AM PDT on Mar 22, 2014

is it tru dt shea butter cld darken your complexion?

8:01PM PDT on Aug 27, 2013

Great post i like the way you write your post, If you or anybody think of retailing Shea butter from Ghana try this site

10:19AM PDT on Aug 22, 2013

Great write up. Have you tried The Black Soap Company Unrefined Shea butter from Ghana available online at

5:45PM PDT on Jun 24, 2013

It's important to buy certified USDA organic raw and unrefined African shea butter. If not, you could be putting harmful fillers and chemicals on your skin that has been added by the processing.

I have found the Pure Shea Butter from Key West Health & Beauty to be the best.

5:35PM PDT on Mar 11, 2013

Rawdah Shea Butter & Black Seed Herbal Blend.
Whipped to silky perfection this union of pure, raw, unrefined shea butter and black seed oil with its well known attributes pair up to give you an emollient cream unlike others. This herbal blend comes in Lemongrass Scent & Cherry Almond scent.
Buy yours now on Ebay! Like us at>>>

1:11PM PDT on Apr 25, 2012

i really wanted to try shea butter for my really dry skin but it is so expensive in philippines... =(

9:22PM PDT on Apr 23, 2012


9:03AM PDT on Apr 20, 2012

Interesting info, thanks.

2:22AM PDT on Apr 20, 2012


2:04PM PST on Mar 8, 2012

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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