Shea butter, also known as karité butter, is one of the greatest miracles of the Dark Continent. It is extracted from the nuts of Mangifolia tree (Butyrospermum Parkii) which grows in West African Savannah. Its name means "life" and it is considered sacred. The tree cannot be cultivated and it only grows wild. The Karité tree grows to a height of 10 to 15 m and it can live for the impressive 300 years. It starts flowering around the age of 50. The karité tree begins to bear fruit after about 15 years, but it may take up to 30 years to bear a quality crop of nuts with a high content of vitamins and fatty acids. The fruits are small, oval, dark green in color with almond-shaped kernel and they ripen from July to September. Harvesting and processing of shea nuts is carried out only by female adults.. Only they have the right to crush the nuts and to prepare shea butter. The nuts are dried and ground into paste. This paste is kneaded continuously until it becomes karité butter - a universal skincare product, often considered “women’s gold”.
The women from Burkina Faso traditionally use it to massage newborn babies. It is believed that the Egyptian queen Nefertiti owed the magnificence of her beauty to the daily use of shea butter.
Shea butter is extremely valuable because of its components and its benefits for the skin. The large amount of Vitamin E provides protection against the harmful effects of UV radiation and free radicals. It helps prevent appearance of wrinkles, smooths out fine facial lines and counteracts premature skin aging. Vitamin F acts as a skin protector. It has strong softening effect on rough, dry and flaky skin. Shea Butter also contains a significant amount of cinnamic acid, a substance acting as a natural SPF 4.
"Women's gold" is rich in trace elements and fatty acids - equal proportions of saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. It contains large amounts of oleic acid - 40-50%, stearic acid - 40-50%, palmitic acid - up to 10% and linoleic acid up to 2%. They are necessary for maintaining skin moisture and elasticity and for regulation of lipid synthesis in depth. These ingredients of shea butter are beneficial for cell renewal, restoration of horny layer and skin soothing. It is believed that this butter is the best skin care in winter and after sun exposure as it provides the necessary moisture and nutrients in the cold season and dry weather. Shea butter can be applied where skin needs hydration. Delivery may take up to 25 days. Shampoo is excluded for transportation reasons.
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