All about shea butter


Shea, uses and customs.

Lots of good-quality cosmetic products contain shea butter, but do you know what it is?

Shea butter is a 100% natural vegetable substance, rich in oils, obtained from the seeds of an African plant called Vitellaria paradoxa, also known as the “tree of youth”.

This African tree belongs to the Sapotaceae family. It grows in the parched sub-Saharan savannah and can reach a considerable height, up to 10-15 metres, with a trunk diameter of almost a metre. It protects itself from high temperatures with a very thick bark and stubby branches. The leaves range in colour from rust to dark green and are elongated, reaching lengths of up to 25 cm.

The fruits, which are actually nuts, contain the shea seeds, and these are picked for processing. A soft, pale yellow, sweet-tasting substance is extracted from the seeds and used both in foods and cosmetics.

The fruits are processed in different stages.

They are harvested between June and September. The seeds are separated from the pulp and then boiled and dried. This operation takes about a month. The dried seeds are crushed and ground into a paste. This paste is mixed with water, then boiled and filtered.

These processes give us the valuable substance known as shea butter. The butter production process can be speeded up with mechanical compression.

African women have used shea butter both in nutrition, as a condiment for food, and in skin and haircare for centuries.

Properties and cosmetic uses of shea butter

Properties and cosmetic uses of shea butter

The Western world knows shea butter especially for its cosmetic use, for its important emollient, nourishing, moisturising, antioxidant, anti-wrinkle properties, and for its rich content in vitamins A, D and E, which make it a perfect skincare aid.

African women have used it for skin and haircare for centuries, considering shea to be the fruit of the tree of health.

In the cosmetic sector, shea butter is indicated in the INCI with its scientific name: Buthyrospermum parkii butter, or Shea Butter.

Shea creates a protective film over the skin, helping to hydrate and nourish it, as well as protecting it from external agents such as wind, cold and heat.

It is effectively used in:
– facial treatments (creams and masks) for its antioxidant, moisturising and protective characteristics;

– body treatments (body butters and creams), for its moisturising and soothing action, massaged onto the body after a shower or onto the legs, to help mitigate stretch marks and scars and to promote the production of collagen, keeping the skin supple;

– in sun creams, for its protective properties;

– in lip balms.

Its anti-inflammatory properties make it suitable for treating inflammation of the scalp, such as psoriasis, and insect bites, and also to help reduce the appearance of stretch marks.

It can be used in small quantities on the tips of hair or in pre-shampoo treatment packs. After washing and drying hair, tiny quantities can be applied to set and add shine to curls, and it is considered beneficial for its repairing action, deeply nourishing dry and dehydrated hair.

We use shea butter in our creams, both for the face and for the body.

Cascina Cabasse

Cascina Cabasse – Cosmesi officinale – Via San Rocco, 22 – 12040 Piobesi d’Alba (CN) –

Officinal herbs grown in: Ceresole d’Alba (CN), loc. Cascine Cabasse

Powered by Blulab