Ingredient Spotlight: Shea Butter
Hello Everyone, Cory here. I'm starting an Ingredient Spotlight Series to cover some of the staples in our products and why we use them. I know we are all busy, so i'll try to keep these brief, yet informative.
Shea Butter is made from a tree nut that is native to Africa where it has been used as a moisturizer, skin salve, and edible purposes for 1000s of years.
Shea Butter is mainly comprised of stearic and oleic fatty acids which help lock moisture into skin. Shea butter also contains high amounts of vitamins A and E which promote skin health. Several studies published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information and the American Journal of Life Sciences indicate that shea fat (butter) contains a significant source of anti-inflammatory compounds and can boost collagen production.
A quick note on raw vs refined Shea Butter. Many brands use refined Shea Butter because it's low odor and has a consistent, off white color. Unrefined Shea Butter can range in color from off white to dark tan and has a mild nutty odor. The refining process strips Shea Butter of many of the vitamins, including A and E, and many of the other beneficial compounds found naturally in Shea Butter. Another reason larger companies choose to use refined shea butter is that at room temperature, products with raw shea butter might form small crystals which can feel like grit. These crystals melt once warmed to body temperature. At Roses and Azalea, we like the benefits raw Shea Butter and choose to use it in most of our products. The mild nutty flavor doesn't offset the benefits you lose by refining. The exception is that we use a blend of refined/unrefined in our deodorants.