Know Your Butters: The Unrefined African Shea Butter
Pure Unrefined Shea Butter Benefits
Unrefined Shea Butter is a rich fat produced from the nuts of the shea tree found in Africa. Butter made from shea nuts is thick and creamy, and has been used as a natural skin and hair care product by countless generations of African people.
Today, Shea Butter is enjoyed all over the world–either in its natural form or as a main ingredient in soaps, cosmetics, and hair care products. The butter’s popularity is largely due to its remarkable ability to benefit almost every skin type and condition. People often use Shea Butter to treat everything from stretch marks to eczema, but it is just as valuable for everyday use as a moisturizer for the hair and skin.
While the benefits of Shea Butter are becoming more and more well known, understanding the difference between the seemingly endless varieties of Shea Butter can be a challenge. Here at Better Shea Butter we’ve seen them all, and after working with Shea Butter in all of its raw and refined forms we have found our very favorite to share with you. Our Unrefined Shea Butter is something truly special. Its smooth, creamy texture and mild aroma make it a pleasure to use, and its quality and freshness is simply outstanding.
Made With Love
Better Shea Butter’s Unrefined Shea Butter is handmade using traditional methods that preserve the butter’s amazing natural properties. Like any natural food or cosmetic ingredient, the properties and active components of Unrefined Shea Butter deteriorate after being processed with extreme heat and chemical solvents. Because our Unrefined Shea Butter is produced at lower heats and without the use of chemicals, the finished butter remains packed with shea’s most prized benefits.
Our Unrefined Shea Butter starts off with whole shea nuts. These nuts are then boiled to soften their shells and the seeds are removed by hand. The shea seeds are cracked and roasted before being milled and kneaded into a thick dough. The dough is then blended with water to separate the fats from the solids. The skimmed fats are boiled and cooled, resulting in a pure butter that is fresh, natural, and bursting with goodness. The finished butter is filtered one last time in order to ensure purity before being packaged and sold.
Sustainably and Ethically Produced
Like most of the world’s Shea Butter, our Unrefined Shea is grown and manufactured in Africa. We work with a farming community in Ghana that uses organic farming methods to grow, harvest, and produce our Unrefined Shea Butter. This farming community benefits from the economic security of being paid above fair-trade wages while we benefit from being able to offer a product that we can be proud of.
Ivory vs. Yellow Shea Butter
Better Shea Butter is thrilled to offer our Unrefined Shea Butter in both Ivory and Yellow varieties. The Ivory Variety is a great example of Unrefined Shea Butter in its most pure and natural form. The Yellow Variety gets its color from the borututu tree root extract – an ingredient added during the milling process. This color is totally natural and its addition is purely aesthetic for those who prefer this bright and sunny shade of yellow in their Shea Butter.
Smooth, Creamy Texture
The smooth and creamy texture of our Unrefined Shea Butter is one of its most signature traits. Other varieties can sometimes be sticky, gritty, or hard to manage, but Better Shea Butter’s Unrefined Shea glides across the skin easily, leaving a smooth sheen that isn’t overly greasy.
Easily Absorbed and Non-Comedogenic
One thing that makes Unrefined Shea Butter truly remarkable is its ability to provide intense moisture without clogging the skin’s pores or being overly greasy. This also makes Unrefined Shea Butter extremely versatile. It can be used from head-to-toe, even for facial care!
A Superior Moisturizer
Compared to a commercial lotion or body butter, the texture of pure Unrefined Shea Butter may take some getting used to. Since it is far richer, it will take longer to absorb into your skin or hair. As you become familiar with using Unrefined Shea Butter just remember that the difference in texture is really a good thing. Commercial lotions and creams are usually packed with fillers like water and alcohol. While they are designed to feel wonderful on your skin their benefits are often fleeting. Unrefined Shea Butter, on the other hand, provides intense moisture with lasting benefits!
Mild, Nutty Aroma
Natural shea butter has a characteristic aroma that can range from non-existent in refined butters to downright pungent in raw butters. Our Unrefined Shea Butter offers a pleasant compromise between these two extremes.
The scent of our Unrefined Shea Butter is mild. It has a nutty, smoky scent that mellows quickly after being applied to the skin or hair. This natural aroma, though relatively gentle, isn’t easily masked by other scents. It’s better to try and pair the butter with an aromatic ingredient that complements it than to attempt to cover it up.
Blends Beautifully With Essential Oils
Floral essential oils like lavender, geranium, and ylang ylang work beautifully with the natural aroma of Unrefined Shea Butter, as do woody scents such as sandalwood or patchouli. Try adding one of these essential oils at a rate of 2% (that’s about ½ teaspoon of essential oil per 1 cup of Unrefined Shea Butter) to enhance the aroma of your whipped butter or handmade skin care product.
Raw Unrefined Shea Butter Uses
Because our Unrefined Shea Butter has such a pleasant texture and mild aroma it can be used straight from the package as-is. Try applying a pea-sized amount of butter to your skin, then massaging it in as it melts. It can be used on your hair the same way. Melt a tiny amount of Unrefined Shea Butter between your palms, then apply it to the tips of your hair as you would a hair oil or leave-in conditioner.
One of the most popular ways to enjoy Unrefined Shea Butter is to whip it into a light, fluffy body butter. While there are lots of wonderful recipes for whipped shea butter you can make a super simple version in just 15 minutes by combining 4 ounces (½ cup) of Unrefined Shea Butter with 2 ounces (¼ cup) melted coconut oil in a stand mixer. Beat the ingredients together for 15 minutes, stopping to scrape the sides about halfway through.