Soapsmith's Shea Butter

Hello friends,

I will be creating a series of blog posts about the soap, bath and body care items I offer for sale. These articles will be educational in nature to offer my customers an insight as to why I choose certain ingredients and their benefits, as well as more detailed directions and suggestions for use of my products. Today's entry is about my pure natural fair trade shea butter.

Shea Butter Information 

Unrefined Shea Butter is 100% natural and absolutely no chemicals are used in the processing. This shea butter is processed by a fair trade women’s co-op in Ghana Africa and is shipped fresh, ready to use. No preservatives or additives of any kind are used in my pure unrefined shea. 

The high quality unrefined shea butter is processed using the laborious traditional method. The hand-collected nuts are similar in size to almonds. The nuts are removed from their shell and placed in a large mortar, pounded by hand to shred and then ground with a stone to a fine paste. The paste is initially the color of dark chocolate. It is washed with water for a number of times until the chocolate color turns into the rich creamy color of the final product. At that point it is boiled in a clarifier to reduce the moisture before being packaged for shipping. 

You will find this butter to be ivory to greenish/grey in color. The aroma is slightly smoky, grassy, and nutty. You may even find flecks of dark/black bits in this shea. This is a natural organic product each batch will vary slightly.

My refined shea butters are whipped with a little jojoba oil and Vit E and for the scented versions the essential and fragrance oils are added. The final products are packed in aluminum slip tins.

Ultra refined Shea Butter begins the same as the unrefined. But more steps are taken. Natural clay filters are used to further process the unrefined butter until it is odorless, white and creamy.

A little shea goes a long way. Simply soften a tiny amount in the palm of your hand and apply. As this is butter, you will note it is heavier than most lotions. It takes a little while to be absorbed into the skin, but the wait is worth it!

A note about fair trade my private reserve unrefined shea butter

This shea is my absolute favorite of all the shea butters I sell. It is all natural, organic. The characteristic earthy aroma and ivory, gray/green color are the natural properties of the shea nut. It absorbs like a dream.

The shea nut is harvested fresh within several weeks of my receiving the shipment. The proceeds go directly to support an African village in Ghana. The women of the village harvest the nuts, process the butter by hand using traditional mortar and pestle. No chemicals are used. (To get the pure white fragrance free shea butter, the raw butter is processed with clay filters. I also sell scented and unscented refined shea.)

This information is provided from my supplier regarding

Fair Trade Shea Butter:
"Unrefined shea butter is a valuable natural resource for West African and could be an important tool in empowering local communities. However, most shea butter on the market in the United States and Europe is not fairly traded.

The women who gather shea nuts and hand craft this remarkable oil receive only a tiny fraction of the final price. It is estimated to take 20 to 30 hours of labor to produce one kilogram of handcrafted shea butter, which is traded at $1 or less in today’s market. A woman making shea butter in West Africa will receive only a fraction of this price. Therefore, a person working for 30 hours, almost a week’s worth of work, will not receive even a dollar for her efforts. Even if she received the whole dollar, this does not even begin to reach living wage standards.

Through our direct involvement of the entire process – from gathering the wild shea nuts and crafting the butter, to distribution locally and abroad - our members receive fair and steady incomes. In addition, a large percentage of your purchases will go directly back to our community in the form of community enhancement projects, AIDS and malaria outreach, and educational scholarships. We believe in “building African self-empowerment the moral way” and truly appreciate your involvement in reaching our goals.

Unrefined shea butter contains an abundance of beneficial ingredients, including vitamins, minerals, proteins and a unique fatty acid profile, and is a superior active moisturizer. Unlike petroleum based moisturizers, shea butter actually restores the skin's natural elasticity, it becomes softer and stays moisturized for longer. Because of its amazing properties, shea butter is an excellent ingredient for soaps, lotions and creams.

Perhaps it is most effective when applied to the skin in its pure state.

Regular users of pure, unrefined shea butter notice softer, smoother, healthier skin."

You can find many products in my studio that contain shea butter. Soaps, butters, lotions, balms etc.

Thanks for visiting,

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