Many individuals are familiar with some of the moisturizing benefits of African shea butter, and may even intentionally select body lotions and beauty products that claim to contain shea butter in order to receive these benefits. However, what few individuals may know is just how well shea butter can help with healing a wide variety of skin conditions beyond simple skin dryness and rashes, and far beyond any other natural oils.
African shea butter is a wonderful source of all-natural Vitamins A and E, which can be immensely helpful in resolving uncomfortable or undesirable skin conditions like blemishes, wrinkles, eczema, dermatitis, skin allergies, insect bites, sunburn, frostbite, stretch marks, muscle fatigue, skin damage from heat and a variety of other problematic skin conditions. Shea butter is different from other natural seed oils in that it has an exceptional ability to heal. This healing “fraction” is normally one percent in other natural oils, while in shea butter the healing fraction can range anywhere from five to seventeen percent. Many other natural oils contain wonderful moisturizing capabilities but little or no healing abilities at all. Shea butter has both in abundance.
East African Shea Butter vs Western
As is the case with many other products, not all shea butters are created equally. First of all, as shea butter ages it can lose its many wonderful healing properties, a fact that few manufacturers and distributors actually disclose to their customers. Furthermore, some manufacturers will often attempt to alter shea butter from its natural state in order to give it a better fragrance or texture, to help preserve it beyond its natural eighteen-month window of effectiveness or in order to achieve economic benefits. That said one may wonder whether, all else being the same, there is any significant difference between East and West African shea butters.
BeadforLife is an organization that has helped impoverished African women generate income since 2004, and has recently launched the Shea Initiative. BeadforLife founder Torkin Wakefield says that the key, beneficial ingredient found in East African shea nuts has the potential to benefits tens of thousands of African lives. Impoverished individuals can pick up the shea nuts, dry them, process them, crack them open and sell them to BeadforLife, where the exceptional benefits of East African shea butter can be brought to the international market. BeadforLife is currently processing twenty tons of shea butter each year, but Wakefield hopes that the supply can soon be increased to fifty tons a year. If hundreds of companies come together and begin using this product, not only will this amazing product be made available to more individuals around the world, but impoverished individuals and families in East Africa will benefit from a much-needed regular source of income.
East African Shea Butter is unique among all other shea butters because it has a higher olien oil content that West African shea butter. What this means to the user is that the butter is softer, lighter and creamier, has a lower melting point at which it is absorbed into the skin, and is even richer in Vitamins A and E. While there is no doubt that natural and unrefined West African shea butter is still highly beneficial to the skin, there are obvious differences when it is compared to East African shea butter. To begin with, West African shea butter is often much firmer and waxier than the softer, creamier East African shea butter. Furthermore, when one buys organic East African shea butter from Uganda, especially from BeadforLife, one receives the added benefit of knowing they are helping to improve the lives of East African women.