Shea butter – gold for the skin

Shea butter is present in many cosmetic products as it has beneficial properties for skin care. Most of the one on the market is still produced by hand in Africa and is much more than just a skin care product.

Shea butter is one of the most effective skin care products. Almost all of us know it but few know its origin. The butter is extracted from the fruit of the vitellaria parodoxa, a plant that grows in the savannas, and worked manually through very laborious processes.

The shea tree grows in tropical Africa, from Senegal to Uganda, which is why this area is called “the belt of butter”. The trees are still part of the wild fauna and the butter obtained, called “women’s gold”, is worked by hand. Considerable effort is required for processing.

How is shea butter produced?

The process is very long. First of all, the fruits are harvested by hand and they are deprived of the stones that are subsequently dried in the sun after roasting or fumigation. Later they will be crushed, ground and water will be added until a sort of thick paste is obtained.

The stones, depending on the roasting time, can give the butter a color ranging from white to yellow to black.

The paste obtained is boiled so that the water present evaporates. This mixture is filtered in cotton cloths, cooled and followed by a refined, bleached and deprived of the smell before being exported.

Effects of shea butter

The characteristics and therapeutic properties of shea butter have been known for millennia. They include:

  • ideal hydration for irritated and reddened skin
  • soothing effect
  • smoothing effect on the skin
  • ideal for allergic skin

In Africa, shea butter is not only used for skin care. The tree and its products accompany the African people from birth to death. All parts of the tree are used: leaves, fruits, resin, bark, etc. For example, the resin is used as a natural adhesive or for repairing cracks in walls, like chewing gum and in traditional African medicine. It is therefore a very versatile plant that still represents a sustenance for African populations.

Regional support

Today, many manufacturers of natural cosmetics that support women’s cooperatives in Shea Belt. One of them is Butterfly, for example . The Swiss company supports cooperatives in Burkina Faso, donating part of its revenues to projects aimed at improving the living conditions of local populations, such as the construction of wells or grain mills.

Lip balm

Pure shea butter is a real boon for all those who appreciate homemade natural cosmetics. Butter is an ideal base for a variety of ointments and conditioners for cracked and dry skin care.

In winter, the lips are exposed to adverse conditions and therefore a rich treatment is very important. Below we offer a recipe to produce a 100% natural lip balm!


  • 7 g shea butter
  • 3 g jojoba oil
  • 2 g of sea buckthorn oil
  • 1 drops of essential lemon balm oil (10%)


  1. Place the jojoba oil in a glass and gently heat in a bain-marie.
  2. Add the shea butter and let it melt. Note: the butter should not be too hot. If necessary, mix regularly.
  3. When everything is well mixed, let it cool
  4. Add the sea buckthorn oil and a drop of Melissa essential oil. Mix well.
  5. Pour the mixture into a crucible and leave to cool.

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