Shea Butter is an ingredient that I use in both a face, hand and body balm (Ruth’s Favorite) and in my sunscreen. Don’t feel bad if you don’t know what shea butter is because my computer doesn’t know either. Every time I type the word shea it shows up as a spelling error. If, however, you do an internet search for the benefits of shea butter, you will come up with many articles about shea butter. Here is just one example http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/best-benefits-of-shea-butter-for-skin-hair-and- health/ You will learn that shea butter comes from the nuts of the Karite Tree that grows in Africa. It can be used in cooking, but in the U.S. it is mainly used in skin care products. It has many healing qualities, antioxidant qualities, as well as anti-inflammatory properties. It is said to be a “super food for the skin.”
I have found unrefined shea butter to be very clumpy and difficult to spread on the skin. However, once it is combined with bees wax and other oils, it makes a wonderful balm. I find that shea butter adds a silky feel to the balm and a pleasant scent as well. Both of the products that I make which contain shea butter are well suited for use by the whole family including on baby’s bottom. 🙂
Many handcrafters use shea butter as an ingredient in their soap. I did a test batch of soap using shea butter as one ingredient, and although it was a nice soap, I did not find the results to be superior to the other oil combinations that I use. Thus, because shea butter is a more costly ingredient, I have decided that it is better used in balms and sunscreens.