- Unrefined Shea Butter is best for your skin. If it's refined, it's gone through a process and filter (refining) that may take away the Shea "nutty" scent, preservatives may have been added (that's not good!), and there is no standard in refining so you're probably not getting the antioxidants and nutrients needed to heal your skin.
- Grade is important. I can't stress this enough. Think about the eggs, milk, and bread you ingest. Check the labels, your eggs have a grade, why shouldn't your Shea butter )or anything that you rub on your skin for that matter)? For a detailed analysis of the grading process of Sheabase.com Shea butter, consult the American Shea Butter Institute's page on the grading process.
- Color is not that important. Most people have seen both yellow and ivory colored Shea butter and tend to prefer the ivory colored better. The color of Shea butter depends more on where it is from (Ghana or Burkina Faso for example), how it was extracted from the nut (traditionally by hand or cold-pressed for example), and the season of harvest (aka, the Shea Nut color) and less on how fresh or old it is. Sheabase.com tries very hard to purchase at the right times to get the ivory colored Shea butter, but we have yellow too (by request).
- Shelf Life. Treat your Shea butter good, and it will treat you good. Keep it in a cool, dry location. Over time nutrients will deplete, so try to use it within a year or so.
The 2011 Asheville Wine & Food festival at the WNC Ag. Center was a fun experience for me and sheabase.com. I met folks who loved our whipped Shea butter and purchased some (Thanks folks!), herbalists, and great conversationalist re: Africa and Fair Trade. Getting the word out to folks to just "Like" the sheabase.com facebook page and learn a little about Shea in the mean time meant a lot to me. Not all Shea butter is created equal, here's a little tidbit to help you, then next time you find yourself searching for Shea (and you've run out of your Sheabase, lol):
We've recently been "out of pocket" with the birth of our daughter, but the benefits of our Sheabase product are still moving forward! Connecting with a few friends over the past couple of weeks, I was encouraged by the positive comments about our product.
"My wife still uses your Shea butter every night!" or "I LOVE your product, I still have some left!"
So, with encouraging words, we continue to make our small batches of whipped shea butter, using the finest ingredients from Africa. Just last week, I took out a sample that I had in storage for the last few months, opened it up and ... wow! The lavender and shea scent was just awesome~! Shea will firm up after awhile, but once you "dig in to it", it just spreads so easy and smoothly onto your skin, it's really amazing.
Hope to see some of you at the Asheville Wine and Food 2011 Grand Tasting (http://www.wncmagazine.com/wineandfood/about) this year! It will mark our first major event and presence for Sheabase.
When you think of Grade A eggs (strolling down the grocery aisle), what comes to mind? Yeah, nothing comes to mind for me either, but it's a valid question, right? I mean, have you seen "Grade B" eggs? ;)
Yesterday, I had the privilege to chat on the phone with a man from Memphis, TN who has been in the Shea Butter industry for over 3 decades. He was an older gentleman, with a slow southern accent, the kind of guy you just want to sit and listen to, for as long as it takes.
His information was invaluable, particularly for a small business trying to bring the best quality Shea butter to the States. For example, all Shea butter is not created equal. It's well known that in processing Shea butter, it takes as much water as it does Shea, and water sources in Africa can contain harmful items like e coli and metals/minerals. For this (and other) reasons, the American Shea Butter Institute was created "http://www.sheainstitute.com/, 2011). By purchasing bulk raw unrefined Shea butter certified by this institute, we are establishing voluntary standards on the quality of Shea Butter in our Sheabase product line.
To get an idea of all the unique benefits of Grade A Shea Butter, visit this link:
We pay a little more for this designation, however, we feel that this not only brings our customer base a great product, but we support African countries and villages that offer a fair trade and promote trading opportunities for this awesome commodity.
Many people testify to the wonderful healing properties of Shea butter. The unsaponifiable nature of the oils found in shea will not work against your body's natural ability to produce natural oils and in many ways may help enrich production of collagen.
The American Shea butter Institute (ASBI) states that "Vitamin A in Shea Butter is important for improving a number of skins conditions, including blemishes wrinkles, eczema, and dermatitis". This is good news! Many lotions on the market today are cheaply priced and may claim to include "Shea butter", but buyer beware! There are many ways that Shea butter is processed so that it loses the crucial vitamins and nutrients, often times the cheaper processed Shea butter find's it's way into the mass produced lotions available today.
Sheabase uses unrefined, raw shea butter from a source that is "Certified Grade A", typically from Ghana or Burkina Faso. Each order that we receive is shipped with the Certification of "Grade A", the country of origin, and the ASBI lot number.