It is without a doubt that we can say Shea Butter has been used in Africa since the dawn of time. But surprisingly, even though my parents come from Cameroon, it is not something we regularly used at home. My mother often vaguely referred to it and to the softness it provides to one’s skin and hair, but never actually taught me how to use it. Being born and raised in Europe, this tendency to embrace industrial and European products instead of those of their elders has certainly to do with our parents’ necessary cultural and social integration to the countries they emigrated. But this discussion is for another day.
As I once wondered, you may want to know more about Shea Butter, its origin, and its uses.
What is Shea Butter?
Shea Butter is a natural plant extract with exceptional moisturizing properties. It comes from the Shea Tree, called Vitellaria Paradoxa but commonly known as Karite Tree.
What is Shea Butter used for? Who uses it?
Today, Shea Butter is used in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and as a cocoa butter substitute in the confectionery and chocolate industry in Europe. In Africa, people of all ages and skin types utilize Shea Butter in its raw, unrefined form. It is common to find a jar of Shea Butter in houses. Shea Butter is used to make one’s skin smoother or to treat various skin problems. But it is also used for hair and cooking.
If the use of Shea Butter is so widespread all across the continent, it is certainly due to its innumerable benefits for many aspects of everyday life. It is known to be a “body superfood”. Feel free to discover why in our series of Shea Butter.