West African & East African Shea Butter
The Shea tree grows naturally in the wild in the dry Savannah belt of West Africa from Senegal in the West to Sudan in the East, and onto the foothills of the Ethiopian highlands, spanning over 19 countries. It is without forgetting that Africa is an enormous continent, blessed with diverse, generous, and abundant nature. It is thus natural to find slight differences among the same products, depending on their origin. It is the case for Shea Butter. Even though its production and commercialization are traditionally more prominent in the Western regions, there are two main varieties of Shea Butter: Butyrospermum Parkii (West African) and Vitellaria Nilotica (East African).
At AASAI, our Shea Butter comes from East Africa, harvested and hand-made by local women in the village of Koboko in Northern Uganda. Boiled down to the essential, Vitellaria Nilotica is considered more luxurious than its Western equivalent:
- It is considered rarer because of lower, more local production. It grows as a wild plant in East Africa.
- It is known to be slightly higher in therapeutic properties since it contains higher contents of oleic acids. This results in a creamier, smoother, and clearer color, quicker, and easier to apply at room temperature.
- Nevertheless, Easter African Shea Butter has a lower concentration of vitamin A. Vitamin A helps in accelerating your skin’s ability to heal from scars, cuts, and minor burns.
In general, none is better than the other. For example, someone who wants to heal scars will benefit more from using the West African variety due to its higher contents of vitamin A. But as an everyday super moisturizer for hair and skin, AASAI Shea butter works better.
Most Shea Butter you can find in Europe comes from West Africa. Long-term users or newbies alike, everyone can benefit from the therapeutic properties of the East African variety. Don’t hesitate to order yours here.