What is Shea Butter?
Shea butter is a natural moisturiser made from nuts of the Karite tree - otherwise known as the ‘tree of life’ - prominently found throughout Central and West Africa. For centuries African women have transformed the nuts - by de-shelling, roasting, and boiling them - into a soft, raw butter used in everything from skincare to cooking, cleaning and even fuel.
Despite shea butter harvesting being referred to as a women’s industry, the multifaceted nut can aid in reducing eczema for one in five babies, minimise razor bumps or reduce the appearance of wrinkles, stretch marks and scarring. Meaning that the benefits of the enriching superfood can gratify all genders, ages and skin types; yearly.
How to use shea butter?
Oyoma’s shea butter works best on clean, still damp skin with hands massaging in the direction of the hair follicles. The whipped shea butter can be used every day - applied, liberally or as often as needed.
Protect and avoid the eye area. If contact with the eye occurs, rinse thoroughly with water. And if irritation continues, seek medical advice. For external use only.
How storage and shelf life affects your butter
Due to its buttery constituents and high-temperature vulnerabilities, shea butter storage sometimes is an issue. Especially with unrefined, shea butter manufactured with no added chemicals or preservatives, as the purer the butter, the more it needs to be delicately stored. The best way to store shea butter and keep it efficient in nourishments is to keep it in a cool, dark place, e.g. a cabinet.
Shea butter works best stored in the following containers:
In a ziplock bag, perfect for accessibility and keeping the air out. Just unzip when you need it, scoop out the quantity you need, and zip it up when done.
An open container, e.g. a glass jar with a lid is more sturdy, insulating, and easy for scooping out. Use within 6 months in an open container.
Alternatively, the best way to store shea butter is in a closed container, like a bottle with a flip-top or pump dispenser, is also suitable as it doesn’t break easily, is light and can be stored anywhere. Use within 12 months in a closed container.
In closing, store shea butter for about six months from the date of packaging.
How do you tell when your shea butter has expired?
The first thing you’ll notice with expired shea butter is its strong rancid scent.
Why zero-waste and clean beauty matters
As climate change continues to affect rainfall patterns across the globe, the quality and quantity of nuts reproducing have begun to decrease. Granting all this, there remains an influx demand for shea butter - amplified by the western world, as more of us are being hooked on the miracle moisture - that is overwhelming the communities relying on the Karite trees for survival because they can’t keep up with the mass production. Therefore, it’s even more imperative that we make the effort to shift to a greener, more sustainable lifestyle and let skincare be the start.
Sustainable beauty has revamped everyday routines; from skincare to makeup and haircare, the universal awareness of how our shopping can impact the earth, as well as our skins, is resulting in more cruelty-free and organic purchases that improve our ecosystems.
Beauty shouldn’t have you worried about its ethical and sustainable properties, it should just be. But even with the smallest of trees not bearing fruit as they used to, it’s crucial now more than ever to invest in all-natural and recyclable packaging to ensure the shea industry doesn’t become a victim of its own success.