Shea butter - 'a skin superfood'
It is Monday and as promised I will tell you a bit about shea butter and give you an easy to follow recipe for beauty balm (great for your hands, I've been using mine for over a week now 😁 )
Shea butter is extracted from nuts of the African Shea Tree (Vitellaria Paradoxa). It has been known to people for centuries - even Cleopatra used it to nourish her skin. Now shea butter production plays an important part in many African women and men: it is and has been their source of income. When you buy shea butter it is always good to ask your supplier about sustainability and where they source it from. I buy my Shea butter from Naissance. You can find out on their website how they help communities to thrive and you can be part of that too! 🥰
I'll give you a little technical info about Shea butter:
it is soft but solid in room temperature and melts easily when in contact with skin
melting point 31,6°C - 37,7°C
easily absorbed into skin, doesn't make skin oily
has a distinctive smell but I like it ( I buy unrefined one)
colour can vary from white (refined) to cream/light yellow
Now it's time to learn about all the goodness that hides in Shea butter.
The main chemical compounds are:
Oleic acid ( also known as Omega 9)
Helps to maintain softness of the skin and hair, has anti-ageing and antioxidant properties - both very desirable, especially after you turn 30😉 it makes the butter soft or hard, depending on the ambient temperature.
Helps to soften the skin and protect the hair form damage. It gives the butter a solid consistency.
The most common saturated fatty acid, it has emollient characteristics.
Linoleic acid ( also known as Vitamin F or Omega 6 )
Has anti-inflammatory and anti-ageing properties, helps to lock the moisture in the skin, has soothing and healing characteristics.
Cinnamic acid ester
Has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, helps to regenerate the skin, protects from UV rays
Increases skin moisture and smoothness, helps with wound healing, has anti-inflammatory properties,
Help to balance skin's oil production, keep skin smooth and soft, help to renew the skin and can protect from UV rays
Helps to slow skin's oil production, takes part in collagen production, helps to maintain skin supple and firm, protects from UV rays
Finally...That's a lot for just one butter, hence its nickname: SKIN SUPERFOOD 🤩
Lastly, here's the recipe:
It is very easy to calculate how many grams of each ingredient you need. I usually make 50 grams of the product to have enough to try it out for few days and then decide if it's for me or not. All the ingredients need to always make up 100%.
To make 50g of our beauty balm all you have to do is a simple equation:
Percentage of ingredient/ 100 x batch size by weight
60/100 x 50 = 30g shea butter
39,5/ 100 x 50 = 19,75g jojoba oil
0,5/ 100 x 50 = 0,25g vitamin E
You can find out more about converting formula to a recipe here.
You can experiment a little (or a lot 😄 ) and change the percentage. Keep in mind that the more liquid oil you use the less solid the finished product will be ( I personally would use up to 60% of jojoba oil but again use your imagination and post your creations in comments section here or on Facebook 👍🏻 )
You can also use a different oil, I like jojoba oil because it is absorbed by skin quite quickly and reduces the loss of water making skin soft and supple.
Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant here ( and active ingredient too) - it protects oils from going rancid over time. Vitamin E is heat sensitive - loses its properties above 40°C so add it once shea butter has melted and you took the bowl off the stove/double boiler.
You can read about double boiler here.
Pour your mixture to a container with lid ( I use travel size jar ) and put it to the freezer until the mixture is solid ( around 10 minutes ). Do you know why it is the best to do that? For every right answer I'll have a little treat for you 🎁 😄
If you're going to use the balm for your hands I recommend to use it just before you go to bed and wear beauty cotton gloves - it will help keep the balm on your hands, not your duvet and also it will help with absorption. You can use it all over the body ❤️