I wanted very much to like unrefined shea butter but just can't get into it. I try to use minimally-processed products with as few synthetic components as possible and often use simple products (sugar, honey, rice bran/avocado/macadamia oil on my skin, coconut/olive/avocado oil, egg on my hair, etc.) so I was excited to try this. I have chronically dry skin and had high hopes that the shea butter would remedy this issue. As many other reviewers noted, unrefined shea butter has a strong rancid scent that I couldn't cover up with essential oils. The butter felt very heavy and greasy on my skin, and I felt like it was doing a good moisturizing job. But other than when it was actually on my skin (leaving oil stains on everything I touched), it didn't have any effect. As soon as it sank in, wore off, or was washed off, my skin was just as dry as ever. I tried this on my hair and didn't notice any particularly positive or negative effect; I'll probably go back to coconut/avocado/olive oil.
I melt this down and mix with avocado oil and whatever essential oils I have. Then, I put it all over my hair and scalp, and leave it in as long as possible. Love love love it. Takes a couple washings to get out, but my hair is always full of volume and really soft after I use it.
I also use this on my body and occasionally, my face.
Melt shea down slowly, or it will become grainy. I use a double boiler on the stove top, then add other oils once off the burner.
Totally worth the effort!
I use unrefined shea butter on my hands and feet- its the first moisturizer I've used that has actually stopped the cracks I get on the sides of my fingers in winter! I also use it on my legs, if they are feeling really dry. I love the fact its called 'women's gold' because its such an important source of income for the women who harvest it in Africa.
I've found the trick is to scoop up a bit onto your fingers (you don't need much- a pea sized amount does both feet) and then wet you hands, and rub the butter between your palms until it warms up and melts. Then apply where needed. I think the fats in the butter help trap the water where it's needed.
Edit: after using this for a while, I noticed that this seemed to be making my skin drier! I think I need more hydrating products, but this is OK as a 'sealant'
Another HG! Finally I can go all natural with my hair (except the color ;-). It's unbelievable how awesome shea butter is! I've been hesitant to try it - while most conditioners aren't strong enough, I just pictured the shea butter turning it into greasy strings, since it really is an oil, after all. It really does only take the tiniest bit (this from someone who goes through conditioner by the gallon normally). Maybe a dime-size piece? Warm it up in my hands and spread it through the ends and that's it. It drinks it up like crazy and after only 3 days, my hair already looks healthier than it has in weeks, even though it really needs a cut/color. It really brings out the natural curl. And it is so soft, and no tangles! Can't stop running my hands through it. There doesn't seem to be any buildup either, which is surprising since that's always the main problem for me with the CO method. I also switched (at the same time) to the Chagrin Valley Shampoo bars, which you must try if you want to go natural. I am concerned about if this combo is going to strip my color after it's done again (Flame red, which is a nightmare to maintain already), but the results are so good that it's worth trying just to see. I'm tossing all my other hair products, I don't need them anymore. I might just switch to another color if I have to, it's that good.
I was interested in creating my own natural body moisturiser so bought some shea butter off e-bay. Very cheap. I heated some up in the microwave with olive oil to thin it out and a tiny bit of tea trea oil to 'freshen up' the fragrance a bit. Well i must say i am totally in love. I have very dry legs so i like to add a fairly thick layer to them about once a week (making sure i'm wearing some short shorts and putting my legs up on the coffee table so as not to make things greasy!) Rubbing a dollop in your hands will warm it up and allows it to spread easier. After about half an hour or so it will have absorbed quite a lot but the effect the day after is nothing short of spectacular! It's the only moisturiser i've used that actually seems to keep on moisturising after i've had a shower the next day! If this method seems a bit daunting i've noticed there are lots of recipes available online to make a thinner and less greasy moisturiser so i'm looking forward to experimenting! It's also awesome as a lip balm, very similar texture and feel to Vaseline but it absorbs better making it a perfect base for lipstick, plus by using this you will not be putting on your lips a by-product of the petroleum industry, i think that's what you call a WIN WIN!
With this product, I must join in and sing the praises of the choir. I love this product. Now that I have found it, I don't know how I had lived without it in the first place. I buy it online at Coastalscents.com. It's at a good price. It comes in plastic bag and a ziplock bag over the plastic baggy. I leave it in the bag until I need it. I rated the packaging a 2 but I don't think I've really paid for the paging at $8+ shipping for 1lb of shea butter. At the same site, there is a recipe on making whipped shea butter. I've made it 3x now. I first made some for Christmas as presents for my friends. I loved it and so did they. I have changed the recipe a bit to suit myself. I will definately by buying this again.... probably for as long as I live.
I have never used this type of shea butter on my hair before. I do have a spray made of shea butter but it makes my hair feel crunchy for some reason. It is shiny but it feels dried out. I don't think I'm going to use this on my hair either but I have a good hair product so I don't care.
I realized a few months ago that oils DO NOT work on my skin. I wish they would because I love the idea of using a natural moisturizer like olive or jojoba oil. Unfortunately, they are just not for me :( I get really bad cystic acne whenever i use them.
Thankfully, my quest for a natural moisturizer led me to shea butter. I used the perfect organics version from Whole Foods for about two months and my skin just drank it up. I have extremely sensitive easily scarred skin, and I think shea butter makes it much stronger. About a month into using shea butter, I went to get my eyebrows waxed at a new salon. The eye-brow lady, when pulling back the strip pulled off a HUGE portion of my skin too! Now this happens to me often (bc my skin is so sensitive, which is why I usually get them threaded) but never had I gotten such a huge portion pulled off my face. Like I said, i scar VERY easily so I was so upset that this would leave a huge dark mark on my face, as such traumatic events had in the past. I rubbed shea butter on the wound, even after it scabbed over. I must have re-applied every three hours for three or four days. The result: a barely visible scar that is fading daily. Not nearly as terrible as I had expected! I am positive it was the shea butter that saved this situation!
I recently switched from perfect organics to a less refined version from butters-n-bars. This new version smells a lot more "nutty" but I hear the less refined, the more the healing properties are retained. The smell isn't that offensive and it does go away.
All in all- I am a shea butter user for life.
I buy this in little 2 oz glass jars from an online seller (florere.com) for around $6 . It's the pure unrefined stuff, completely natural with no chemicals. I like the small size because so little is needed, it would take me years to finish a whole pound and I don't want it going bad or wasting it! After taking a shower or bath, I take a tiny bit and warm it up in my hands until it liquifies, then i pat it all over my body, face, cuticles and as a leave-in conditioner for my ends. Voila! Soft skin and hair. This is a miracle product for dry cracked heels, too. The key is using a tiny amount - use much less than you think you should, there should be no greasy residue - and get the pure unrefined / raw shea.
I was skeptical at first - shea butter on my face? But won't it break me out?
It did. Because I was slathering it on everyday and that was too much for my face to take. However, when I started doing it as a weekly nighttime ritual, my skin significantly improved - I woke up with glowy, soft, CLEAR skin the next morning and no flakies (not even in the winter months!).
This is also fabulous for stretch marks and dry patches..skin drinks it up like nothing else and it truly makes a difference. Definitely a versatile, worthy purchase. Will repurchase for sure when I run out (but since I use so little, that won't be soon :))
♥♥♥♥♥I LOVE SHEA BUTTER!♥♥♥♥♥
I find it to be a bit greasy to use straight on my face, so I mix a tiny bit with my moisturizer. I love using it for hair and body, I mix it with my Black Soap in the shower. I find I can skip the moisturizing step when I get out. (I don't use that on my face either, but it's cleared up the mild KP I had on my arms) Some nights, I will slather it all over my body and wrap myself in a heating blanket. Of course it absorbs but a regular routine of this leads to flawless body skin, and a reduction in the appearance of stretch marks.
I buy a pound of raw shea every year. I make it lighter in texture and easier to spread when I melt about 1/2 a cup with 1/4 of grapeseed or pumpkin oil. I can use straight shea butter in my face, but only a very little amount, emulsified with water & aloe.