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.
Wonderful stuff. Well, except for the smell which is awful. It reminds me of the smell of livestock somehow. But it does fade and honestly, unless I stick it right under my nose now I don't really notice. Still, I plan on mixing in some lavender oil at some point, and next time I buy this (and I will be buying this again!) I'll probably get one that already comes scented.
It's still hard for me to believe, but unrefined shea butter has been great for my face and has not caused ANY breakouts. I melt a little on my fingertips and use it as an undereye cream after my retinol in the evenings, and under my moisturizer and sunscreen in the mornings. It can be a little shiny and, depending on how much I use, may never soak in completely, but I actually like the highlighter effect and love the supple rich feel. My eye area, which is starting to develop fine little smile lines, has become plumper and bounces back faster since I started using shea.
I also dab a layer on any zits after applying my benzoyl peroxide cream and, amazingly for something so rich and oily feeling, it actually seems to help them heal. Using shea, the redness is often less to begin with and the leftover marks definitely fade faster (marks from past breakouts tend to last on my fair skin for months and months, if not longer). Everyone's skin is different so I'd start off cautiously with this on your face, but this has been a wonderful find for me.
Last but not least, I've used this on scratches, bruises and other small wounds and it seems to help with healing and reduced scarring. If nothing else, the rich protective moisture promotes whatever healing is going on anyways and makes it feel better. I have noticed that when I use this on a larger area, like my knee, after it's soaked in the skin there is unbelievably soft and pliant. Not silky smooth, not greasy, not dry, just... really really soft. I hesitate to use this as an allover moisturizer though, because I don't think I could stand the smell and I wouldn't be able to sit or touch anything for several hours...! I may try it someday though if I'm staying in with nothing else to do for an evening.
Anways, shea butter really works. On top of that, I love that it's so natural and simple.
I love unrefined shea butter!! I use it in my hair (mixed with olive oil or vitamin E oil) as a deep conditioner, on my face when I need extra moisture, and on sunburns. My fiance and I went to Maui earlier this year and he was badly burnt. I applied a generous amount of unrefined shea butter to his burned areas and it healed beautifully! He didn't peel and his redness slowly faded away. I will continue using this product for a very long time!
Last year it worked amazingly on my hair mixed with olive oil and a little coconut oil. Alone the smell is horrible, ti doesn't fade enough so that when you sweat you can't smell it and it also dries out the skin.
My face and body skin hates it. It leaves it parched and has the same effect as using Vasaline or some other petroleum based thick greasy product. My hair can take it if I use just a tiny bit mixed with a lot fo something else but really the whole stench of it isn't worth the bother.
I bought mine from the muslim store where they sell tubs for $3-5.
1 YEAR UPDATE:
Recently something terrible happened and I lost a lot fo hair, afraid ot put anything else but natural products on my hair I went bach to this, mixing 1 part shea butter to 2 parts loive oil, 2 parts castor oil and 1 part pure coconut oil and ran it through my hair after deep conditioning with Parnevu Organic Hair Mayonnaise. It seems that depending on what you mix it with the smell is either really strong and lingering or weak. This time I used all other products besides the Parnevu and shea butter (still getting it from the muslim store) from Whole Foods and none of they seemed to cancel out the shea butter smell so the mix smells really light and body buttery.
It works amazing though so I'm sticking with this mix again. I'm so glad I kept that tub of shea butter to remind me.
It still works terrible on its own, drying outmy skin but mixed with the above oils it give the mixture a creamy buttery texture instead of greasy. For real skin moisturizing though nothing beats a little natural castor oil or castor oil mixed with your favorite lotion/cream.
"Unrefined African shea butter is extracted from the nuts of the Shea-Karite tree. Shea butter nourishes the skin with Vitamins A, E, and F. Vitamins A and E help maintain the skin and keep it clear and healthy. Vitamin F acts as a skin protector and rejuvenator. Also, shea butter easily penetrates the skin, allowing the skin to breathe and not clogging pores. In addition shea butter has a high level of cinnamic acid, a natural sun screen. So it provides some degree of protection from the sun." (Treasured Locks)
I was given two tubs of unrefined, raw shea butter as a gift that's probably going to last me about two years! Don't get the refined version because it is highly processed, and therefore you will not reap the full benefits of using shea butter. I love this because it's pure and very moisturizing, but if I layer too much on my face it can clog pores in the summer. Shea butter is an intense moisturizer and full of fatty acids, so use sparingly on the face. I don't use this as a body moisturizer because it's hard to spread and takes awhile to melt to your body heat. Just mainly use on my face and lips. At first my skin didn't like this so much (continued to be flaky and dry), but now it just drinks it in!