Shea Butter comes from a nut that grows on the shea or Karité tree in West African countries like Ghana, Mali, Togo, Burkina Faso & Nigeria. Traditionally, the nuts are picked, roasted, and pounded by hand. It is then boiled for several hours to extract 100% PURE UNREFINED SHEA BUTTER. Shea Butter in Ghana is called NKUTO.
WE ONLY USE UNREFINED, UNBLEACHED, ORGANIC SHEA BUTTER! Unrefined Shea Butter - straight from nature. Because unrefined shea butter is extracted traditionally or cold pressed, the color may vary between beige to medium yellow. The color of unrefined shea butter depends on the shea nut itself. Due to the nature of the nuts, the color of unrefined Shea Butter may vary and may deepen over time. Shea Butter, like all other natural products, has a natural scent. Traditionally extracted or cold pressed shea butter will usually have a nutty and a slight smoky scent because it is prepared under open fire. Once applied to skin or hair, there is no scent. Shea Butter with no scent is not unrefined shea butter. The texture of fresh shea butter is smooth and very soft. As the shea butter ages, it becomes stiffer but still smooth. Shea Butter is naturally thick and fatty (in a good way). A little bit goes a long way. Shea Butter is easily melted by the hot sun or any form of heat. This will make it liquefy. It will get back to its solid state once it is in a cool area. When shea butter is melted under direct heat or very high temperatures, the texture may naturally become grainy.
Traditionally Handmade Unrefined Shea Butter does not spoil. This is another area of misunderstanding for some people. It's healing properties are very powerful within the first year and a half and after that, it is still usable but not as beneficial. There is no need to store it in a freezer or refrigerator. Treat it like you treat your moisturizers and lotions. Keep it in a cool dry place. There is no special way to handle it. It just is. If you have ever encountered spoiled unrefined shea butter, then it was not unrefined shea butter to begin with. Shea Butter has been used for centuries by millions of people in Africa & around the world.
FYI:Refined, Processed shea butter is bleached, deodorized & refined. Processed Shea Butter is COMPLETELY STRIPPED of all it's vitamins and healing qualities. It is clear or white and odorless. The texture is completely different from Unrefined Shea Butter. Processed Shea Butter does not deepen in color over time and retails at very high prices. Hexane is used to extract more shea butter. Sometimes further processing is required to remove the hexane contaminate from the shea butter. Hexane is a toxic chemical produced in a petroleum refinery and is a by-product of gasoline. It is mainly used as a solvent to extract edible oils from seed and vegetable crops like soybeans, peanuts & corn. Commercial grades are used as solvents for glues, vanishes & inks.
There is no such thing as 100% Shea Butter Soap... WHY? Because the base for most soaps are vegetable oils. Shea Butter is naturally oily when melted and cannot stand as a base for soap without adding other oils. So if soap contains shea butter, it is usually as an ingredient. Even as an ingredient in soap, shea butter can still nourish the skin depending how much shea butter is used. Shea Butter is used as an ingredient in creams, shampoos, perms, soaps, bath gels etc. Don't confuse Shea Butter as an ingredient to 100% Pure Unrefined Shea Butter. Unrefined Shea Butter is the best type of shea butter to use in skin care products because it is not chemically treated. SHEA BUTTER has endless uses. It is indeed nature's best.