Unrefined Shea Butter: http://www.alaffia.com/shea-butter.asp (This website is a great source and it is where I purchase my shea butter) The reason I purchase from this website is because I know that it is a legitimate site and that drives the cost up just a bit. Handcrafted, unrefined Shea Butter contains the maximum amount of healing and moisturizing properties. Most shea butter available to the general public outside West Africa is white and odorless: in other words, it has been “refined” to remove the natural scent and color of natural shea butter. In the process, the majority of the effective agents are also removed. For example, the yellow tint of unrefined shea butter is due to the Vitamin A content. Remove this color, and the beneficial vitamins have also been removed. Handcrafted, unrefined shea butter is contains full healing and protective benefits. Furthermore, refined Shea Butter has usually been extracted from the shea kernels with hexane or other petroleum solvents. The extracted oil is boiled to drive off the toxic solvents, and then refined, bleached, and deodorized, which involves heating it to over 400 degrees F and the use of harsh chemicals, such as sodium hydroxide. Shea Butter extracted in this manner still contains some undesirable solvent residues, and its healing values are significantly reduced. Antioxidants or preservatives such as BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) or BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) may be added as well. The end result is an odorless, white butter that may be aesthetically appealing, but lacks the true moisturizing, healing, and nutritive properties of true traditional shea butter.
Some interesting research using Shea Butter.
This following article exploits the possible allergy associated with using shea butter…guess what? NONE WERE FOUND!
ANOTHER reason why I use shea butter..it has anti-inflammatory and ANTI-TUMOR properties…making it a chemopreventative
Shea butter has been used for 100′s of years in Africa. It is safe for ALL skin types from dry to oily and is definitely necessary for individuals with various skin disorders. Because there is not one single example of a person being allergic to shea butter then it is extremely safe to use. If you have any questions please let me know! I will answer them the best I can.
Unrefined Shea Butter has a rather nutty smell and a gritty texture. It is solid at room temperature but melts directly onto skin. I boil the unrefined shea butter for about 20 minutes along with the beeswax and the coconut oil and cocoa butter in order to allow the gritty texture to be smoothed out. Your lotion will have the consistency and feel of any whipped body butter. I take special care in this process.