Shea butter is a vegetable fat extracted from the nut of the African shea tree. This off-white, ivory colored butter has been used for thousands of years for its highly emollient and healing properties. As a matter of fact, it has been said that in Cleopatra's Egypt, there were caravans carrying clay jars full of shea butter for cosmetic use. It was said to be used to protect hair and skin from the harsh sun and the hot, dry winds. This nearly odorless butter contains a high percentage of fatty acids including oleic, stearic, linoleic and palmitic. It has a low melting point of 86-100° F (30-38° C) and it absorbs rapidly into the skin.
Country of Origin
Refined, Bleached and Deodorized
Shea butter has a wide variety of uses, but is most frequently used as an additive in skin and hair care products to provide emollient and humectant properties. It is also said that shea butter has anti-inflammatory properties and even a limited capacity to absorb ultra-violet light, although we do not recommend using it by itself as sunscreen. It can be used as-is as a skin moisturizer and/or healing agent or added to balms, creams, lotions, conditioners and soap in small amounts (it is recommended to only use 5-7% shea butter in the total recipe for soap).
Shelf Life & Storage
Product shelf life is dependent on storage conditions and is highly variable. Product should be stored under cool, dry conditions and in a humidity controlled environment. Industry standard for product, when stored under optimum conditions, is 24 months from the date of manufacture.
168 - 187 mg KOH per gram of fat
Conversion Value for NaOH (Sodium Hydroxide) = 0.128 oz
Conversion Value for KOH (Potassium Hydroxide) = 0.180 oz
Vegetable butter fats may melt during transit. Due to this, some may crystallize if they re-solidified too slowly. This does not impact the usability or quality of the product. To eliminate this crystallization effect, use a thermometer while you carefully heat the butter in a double boiler until it is fully at its melting point. Be careful not to overheat. Continue to keep the butter at its melting point for 10-20 minutes (the length of time depends on the type of butter; you can experiment on the length of time to see what works best). After you have kept it at the melting point for the desired amount of time, immediately pour into storage containers and then place in the refrigerator or freezer for rapid cooling. Once the butter has cooled back down to room temperature, remove from the refrigerator or freezer and store in a cool, dry place.
Please note that this information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is for educational purposes only.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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