Shea butter - Bryce Tarling
Winter skin care relief
I Bryce Tarling
Shea butter is extracted from the kernels of shea nuts. Traditionally used
as an edible oil and medicine in Africa, where shea trees are grown, today
it’s used as a cocoa butter substitute—and as an ingredient in skin care
products. Shea butter provides soothing relief from the dryness of winter.
The dry winter months can cause problems for our
skin. Dry air can deplete our skin of moisture, causing
cracking, chapping, and irritation. The sun can be
just as damaging in the winter as it is in summer. The
combination of dryness, cold temperatures, wind, and
sun can take its toll.
According to Anne-Marie Martin, a holistic health
practitioner, “Any part of the skin that isn’t protected from
cold winds tends to be most affected.” The face and hands
are typical problem areas when it comes to dry skin.
“The knees and elbows also tend to be particularly
prone to dryness,” says Martin. Being indoors offers little
reprieve, as many forced-air, centralized heating systems,
at the workplace or at home, dry the skin further.
Other sources of dryness
Chemical-based cosmetic products may only exacerbate
skin problems. Antibacterial or antimicrobial soaps often
reduce the skin’s acidity, which protects the skin. Other
soaps or alcohol-based lotions can also dry the skin.
Avoid talcum powders, as talc may provide a breeding
ground for yeast and has been linked to certain forms
Shea butter benefits
Shea butter keeps our skin healthy in three ways, by
> acting as an emollient to soften and soothe dry skin
> reducing flaking and restoring suppleness to enhance
the appearance of dry, damaged skin
> preventing water evaporation and plumping up skin
cells by increasing their water content
Shea butter contains numerous bioactive ingredients
such as vitamins A and E, essential fatty acids, and other
phytonutrients essential to health. Shea butter contains
compounds such as triterpene acetates and cinnamates,
which a 2010 animal study showed to have significant
anti-inflammatory and anti-tumour benefits for skin.
Refined or unrefined?
Shea butter is a popular ingredient in a number of skin
care products. However, Martin stresses, when choosing
a shea butter product, “the quality of shea butter is
Refined shea butter typically has a whiter, smoother
texture than unrefined and doesn’t have shea butter’s
natural aroma. Martin suggests using only grade A,
unrefined shea butter—either raw or handcrafted—which
will have a creamy pale yellow colour. Unrefined shea
butter is also more grainy and harder than the refined
butter, and will have a slightly nutty smell.
Shop for fair
Moisturizing is crucial to keeping skin soft, smooth,
and healthy-looking. When moisturizing during the
day, opt for light cremes and lotions containing shea
butter. The best time to moisturize is after a bath or
shower when the skin is still damp. “Shea butter will
be quickly absorbed and won’t leave a greasy residue,”
says Martin. “It leaves a protective film on the outer
skin, which will protect it for hours at a time.”
More than 4 million African women are
employed throughout shea butter supply
chains. In countries such as Burkina Faso,
growing and harvesting shea nuts offers
a means for reducing poverty in many
developing communities that lack access
to health and education.
Many shea butter products sold in
Canada are sourced from Fairtrade
certified cooperatives, which ensure
producer communities receive fair prices
and decent working conditions.
Martin recommends hydrating the skin by massaging
first with organic, unrefined sesame oil, or a special
Ayurvedic herbal oil called mahanarayan, before
showering. Olive oil and coconut oil are also options
for those who are sensitive to sesame oil. “These
oils are natural skin cleansers and they prevent
the skin from becoming dehydrated in the shower,”
Buying Fairtrade certified shea butter
ensures the product has been sourced
in a fair and environmentally friendly
manner, supporting the sustainability and
growth of communities around the world.
Works quickly to reduce stress levels,
and provide a calming effect
P Helps provide relief from stress, fatigue and sore
muscles often associated with chronic fatigue
and adrenal exhaustion
P Calming multi-supplement made with natural ingredients
including essential vitamins, minerals and omega oils
P Made with OST® (Omega Suspension Technology™)
You are what you absorb!
P Provides long-term nutritional support to the
Designed by nature.
Proven by science.
Science has spoken
There is an effective, safe natural
remedy for BPH
Although the cause is not fully understood, we know that as he ages,
a man’s testosterone levels decrease, which causes his prostate to
grow. And the more he ages, the greater a man’s chances become
of developing a swollen prostate or Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia.
By age 50, a full 50% of men will have some symptoms, which can
• More frequent urges to urinate, especially during
• Diminished, weak urinary stream
• Feeling that the bladder is never completely empty
• Pain and burning during urination
• Erectile dysfunction
Saw Palmetto has been recommended as a natural remedy for mild
to moderate cases, or as an adjunct to pharmaceutical treatment, but
is it effective? The answer is yes, but only if you pick the right saw
Combine shea butter with essential oils
such as lavender, palmarosa, geranium, or
camomile. Add a few drops of your favourite
essential oil to 1 to 2 Tbsp (15 to 30 mL) of
shea butter to increase its healing benefits
and create a soothing scent.
Hair often gets damaged from dry winter air and sun.
Shea butter’s light, nongreasy texture and exceptional
moisturizing properties make it an ideal leave-in
After shampooing, Martin recommends putting 1/4 to
1/2 tsp (1 to 2 mL) of shea butter in your hand, letting the
body’s temperature naturally melt or soften the butter.
Then apply it to the hair and scalp. “Cover the head with
a towel and leave it in for about 20 to 30 minutes. Then
remove the towel and gently comb the hair and style as
desired,” she says.
Sabalasan Prostate 1, made by natural health
pioneer A.Vogel, is scientifically proven to relieve
urinary symptoms associated with BPH and it’s
also the only Saw Palmetto product proven to
reduce BPH-related sexual dysfunction, without any
undesirable side effects.
The best time to moisturize is after a bath or shower
when the skin is still damp. “After the shower, within
about three to five minutes, once the skin is dry but
still moist, moisturize the skin with pure shea butter
or shea lotion.”
The key to its success lies in the fact that it is made with concentrated
oil, rich in fatty acids, which are the active components of Saw
Palmetto. Other Saw Palmetto products don’t preserve these oils and
so their efficacy is diminished through oxidation.
So don’t try to tough it out against the side effects of BPH and don’t
assume that your only option comes with a lot of unpleasant side
effects. Treat you symptoms- all your symptoms with the proven
power of Sabalasan Prostate 1.
The hands are one of the most important areas to
moisturize because they’re exposed to the elements.
Frequent handwashing depletes the skin’s natural oils,
leaving hands dry and rough. Avoid alcohol-based
sanitizers, which leave the skin dry and aren’t as
effective at killing viruses and bacteria as regular soap
Martin also recommends investing in a pair of organic
cotton gloves to put on at night after moisturizing. “It
helps the skin retain and absorb moisture,” she says. a
Bryce Tarling is a writer and editor who writes for Fair Trade
Vancouver and the Canadian Fair Trade Network.