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Shea Butter

Q: What is Shea butter?

A: Shea butter comes from the large brown seed of the fruits found on the Shea tree AKA the Karite tree. The Karite tree (Shea tree) grows in West Africa. It is phenomenal for the skin as a moisturizer. Read on to see how to use it!

Q: Does Shea butter clog pores?

A: Many people are on the fence with whether Shea butter does or doesn’t clog pores. Many people actually use Shea butter as an acne treatment to lessen acne. Therefore, Shea butter actually has beneficial qualities to oily skin, not undesirable ones. Shea butter is a hardy substance, but it is by no means pore clogging and acne inducing. If you use Shea butter in moderation and lightly moisturize your face with it, you will see that Shea butter is actually beneficial to your skin.  Shea butter can be especially helpful for acne because it absorbs into the skin and provides moisture without further clogging pores. So, does Shea butter clog pores? The verdict sways into the direct of no.

Q: Can Shea butter be used for acne?

A: Shea butter for acne can be used in this way:

You can begin by washing your face with a cleanser, and then by applying a thin coat of raw (pure) Shea butter to your skin. Only apply the Shea butter to your skin using a sponge, not your hands. Using your hands to touch your skin is one of the causes of acne because it transfers unwanted bacteria to delicate facial skin. Using a clean sponge will eliminate this problem. You can only apply it to the areas that are prone to breakouts if desired. Do not touch your face while the Shea butter is soothing and healing your skin. Dermatologists recommend leaving this on for about 8 hours before rinsing it off. If you are sleeping with the Shea butter on your skin, them make sure it is at least partially absorbed so you do not get it on your bed sheets.

Shea butter for acne is beneficial and not harmful because it has  antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Q: How do I store Shea Butter?

A:There is no need to refrigerate Shea butter. After two or three years it will lose some of its effectiveness as it breaks down, but before that it is one of the best low maintenance multi-purpose products around! Store it in a dry, mild temperature place (Not extreme hot or cold areas).

Q: Shea butter for anti aging? Is there a such thing?

A: Yes! Shea butter for anti aging is one of the best remedies around for dry, aging skin. Shea butter is a wonder for damaged skin and it helps prevent premature wrinkles and lines. The vitamins in Shea butter rejuvenate the skin and helps soften it. Shea Butter easily penetrates the skin allowing the skin to breathe and not clogging pores. Shea Butter has a high level of cinnamic acid, a natural sun screen. This natural sun screen factor makes it just that much better for anti aging and skin protection! Don’t substitute it for regular sun screen just yet, because regular sun screen has been proven to protect you from skin cancer, Shea butter has not. If you are interested in where to find Shea butter, try using it in the LifeCell anti wrinkle serum. This anti wrinkle product uses Shea butter as a main ingredient to keep the skin youthful and healthy. It is made by LifeCell, and it is a premium anti aging product to reduce and prevent wrinkles and aging.

Q: Tips on finding the best Shea butter?

A: Always try to go for raw pure Shea butter. Avoid Shea butter that is mixed with dyes and fragrances. Above all, do not use Shea butter with other cheap oils like canola oil and sunflower oil. Some products will try to sell Shea butter mixed with these cheap oils to make more money. Go for the real deal, which is raw, pure Shea butter.

Q: What is the difference between refined and unrefined shea butter?

A: The African Fair Trade Society only carries 100% pure unrefined shea butter. If shea butter has been refined, it has been through one or more chemical processes, this leads it to lose its healing properties. It’s these healing properties, combined with the unparalleled moisturizing abilities that set shea butter apart from everything else.

Q: How does Shea Butter “heal” my skin?

A: Shea Butter has a very high “healing fraction”, up to 12% of the butter’s make-up (more than any other type of seed oil). These amazing healing properties have shown great success in treating various skin problems such as wrinkles, blemishes, skin allergies, eczema, and other skin conditions. Shea Butter can be used when treating minor cuts, scrapes, and soothing sunburns. Shea butter also has the ability to reduce inflammation, which makes shea butter the premiere product to speed the healing of skin that has undergone cosmetic surgery or tattooing.

Q: How does Shea Butter protect my skin?

A: Shea Butter has a naturally occurring latex that places an “active seal” on your skin. The moisture of your skin is sealed in while the shea butter protects your skin from outside environmental factors, such as dirt and pollution. Your skin is nourished, moisturized and protected throughout the day.

Shea Butter also provides light protection from the sun, and works with your sunscreen, by moisturizing and protecting your skin from absorbing the sunscreen. We highly recommend you always take precautions when out in the sun for an extended time.

Q: I have sensitive skin, and I’m prone to breaking out. Will shea butter help me?

A: Shea butter closely resembles the oils your own skin manufactures to keep your skin nourished, elastic, and moisturized. There are no chemicals, preservatives, colorants, dyes, or perfumes in African Fair Trade unrefined shea butter. We believe the common overuse of synthetic ingredients is partially why people develop skin sensitivities, especially those with a tendency to break out.

Q: I have allergies. Is Shea Butter safe for me to use?

A: If you have a sensitivity or allergic reaction to latex, you may react to shea butter. Although the quantities of latex in shea butter are very small, this natural latex is responsible for the “sealing” property that shea butter has, and which protects your skin from external environment factors.

Q: I’m pregnant, and I’ve heard that shea butter helps to prevent stretch marks. Is this true?

A: Shea Butter is the best moisturizer you can use all over your body while you’re pregnant. It moisturizes your skin, soothes “tummy itch” and protects the elasticity of your skin, so it is able to stretch as much as necessary, with minimal scarring.

Q: Can I use Shea Butter on my newborn baby?

A: Yes!!! Shea Butter nourishes and protects your baby’s delicate skin like nothing else available. Use it to protect your baby’s bottom from diaper rash, or if your baby develops cradle cap, shea butter is the only cream you will need to soothe and heal this condition. Also, your baby will love having daily shea butter massages.

Cocoa Butter

Q: How is your Cocoa Butter made? Is it OK to use it in baking and chocolate recipes, and is it healthy?

A: Cocoa butter is mechanically pressed from roasted, winnowed, and milled chocolate liquor. Prior to pressing, the cocoa butter is centrifuged to remove any remaining solids. It is identical to the cocoa butter used in food products and is appropriate for any use, including baking. In fact, we obtain this ingredient from a producer of fine chocolate.

According to the International Cocoa Organization, “Cocoa butter is the fat that occurs in cocoa beans and is used in the manufacture of chocolate. Cocoa butter, like all fats, is composed of several fatty acids - approximately Palmitic acid 25%, Linoleic acid 3%, Stearic acid 35%, Oleic acid 35% and others 2%. Stearic and palmitic acids are saturated fatty acids, oleic is a monounsaturated fatty acid and linoleic acid is a polyunsaturated fatty acid.

Research has shown that cocoa butter does not raise cholesterol as might be predicted by its saturated fatty acid content, because of the neutral effects of stearic acid on blood cholesterol levels. Unlike palmitic or other saturated fats, stearic acid does not raise blood cholesterol. Forty years of research have shown that cocoa butter has a neutral effect on blood cholesterol.”

Cocoa butter is also prized as a healthy oil for the skin and scalp.

Q: When should I start using your stretch products?

A:The sooner you start using these products, the better your results will be. No product will work for every person, but keeping the skin moisturized and supple during pregnancy is essential to help foster the best results. Shealite recommends that you first consult your doctor before beginning any new skincare regimen.

Q: How long does it take to see results?

A: Stretch marks don't just happen overnight. Immediately, you should notice that your skin looks smoother and more moisturized. After a few weeks, skin's tone and texture is improved and marks are softened. In time you'll notice an overall improvement in the appearance of your stretch marks while skin takes on a healthier, firmer look.

Q: I'm not pregnant; will your products work on my stretch marks?

A: Shealite's Cocoa Butter works best when used at the beginning of pregnancy or before any significant weight change where the skin might be stretched. You can expect that the Shealite's Cocoa Butter will help skin's moisture content and elasticity, improving the appearance of stretch marks. Skin tone and texture will look more even and your stretch marks will appear softened.

Coconut Oil

Q: What are the uses of Coconut Oil?

A: There are many uses of coconut oil and many ways to incorporate it into one’s diet. Since it is a stable cooking oil, one can simply replace unhealthy oils in their diet with coconut oil. Since it is a solid most of the time at room temperature or when refrigerated, it can be a butter or margarine substitute for spreads or for baking. Any recipe calling for butter, margarine, or any other oil can be substituted for coconut oil. It is popularly mixed in with “smoothies.” Many people do eat it simply by the spoon full. If you refrigerate or freeze Virgin Coconut Oils the taste changes completely, and some describe it like a “candy” or “white chocolate.” Some people fill up ice cube trays with coconut oil and then store them in the freezer. Some people use it as a spread, and a lot of people put it into their coffee or tea. There are also hundreds of FREE coconut oil recipes here that have been submitted by our customers over the years.

Q: Can I use it as a moisturizer?

A: For dry skin and other skin conditions it makes a wonderful moisturiser which protects against damage and promotes healing - this is because it contains vitamin E and antioxidants. Coconut oil, also, boosts metabolism which in turn means improved cellular activity which promotes healing. If you’re using it topically for psoriasis, I’d suggest using a small amount as it seems to ‘go a long way’, then reapply if you feel you need more.

Q: Does it affect the oil if it goes liquid in the warm weather?

A: No is the simple answer! As a saturated fat, coconut oil is solid below 24 degrees and will melt above this temperature. Nutrients are not lost when it changes from a solid to a liquid and vice versa.  In warmer countries coconut oil is always a liquid, which explains why it is put in to narrow neck bottles that would not work in the colder UK.

Q: Is coconut oil good for acne?

A: Coconut oil makes for a wonderfully natural, soothing, skin moisturiser. Predominantly made up of lauric acid, it also contains vitamin E which keeps skin healthy and ensures the proper functioning of sebum glands and can help clear blockages. Use a small pea-sized amount as a moisturiser . Rub it between your fingertips until it melts than gently massage onto your face.

In addition, starting your day with a glass of warm water and lemon juice acts as a fantastic detox which might also help the complexion.

Q: Are there “side effects” to Coconut Oil?

A: Coconut oil is a food, not a medication, and therefore it does not have “side effects.” Since individuals vary, there could be adverse reactions, especially if your body is used to a low-fat diet regimen. The most common reaction is diarrhea. While 3.5 Tbsp. is recommended as the daily intake by some researchers, it is probably best not to start with that amount, or eat it all at once. Spread it out over the course of the day, and reduce the amount you ingest if there are unwanted effects. Like any food, some people could possibly have allergic reactions to coconut oil as well, although it does NOT contain any appreciable amounts of protein as the meat of the coconut would, and most food allergies are related to proteins. Traditionally coconut oil has nourished millions, if not billions, of people throughout Asia for thousands of years.

Q: Does one get the same benefits with Coconut Cream as Coconut Oil?

A: Since Coconut Cream Concentrate (CCC) contains about 70% fat which is pure coconut oil, there are a lot of the same benefits. But one must realize that there is more to the CCC than the pure coconut oil. It is the whole coconut. Therefore, for example, it has sugar (natural), fiber, and protein. So it depends on the needs of the individual and what they expect. CCC will obviously have more carbs than coconut oil, since pure coconut oil has no carbs and no sugar. But CCC has LESS carbs than coconut milk, because it contains all the fiber. CCC has more fiber per gram than grains do, so it is a great way for people to get fiber into their diet, especially if they don’t want to eat grains. CCC is definitely a low-carb food because of the fiber. One complaint of many people on a low-carb diet is that they have occasional intestinal and digestive problems because of the lack of fiber in their diet. So CCC is a great product for them. Please note that CCC is a food, not a cooking oil.