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Shea Butter : A Woman’s Best Friend
For centuries, women in West and Eastern Africa have used these wonder butters for pregnancy, stretch marks and baby skin-care. These mothers may not have understood the science behind their potent ingredients, but the results proved that they were onto something. Generations of smooth flawless skin cannot be wrong.
This is why Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter are so beneficial during pregnancy:
Shea Butter is a natural occurring fat that is extracted from the Shea tree (Karite : Butyrospermum parkii) found in parts of West and East Africa. It gets its name Shea from the word sii, Bambara word for sacred. Sacred indeed as Shea butter has been used in west Africa for centuries as a healing aid for skin and baby care. Shea butter is concentrated with vitamins A, E and F and fatty acids, which are beneficial to the production of collagen in the skin, making it an excellent moisturizer and skin rejuvenator. It also contains oleic, stearic, palmitic and linolenic acids that protect and nourish the skin to prevent drying.
Shea butter is also known to be an anti-inflammatory, potentially aiding in skin mutations such as acne or stretch marks. As a hair moisturizer, Shea butter naturally conditions hair, improving texture and as a sealant helps in locking in moisture in hair for longer.
Shea butter is best used in its raw state, exposing it to heat through processes such as melting reduces some though not all of its healing properties.
Cocoa butter is another naturally occurring fat extracted from the cacao bean, (pronounced ca.cow) found within the cacao pod found on the cacao tree. The butter is obtained from a process that requires drying, roasting and pressing of the seeds, releasing the vegetable fat from the beans. Cocoa butter is used as a skin moisturizer. It is packed with anti-oxidants which aid fighting off free radicals. Free radicals are causes of skin stressors that cause aging.
For this reasons, cocoa butter is an openly shared secret by pregnant women as being an effective stretch mark preventor with extended use. In its raw state, cocoa butter is solid and has a strong scent, reminiscent of chocolate.
How to use:
On skin: Take a small amount of butter in the palm of your hands. Rub them together to warm and melt the butter. Apply this gently to the skin in small circular motions and blot any excess with a soft tissue
On hair: Take a small amount of butter in the palm of your hands. Rub them together to semi- melt the butter. Apply to sections of the hair gently from tip to root in a downward motion. Finish by twisting the section, or melt completely and scrunch the butter into slightly dampened hair.