If you have skin complaints such as eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis or any skin problem at all then you may be frustrated by ineffective and highly toxic modern treatments and the fact that it is often difficult to know whether they are tested on animals or not.
As a sufferer of skin problems for sometime (mainly eczema on my hands) I can truly vouch for the magnificent shea butter. Thankfully it (usually) only has one ingredient; the kernel of the karite tree located in African savannahs. This is boiled and pulped down into said butter.
Shea butter is becoming rapidly more popular in the west (it has been used in Africa for 1000’s of years).
It’s great healing qualities are good news for skin sufferers and bad news for vivisectionists who are constantly testing newer and newer and more and more useless skin products.
I believe shea butter is the ultimate universal skin treatment and ideally should be promoted far and wide until toxic treatments such as hydrocortisone cream no longer exist.
RESOURCE AVAILABILITY SUSTAINABILITY
Its growth is limited to the central belt of Africa but it is a fruit product and so no plant needs to be uprooted for it to be harvested. A shea (karite) tree is said to take between 8 and 20 years to give its first harvest with 15 being a commonly stated average.
Compared to other products from Africa the fairtrade and organic aspects appear to have been much better managed. If you search for shea butter online most of the commercial results come back stating the shea butter is organic and fairtrade. On Ebay UK it is difficult to find any shea butter not claiming to be organic and fairtrade.
For something that is organic and fairtrade you may be surprised to learn that shea butter is CHEAPER than equivalent conservative western products. Even looking at brands commonly available in British supermarkets it is cheaper. As with most things the more you buy the better value you get. On Ebay UK there is a significant difference between 100g and 500g. I get a 500g block when ever I need it and it lasts me months. At time of writing the same company was selling 100g at £2.40 and 500g at £5.99 and also 1kg at £10.72.
This bear in mind is pure raw shea butter which I recommend above any other. You can manipulate this to your desire unlike more expensive processed shea products. Some shea butter comes in tins and plastic tubs but if you order a 500g it usually comes just wrapped in see-through plastic wrapping and so is more environmentally friendly than rival products.
BEST DIRECTIONS FOR USE
Raw pure shea butter can be quite hard but will melt in your hands. However keeping it next to something warm like a radiator before use will ease application. For maximum effect it works at its when applied after bathing. If applied after bathing it will dry quicker but other wise applying a few minutes before going to bed is the best option. It can be applied to any part of the body without side effects.
If use of raw shea butter were to become truly mainstream then clearly this could end with excessive exploitation and inferior products becoming more widely distributed. And of course there is the ultimate question if there is enough resource to sustain demand. Shea butter is already mixed with cheaper ingredients in many products which currently are more expensive presumably for packaging and production reasons. However mixing shea butter with a cheaper more common skin moisturising product like olive oil could be a good idea.
Shea butter farming is done and controlled mainly by women and often children assist as well as part of a non-exploitive family enterprise. This attracts support from international groups interested in helping these social groups. Whilst unfortunately multinationals are heavily involved with the shea market in western Africa in places such as Uganda the farmers still very much control the conditions under which shea is sold and produced. The American Shea Butter Institute has 5 grades for shea butter from A to F with F considered unsuitable for human use. Grade A is usually the only one that is recommended for use in pure form. The other 3 grades are used mainly as one ingredient in other products.
I believe if handled wisely Shea Butter could end a lot of animal testing and human grief with a severely irritating ailment.
Originally posted at the almighty all vegan virtual nation of Havenheed!