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What is shea butter?

Shea Butter is only found in the tropics of Africa. It is extracted from the nuts of the Shea-Karite tree which begins to bear fruit after about 15 years; and take up to 30 years to bear a quality crop of nuts with a high content of irremovable fatty acid.

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My shea butter is melted.

One of the great things about Shea Butter is its low melting point.  When you apply it to your skin, it literally liquefies.  However, one of the bad things about Shea Butter is its low melting point.  It’s quite possible it will melt in a hot room, car etc.  It may even be melted when its delivered to you in the summer months.  If this happens, don’t worry.  

The Shea Butter is good.  Just take the lid off of the container and set it and allow it to set in a cool place.  As it begins to cool, you may want to give it a stir to bring the olein (liquid parts) back into the contract with the stearin (solid parts) so that the Shea Butter is uniform throughout.

How can I tell if it is good Shea Butter?

Pure Shea Butter can be found in three types of extractions.  Also, recently, 

Shea Butter has begun to be graded.

  1. Raw or unrefined-extracted using water.  The color ranges from lite cream (similar to whipped butter) to grayish yellow.  This is the original from of Shea Butter.
  2. Refined – is more highly processed. Has many of its natural components still intact.
  3. Highly refined or processed – solvents are used to increase the yield (hexane is an example).  The color is pure white.

How do I store Shea Butter?

Shea Butter does not need to be refrigerated.  However, over a period of two or three years, the Shea Butter will begin to lose some of it effectiveness.  As the natural ingredients begin to to break down, some of the healing benefits will be reduced, but the Shea Butter will continue to be an effective moisturizer.  Store Shea Butter in a cool (not necessarily cold) place.  If you’re going to use it within a couple of years, you should have no problems.

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