Fair Trade Shea Butter: Why it's Good for Your Skin and the Women of Ghana

Shea butter is a type of fat that is extracted from the nuts of the Shea tree. These trees are native to West Africa and hence majority of pure Shea butter comes from that region in the world.

Shea butter has been used as an ingredient in the cosmetic industry for centuries now. With its high concentrations of fatty acids and vitamins, along with its very easy-to-spread consistency, it is a great product for smoothing, soothing and conditioning your skin. This blog is going to be talking about all the benefits that Shea butter brings to you and if it isn’t an ingredient that is in your day to day products, then it’s time to rethink them.

Firstly, it is safe for all skin types. While Shea butter is technically a tree nut product, it is very low in the protein that usually triggers nut allergies. It does not contain any chemical irritants known to dry skin out or clog pores. Instead, it contains high levels of Linoleic and Oleic acid. These two acids balance each other out, making it easy for your skin to fully absorb the product without leaving your skin oily. This is why it can be used so commonly by people with a range of skin types.

More so, Shea butter is mainly used for its moisturizing effects. This effect is due to its Shea fatty acid content, tied with its stearic and palmitic acids. The oils in Shea butter act as a “refatting” agent, resorting lipids and rapidly creating moisture. This restores the barrier between your skin and the environment you are in. It holds in the moisture, reducing the risk of dryness.

Another aspect of Shea butter that people love are its anti-inflammatory benefits. This is due to the properties of the plant esters of Shea butter. When applied to the skin, Shea butter triggers cytokines and other inflammatory cells. This results in minimizing irritation that could be caused by harsh environmental factors such as dry weather. Along with this, it can also help skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis. This is due to its anti-inflammatory properties that sooth skin, relieve itching and also gets rapidly absorbed, which can be helpful for when you require quick relief or flare-up solutions. It can also help prevent acne as its unique composition helps clear off excess oil on your skin while also restoring and locking in moisture to your epidermis, so your skin doesn’t feel stripped out of its natural oils.

In addition to reducing inflammation, Shea butter is also linked to tissue remodeling which is very necessary when treating wounds. Due to its protective fatty acid composition, it can help shield wounds during the healing process from irritants that are present in our environment.

As people become more aware of all the benefits that Shea butter brings to them, the demand for the product naturally increases as well. However, it is very important that we purchase only Organic Shea butter that has been produced in Africa in order to really get the good and organically certified raw Shea butter. While a lot of different countries have tried to replicate the product, it has never come close in terms of the quality or standards of the Shea butter produced in Africa.

More so, with the manner in which Shea butter is harvested and managed in Africa, the entire process of getting the product is completely sustainable. It is hand harvested and hand produced. However, exporting Shea butter in very large quantities to other countries is not environmentally or economically sustainable. Therefore, it is important that they are not over-harvested, and the local people of Africa stay in control of their resource. The production of this product has the potential to help so many poor African nations and help improve their overall economy.

All Bela soaps contain certified organic raw Shea butter that is also Fair Trade Certified. We obtain our Shea butter from groups in Ghana that are striving towards sustainably producing Shea butter while also empowering the women in their community.