SHEA BUTTER VS SHEA OIL
A lot of people are familiar with Shea Butter due to its many uses and benefits. It has become a household product and is far known, unlike Shea Oil. Some presume Shea Oil is the melted form of Shea Butter, however, it is not.
The questions that come to mind regarding the two are if one is better than the other and if there are any major differences? Hopefully, by the end of this blog, these questions will be tackled and we will be more abreast with knowledge on both Shea Butter and Shea Oil.
Shea Butter is extracted from the nuts of a Shea-Karite tree found only on the continent of Africa. It grows naturally in the wild and the dry savanna belt of West Africa stretching to East Africa. It is often the only tree allowed to grow through its allotted lifespan of 400 years or more. A Shea nut starts producing fruit after 15-20 years or more and will reach full production in 40-50 years. It is edible and used in food preparation in some African countries. Shea Butter has been used as a cosmetic ingredient for most moisturizers and soaps because of its vitamins and fatty acids.
COMPONENTS OF SHEA BUTTER
Shea Butter and Shea Oil are mainly made up of the same components since they are all extracted from the Shea nut.
They all contain; Stearic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Oleic Fatty Acids, Palmitic Acid, Antioxidants Vitamin E, and Vitamin A.
TYPES OF SHEA BUTTER
Shea Butter comes in;
Raw/Unrefined Shea Butter; water is the only thing that is used in the making of Shea Butter. The color will be based on the type of nuts used, with the color ranging from off-white to an actual yellow. The only drawback that comes with the Raw Shea Butter is the odor, which isn’t that bad and fades after it is applied.
Refined Shea Butter; this is highly more processed and deodorized. The more Shea is refined, the more its natural goodness is removed.
Shea Oil is a byproduct or fraction of the Shea Butter making process. Like the Shea Butter, Shea Oil is also extracted from the nut of the Shea tree. It is rich in essential fatty acids, Vitamin A, E, and F.
During the cold pressing process, all of the nourishing ingredients in Shea butter are drawn out into concentrated oil, while the compounds (Stearic acid) that make the butter solid and waxy are left behind giving it a rich but light texture. It is harder to come by Shea Oil than Shea Butter as is more labor-intensive.
SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES OF SHEA BUTTER & SHEA OIL.
When it comes to similarities, both Shea products (butter and oil) offer very similar benefits. This includes;
- Versatility in their use for both hair and skin.
- Just like Shea Butter, Shea Oil moisturizes, heals, and softens the skin and hair.
- Both Shea products have healing properties and can be used for a variety of skin ailments such as Eczema.
- Both Shea products are natural and are made from Shea Nuts.
The most obvious difference between the Shea butter and Shea Oil is their texture, as by their name one is butter (solid) and the other oil (liquid). This difference comes about because of their Chemical composition, specifically in their Stearic Acid content, which is high in Shea Butter giving it a waxy and thick texture and vice versa.
This makes Shea Oil a better option when making one’s body oil blend as it's thinner and would mix easily and consistently, with Shea butter being ideal when making a personal body butter since the Shea Oil is too thin to maintain the butter texture you would want for your body butter.
Shea Oil because is much thinner in consistency than Shea butter, it does not necessarily provide the same kind of protection against the elements like Shea Butter. So if you are someone who spends the most time outside especially in the cold and dry weather conditions, Shea Butter will be a better option for you.
USES OF SHEA BUTTER AND SHEA OIL
The uses of Shea Butter and Shea Oil are superabundant which runs through medicinal and cosmetic usage. I doubt we would be able to list all of its uses in this article, these are some of its uses;
- Massages; include muscle fatigue, aches, rheumatism, reducing inflammation, and tension.
- Sex lubricant; is safe and perfect for spicing things up during lovemaking.
- Lip Balm; especially during the cold season and dry weather conditions
- Stretch marks prevention during pregnancy
- Conditioner and leave-in conditioner for hair to prevent hair breakage and dandruff
- To moisturize the skin and feet to prevent cracks especially during the Harmattan and winter seasons.
- Wound healing; especially burns from heat (spilled hot oil, burns from hot utensils/iron)
- Relieves Nasal Congestion; it is more effective to use the Shea Butter in the nostrils to reduce inflammation and release phlegm in the nasal passages.
- Hot Oil Treatment; it is also more effective in using Shea Oil for hot oil treatment as it easily absorbs and penetrates the roots better.
- Helps in the treatment of some skin diseases like Eczema etc
Here are a couple of recipes you can create with the use of Afrikinky Shea products
SHEA BUTTER RECIPES
CREAMY SHEA BUTTER MIX
- 1 cup Afrikinky Shea butter
½ cup virgin Coconut oil
½ cup Almond oil (or any other oils of your choice)
Mix the Afrikinky Shea butter and Coconut oil by melting them in a double boiler
Stir till they are completely melted into a liquid state
Allow cooling for 3-4 minutes
Add Almond oil (or any other oils of choice) and mix well
Place in a refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to solidify, but not so hard too
Once it solidified, remove from the refrigerator and whip the oil blends with a hand mixer/ kitchen aid mixer until you get a thick, creamy consistency
Add drops of your preferred fragrance if needed and stir till completely mixed
Transfer into an airtight container.
NB; Some may decide to use this for their hair also (whatever works for you)
VANILLA- MINT LIP BALM
- 2 tablespoon Afrikinky Shea butter
- 1 tablespoon beeswax
- 1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
- 6-8 drops peppermint oil
- ½ teaspoon vanilla essential oil
- Melt the Afrikinky Shea butter, Coconut oil, and beeswax over a double boiler
- Set aside to cool slightly and then add the peppermint and vanilla oil drops and stir to thoroughly mix
- Pour the concoction into a lip balm tube, or small jars with a lid
- Leave aside until the content sets and solidifies, and cover with a lid.
Your lip balm is done, use it as preferred.
Now that you have read up on these amazing natural products, are you ready to delve in? The possibilities are endless with Afrikinky Shea butter, and Shea oil. Visit www.AFRIKINKY.com to create your own magic, while embracing authentic, all-natural, hand-crafted products.