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Pile of shea nuts being roasted

The Story behind Our Butters and Waxes

In our balms and butters, we use natural origin butters and waxes. As these can’t be locally sourced we have to look further afield to Africa, America, etc. We buy our ingredients from reliable suppliers who respect the welfare of their workers and with a Fairtrade label when available.

Read on for more information about our organic shea butter, our organic cocoa butter, our berry wax.

Organic shea butter

Shea nuts
Drying shea nuts

Shea butter comes from the karite tree, also known as women’s gold, which grows spontaneously in the dry savannah regions of Africa. It takes about 15 years to produce its first fruit and 25-50 years to reach its full maturity.

Shea butter is still collected, processed and used in much the same way that it was 2,000 years ago. The difference is that shea butter now provides an income to many women that allows their children to go to school and their families to thrive.

African children at school

Shea fruits are round and greenish-yellow – people say it has a taste of heaven! The pits are traditionally gathered by children after the fruit is eaten, or by women walking the savannah and carrying them in baskets on their heads.

The pits are then left to dry in the hot sun and, when dry, the nut is separated from the outer shell, which is traditionally done by older women and young girls who sit on the ground and break them with a small rock.

TREEAID, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The flesh inside the nut is crushed with a mortar and pestle before being roasted over an open wood fire, which is what gives shea butter its characteristic smoky smell. The roasted pits are ground into a smoother paste, and water is gradually added to help separate out the butter oils. The floating butter gets scooped off and excess water is squeezed out, then the mixture is slowly boiled off to remove any remaining water.

Finally, pure shea butter is left in a cool place to harden, and then this creamy or golden yellow product is ready to use!

Shea nuts filled with butter

Shea nuts filled with butter.

Our shea butter is sourced from a co-operative in Ghana, which has both Fairtrade certification from the Fairtrade Foundation and organic status from the Soil Association.

Shea butter is renowned for its health benefits and has exceptional moisturising properties. People using it regularly notice they have softer, smoother and healthier skin.

Organic shea butter is suitable for a variety of skin types and is traditionally used to help ease skin conditions including eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, minor skin irritations, extreme dryness or toughness, stretch marks, burns, cuts and small skin wounds, sunburn, insect bites, ageing marks, fungal infections, scars, dandruff and many more. It can also help protect against extreme cold weather.

Our skincare producs with shea butter

You can find organic shea butter in the following: Cocoa Body butter, Peppermint Foot butter, and in our lip balms.

Organic cocoa butter

Our cocoa butter is the oil content of premium quality cacao beans from South America, extracted after pressing the beans and separating the butter from the cacao paste. It contains several beneficial saturated fats such as palmitic acid.

It’s used primarily as an ingredient in chocolate, as well as being the core ingredient in skin care products as it’s a natural skin moisturiser. Cocoa butter has a delicate chocolate scent and a light texture.

cocoa beans
Ripe cocoa pod and nibs

We buy our pure cocoa butter from a reliable supplier who has organic certification from the Soil Association and is registered by the Vegan Society. This cocoa butter is also allergen free, which means that it does not contain any substances causing allergies (Directive 2007/68/EC) as ingredients or by cross-contamination. It is also gluten free.

cocoa butter
Cocoa butter with nibs.

Our skincare products with cocoa butter

You can find our organic cocoa butter in our Full Chocolate range.

Berry wax

Our berry wax comes from the peel of the fruit of the Chinese lacquer tree (Rhus Verniciflua) and we use it as a vegan substitute for beeswax.

Compared with other waxes such as candelilla wax, it has the advantage of melting at a lower temperature (45-55⁰C), therefore requiring less energy and lowering CO2 emissions.

Another benefit is that we can add essential oils at a lower temperature, which better preserves their properties and avoids them getting damaged.

Berry fruits

Our skincare products with berry wax

Berry wax is used in our Peppermint Foot butter, Blood Orange Lip Balm and Peppermint Lip Balm. Take a look at our Peppermint Foot Butter which was shortlisted for the Natural Health International Beauty Awards 2019.

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