Skin Care with Shea
Shea Butter is solid but soft at room (unlike pure cocoa butter which is like a soft stone. temperature but quickly liquefies at body temperature. Pure unrefined organic Shea butter will melt effortlessly into your skin. So although some find it looks heavy it's actually deceiving - it is ‘light’ and has a low melting point. The colder the skin or atmosphere the harder it will be of course for it to melt.
In Africa it is used not just for food, but also for moisturising, as healing cream, for hair and skin care. It has been used as a decongestant, an anti-inflammatory for sprains, arthritis, rheumatism, headaches etc . If that is not enough, also for cooking (the nut), cooking oil (the butter), and for the residue from the butter is baked in the sun and used as fuel (fire blocks).
"We rub it all over our babies at birth straight after its bath and put some onto the umbilical cord as a salve - and bless the child "
Ghana, Sierra Leone and Togo are some countries that do this.
The protective and emollient properties of shea butter are most valued for skin care in central Togo and Ghana (along with African black soap). All its uses have now been clinically proven.
DID YOU KNOW Shea not only moisturises your skin for up to 48 hours but helps it absorb more moisture from the air.
OBSERVATION. Its astonishing to me, I have or cream oil into skin is done with the vigour of polishing a table. You only need to rub oil in gently. Over the years, if this harsh treatment is continued, the skin will feel so battered it will lose to all the pressure and will stretch so much encouraging lines and weakening the skin or even causing callous tough areas
HOW TO USE SHEA BUTTER
Shea butter can be used all over the body from scalp to tips of your toes to treat it or moisturise it.
- Rub a little between your fingers or palm of your hand then simply apply to affected area, as body butter or face cream. Or put directly on the area and rub in gently. Wait just one minutes for it to absorb fully. The oily feeling (the fatty acids) will disappear within 10 minutes
- Can be applied to face scalp and feet - great to improve condition of hair and scalp.
- Can be used as hand cream, barrier cream, lip salve or sun block throughout the day. Particularly good for winter harsh weather protection.
- Rub into hard cracked skin on feet at night (put on socks after) to wake up to softer skin after just a few days.
Best time to apply is immediately after a bath or shower when skin is a little warmer. Get a partner or family member to rub on your back.
ORDER SOME PURE SHEA BUTTER NOW:
DID YOU KNOW It is thought that the Queen of Sheba and Cleopatra all used shea butter for skin care. It would have been regular daily care. would. Also used by the tribal kings and queens for millennia over the rest of Africa too.
Every week give your skin a work out by exfoliating with a body Salt Sea rock salt or sugar scrub mixed with a little of our shea butter soap. Shea butter firms the skin and you will notice this after a few weeks if you are using over whole body. Scrubbing your body gently, will invigorate it (stimulating blood circulation) and help slough off dead skin and helping further in keeping it firm.
TIP If your exercise involves a lot of walking or running rub some shea into your feet and between toes before slipping into your trainers.
TIP Use only gentle organic products which has no SLS, parabens, Lanolins artificial colours or perfume (unless derived from added natural herbs and organic oils),
You can use shea as a TREATMENT FACE MASK
- Just put a good quantity of shea on your face and neck (or area you want treatment) till you face/body looks really shiny
Then leave on for at least 15 minutes (if relaxing or working at home you can keep it on for as long as you like)
Massage your face and neck gently
Then rinse off with warm water and diluted natural chemical free soap (use one of ours) or just warm water. Just once. Then dry.
- Apply a little shea to the area, if necessary. This will be absorbed in less than two minutes.
- Your skin will feel well moisturised, firmer and invigorated.
TIP you can (but not necessary) put the shea in a small dish, add tiny drop of almond oil, Vitamin E oil and Sunflower oil then blend together before applying to area. It is easier to blend if gently heated. See instructions below.
DID YOU KNOW Shea is perfect as a barrier cream for heavy duty work in the garden, building site, mechanical work and other jobs that are hard on the hands and helps heal any nips and scratches into the bargain.
HOW TO MELT DOWN SHEA BUTTER.
It requires only a little heat. Put boiling water in a cup place a saucer or small bowl on top of the cup of boiled water then place a little shea butter in the little saucer /bowl and and in just a few seconds the shea will melt sufficiently to apply to your scalp and rub through your hair. You can also use a bain marie (used by enthusiastic cooks and chefs) to melt it down.
or Rinse with warm water
AFTER: (For European hair) If you feel it necessary dilute some apple or cider vinegar in water and rinse it through hair. One part cider vinegar to five part water. If you can get an organic one - its better as it will not have any chemical residue and will be environmentally friendly.
The condition of your skin is vital to your general health. In fact your skin is the largest organ on your body (its regarded as an organ) and of course the only one visible. It is a living breathing barometer that can give a very clear indicator of what is happening inside. Some skins are very sensitive, and shea is very effective in soothing and calming sensitive skin. Skin has its own protective barrier, the acid mantle. If breached (usually by toxins in the environment and chemical skin care and bath products) can lead to skin 'diseases.
callous skin can cause a painful spot. It is sometimes cut of (in layers) with a special blade by a foot specialist. You can seek such treatment first followed by regular application of shea butter to the area over several weeks to completely heal and bring skin back to softness. Or apply shea over area for several weeks without prior removal of hard skin if spot is not painful. It will soften and eventually clear up! Help it along by using volcanic rock (pumice stone) to gently rub the area to remove dead skin.
CALLOUS is the skins way of protecting itself from external aggravation and get you to SEE that something needs to be done.
DON'T SHAMPOO YOUR HAIR!
Way back in the mist of time before airplanes and i pods, various tribes and cultures did not 'wash' their hair - not like we do. In fact it has been proven that the hair cleans itself This cleansing process is done by the sebum we produce which also keeps the hair shiny and infection free. The chemicals in shampoos damages this sebum. Thereby stopping this beautiful natural process! However, especially in European hair, not washing for a a period of time can see the hair get greasy and lank at first before it suddenly burst out into a shiny bounce!! It is thought that the constant washing and the chemicals in shampoos can also thins the hair.
How to clean your hair
If we had the luxury of living on a paradise island (which one shampoo company capitalises on in their advertising) we could get our hair clean with just 5 minutes standing under a waterfall, which would also massage the scalp. No shampoo required. Why?
It was proven over 20 years ago that if you did not wash your hair at all, at first you might feel uncomfortable especially after 3 to 6 weeks, but after that the hair stops smelling feeling oily as the hair gets back its own equilibrium, by the time we reach the 6th month hair will become shiny healthy and bouncy because it will be coated with the sebum we produce naturally from the scalp, which is "designed" to keep the hair protected and clean. It will also help prevent some scalp conditions.
The main ingredient for cleaning your hair is WATER. Warm water. Even for oily hair. Soft water is best. dry hair and style. However try the following.
In city life the clean and shiny hair will be even better if the hair is kept protected from pollution by wearing a hat or head tie some times.
TRY THIS (Suitable for all hair types)
- Stand under a shower and just let the water run through your hair for as long as possible.(or pour water over your head again and again) for up to 4 minutes
- Rub the natural scalp cleanser for dry hair or oily hair (see below) into your hair and scalp
- gently massage scalp and rub into hair
- leave in hair for 5 minutes - this will break down dust and dirt particles and loosen dead skin
- Massage again
- Rinse thoroughly - see the dirt come out. ( No detergent based shampoo required). Repeat
- Dry hair - apply shea butter oil to scalp (or our luscious smelling "Amazing" oil) - massage mostly into scalp thoroughly and a little through hair. Acts like a hair dress only. will not leave hair greasy if moderate amount applied
- style as normal
- Hair does not normally require washing every day. It can cause the scalp to be become very dry and itchy over time, especially if no oil or moisturiser is rubbed into scalp from time to time.
- Hair washing is comforting and exhilarating - how often its done, and method used is up to you. Healthy scalp will create healthy hair.
- NORMAL TO DRY HAIR SHAMPOO FREE HAIR CLEANSING MIX
- Put half cup Aloe vera - (at least 99% pure aloe) into a small bowl
- Add 6 drops of Almond oil or Vitamin E oil
- 6 drops of our "Amazing" oil
- Mix well
- for deep treatment also add tablespoon organic blackstrap mollases or manuka honey.
- Put half cup Aloe vera - (at least 99% pure)
- Add 3 drops lemon oil and 2 tablespoon of lemon juice (squeeze half a lemon)
- OR instead of lemon juice 2 tablespoon of cider or apple vinegar (organic)
- teaspoon of honey
- Mix well
HOW TO USE SHEA BUTTER AS A DECONGESTANT
For sinusitis, blocked nose and chestiness. Rub as much as possible in the nose and around the nose particularly the bridge of the nose . Also rub into the chest. To deepen the effect you can add a ;little tea tree oil. But not peppermint or menthol as they can burn.
It is thought to work because of its deep moisturising and decongestant attributes softens and relaxes the muscles/capillaries and anti-inflammatory properties soothes inflamed areas allowing a clearing of airways!
PURE UNREFINED SHEA BUTTER IS NATURALLY FREE FROM
- Mineral Oils
- Sodium Laurel Sulphate (SLS) *
- Other sulphates (SLES)*
- Glycerine (you can,however, get vegetable based glycerines (eg soy), which is often used in quality natural soaps, this is fine)
DID YOU KNOW Shea butter is Hypoallergenic and non toxic. Suitable for Sensitive skins, Vegans and Vegetarians.
Both Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) and its close relative. are commonly used in many soaps, shampoos, detergents, toothpastes and other products that we expect to "foam up". Both chemicals are very effective foaming agents, chemically known as surfactants.
Unfortunately, both sodium laureth sulfate and its cousin are also very dangerous, highly irritating chemicals. Far from giving "healthy shining hair" and "beautiful skin", soaps and shampoos containing sodium laureth sulfate can lead to direct damage to the hair follicle, skin damage, permanent eye damage in children and even liver toxicity
Although sodium laureth sulfate is somewhat less irritating than SLS, it cannot be metabolised by the liver and its effects are therefore much longer-lasting. This not only means it stays in the body tissues for longer, but much more precious energy is used getting rid of it.
A report published in the Journal of The American College of Toxicology in 1983 showed that concentrations of SLS as low as 0.5% could cause irritation and concentrations of 10-30% caused skin corrosion and severe irritation. (National Institute of Health USA) of chemical ingredients lists over 80 products that contain SLS and SLES. Some soaps have concentrations of up to 30%, which the ACT report called "highly irritating and dangerous".
Shampoos are among the most frequently reported products to the FDA. Reports include eye irritation, scalp irritation, tangled hair, swelling of the hands, face and arms and split and fuzzy hair. This is highly characteristic of sodium laureth sulfate and almost definitely directly related to its use.
So why is a dangerous chemical like sodium laureth sulfate used in our soaps and shampoos?
The answer is simple - it is cheap. The sodium laureth sulfate found in our soaps is exactly the same as you would find in a car wash or even a garage, where it is used to degrease car engines.
In the same way as it dissolves the grease on car engines, SLES also dissolves the oils on your skin, which can cause a drying effect. It is also well documented that it denatures skin proteins, which causes not only irritation, but also allows environmental contaminants easier access to the lower, sensitive layers of the skin.
This denaturing of skin proteins may even be implicated in skin and other cancers.
Perhaps most worryingly, sodium laureth sulfate is also absorbed into the body from skin application. Once it has been absorbed, one of the main effects of SLS is to mimic the activity of the hormone Oestrogen. This has many and may be responsible for a variety of health problems from PMS and Menopausal symptoms to dropping male fertility and increasing female cancers such as breast cancer, where oestrogen levels are known to be involved.
Products commonly found to contains SLS or Sodium Laureth Sulfate and parabens
Washing-up liquid / dish soap
Childrens soaps / shampoos
Mascara (most masscaras do not list ingredients! see Dying to be Beautiful in my blog
Moisture lotion / Moisturiser
Sun Cream and more...
The use of sodium laureth sulfate in childrens products is particularly worrying. It is known that, whether it gets in the eyes or not, skin application DOES lead to measurable concentrations in the eyes of children. This is known to affect eye development, and the damage caused in this manner is irreversible.
If you have children DO NOT USE products containing sodium laureth sulfate , SLS, parabens, (preservatives) petro chemicals (petroleum jelly) artificial perfumes and colours. They will thank you for it one day.
Do not believe that just because a product is labeled as natural" it is free from SLS or sodium laureth sulfate or other harmful chemicals. ("This is just greenwashing in many cases - for you to put faith in the product and trust it). Most common brands of "Natural" or "Herbal" shampoos and cleansers still use these harmful chemicals as their main active ingredient - check your labels!
That is not to say that you can't get sodium laureth sulfate-free shampoos, soaps, detergents and toothpastes. Some highly reputable companies have been producing such products for years. These products not only do not contains no sodium laureth sulfate, they are also free of other harmful chemical colourings, preservatives and even flavourings.
SLS is used routinely in clinical studies. This may suggest a level of comfort, however, the way in which it is used is disturbing. Despite being the number one active ingredient in virtually all soaps, shampoos and cleansers, the sole purpose of using SLS in clinical studies is to cause skin irritation that can then be used to identify the properties of other chemicals!
Amazing isn't it? For years, we have been applying known irritants to our skin on a daily basis. To quote the ACT report "The abbreviated symbol for Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is used around the world in clinical studies as a skin irritant. SLS is the universal standard, by which a measured percentage is evaluated to promote a given level of irritation and reaction. By this SLS standard level of irritation, it is then possible to evaluate the healing or modifying characteristics of any ingredient or formula used on the SLS irritated skin."
Most worryingly, irritation has been shown to occur at concentrations of 0.5%, which is 1/60th the concentration found in some hand soaps. Caveat emptor! (BUYER BEWARE)
In the last 100 years or so, many new health problems have come to light. These include PMS / PMT, the so-called "menopausal symptoms" which never used to exist, and more recently a massive drop in male fertility which threatens our continued existence in many western countries. SLS is most likely a major contributor to all of these problems due to its oestrogen mimicking activity.
Oestrogen is a hormone found quite normally in both men and women. Like all other hormones, it's circulating levels are rigidly controlled by the glands of the body due to the potent effect of its presence on virtually all cells. Not only does SLS irritate the skin, it is also absorbed through the skin (high levels of skin penetration may occur at even low concentration). Once in the body, the SLS molecule attaches to oestrogen receptors, mimicking the effects of the hormone in various body systems.
The result is hormonal chaos. The body can no longer control it's own oestrogen levels (or at least, what it sees as it's own oestrogen levels - it can't tell the difference between endogenous oestrogen and SLS) and therefore loses control of many normal endocrine (hormonal) functions.
In women, the reproductive system, which is totally controlled by oestrogen and progesterone, goes haywire. Rapidly shifting oestrogen levels and their effect on progesterone levels mean that the body is totally confused, leading to menstrual problems, menopausal symptoms and potentially infertility. Because this subject is so important, we have devoted a whole section of this site to womens health.
Eye Irritation / eye deformities in children
Have you ever got shampoo in your eyes? Yes, so have I - not pleasant is it? However, the potential effects of SLS on the eye are much more worrying. In animal studies, 10% SLS caused acute corneal damage. However, it is not just direct eye contact that is the problem. According to the American College of Toxicology, "tests show permanent eye damage in young animals from skin contact in non-eye areas". In other words, because SLS is absorbed through the skin, it can cause PERMANENT eye damage WITHOUT ever directly coming into contact with your eyes. As a result, you would expect that childrens products would be SLS-free. Unfortunately not, most childrens shampoos contain just as much SLS as those for adults.
Thankfully,alternatives DO exist, though you would be hard-pressed to find them in your local chemist or supermarket.
Our cells are made from protein. The development of those cells is strictly regulated by the reproductive processes that are continually at work removing damaged and old cells and replacing them with healthy new ones. Virtually every cell in the body is replaced at least every 7 years.
SLS exerts its effects on proteins by forming a chemical bridge between the fat-soluble and water-soluble parts of the protein molecule. This disrupts the hydrophobic forces needed to maintain the protein structure and the molecule collapses, rendering it useless. This effect is usually irreversible.
The result of this is two-fold. Firstly, existing proteins are damaged, leading to an increase in the amount of healing required by the body. Secondly, new proteins can be damaged and cells disrupted while they are under construction. It is exactly this type of activity that can lead to the early stages of skin cancer.
Carcenogenicity (Cancer causimg)
Quite apart from it's potential to cause pre-cancerous conditions by denaturing proteins, the oestrogen mimicking effects of SLS also offers massive potential to cause cancer. It is known that many cancers, not least breast and ovarian cancer are directly related to oestrogen levels, in fact some cancer cells actually secrete their own oestrogen, which contributes to the growth of the tumour.
Clearly, by disrupting normal oestrogen levels AND by causing similar effects at a cellular level as endogenous oestrogen, SLS exhibits MASSIVE potential to both cause and worsen cancerous states. The incidence of breast cancer has increased several-fold in the last 50 years, both in women and in men. Currently, according to the American Cancer Society, men account for approximately 1% of all breast cancer cases. This subject is discussed in more detail in our section. Natural Health Information Centre
There is also a third way by which SLS can potentially cause cancer. Carcinogenic nitrates can form in the manufacturing of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or by its inter-reaction with other nitrogen bearing ingredients within a formulation utilizing this ingredient (many shampoos contain nitrate compounds). A single shampooing can produce more cancer-causing nitrates in the body than eating a pound of bacon, which is VERY high in nitrates!
Whether it is by these means or not, SLS in a known mutagen - it is capable of damaging the genetic material found every cell in your body. As mutagenicity has been strongly linked to cancer, this is a major concern.
We will do our best to help and advise you on ways to limit both your exposure and your risk.
Take control of your health and exchange your toxin-filled household wiith chemical-free products SEE MORE HARMFUL CHEMICALS IN OUR INGREDIENTS PAGE
HERE'S A SURPRISE
"Can toothpaste contribute to canker sores? (Mouth ulcers) Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is the detergent found in most toothpastes. But research from Oslo, Norway indicates SLS may precipitate canker sores in people already prone to get them
Oral surgeon Paul Barkvoll found a 70 percent decrease in occurrence of canker sores (mouth ulcers) when susceptible persons switched to a toothpaste that did not contain SLS. Barkvoll suspects the ingredient dries out the protective mucous layer lining the mouth, leaving the gums and cheeks vulnerable to irritants like acids in foods.
Until recently, the only U.S marketed toothpaste without SLS was Rembrandt’s Natural. But others are now following suit.
Wall Street Journal 1993"
Why not try natural toothpaste which can often found in health food stores and some good pharmacies
HOW TO STORE Shea butter has a long shelf life can last up to two years! However it is quite delicate and requires storing in warm to cool dry place or at room temperature. Never in a cold place and DO NOT REFRIGERATE (has olieac acids in it which does not like cold and will compromise the shea).
"Looking at cosmetic and skin care labels won't necessarily tell you what the ingredients are. Why? Because the cosmetic industry doesn't require companies to tell the public what chemicals they use during manufacturing. Why is that important? Because many of those chemicals are toxic to our bodies.
"There are over 10,500 ingredients found in the skin care products used by men, women and children on a daily basis. Only 11% of those products have been tested for safety. Regulations for the cosmetic industry are lax at best. A recent study by the Environmental Working Group found that:
Approx. 33% of those products contain ingredients that are linked to cancer. 60% have ingredients that can act like estrogen, or disrupt hormones. And 45% contain chemicals/ingredients that may be harmful to our reproductive systems or to a baby's development.
The facts don't lie. Chemicals in our cosmetics and skin care items contain toxic ingredients linked to poor health and diseases. Some scientists are even saying that these chemicals may be causing the increased numbers of children with ADHD, some cancers and more. The National Cancer Institute reports that women who dye their hair have a 50% higher risk of developing non-hodgkin's lymphoma (cancer). The FDA released a report that 40% of the tested talcum powders contain asbestos.
Many chemicals used in the U.S. have been banned in Europe because they are toxic to the human body.
What we need to do is to find products that are using safe ingredients, companies that are using green manufacturing. Companies that have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics and meet the EU formula standards. That means you can be assured that the formulation standards are free of chemicals known to, or strongly suspected of causing
mutations, cancers, birth defects and more.
.Excerpt from E-how.
- USING SHEA FOR ATHLETES FOOT - After a bath at night wash feet thoroughly again. With a clean town or throwaway tissue dry feet and in between toes. Rub shea butter into affected area ensuring it is rubbed deeply into skin. Wash hand before treating another area of feet. If you want put on sock - best if light weight or cotton. Continue to do this every day TWICE a day for 4-6 weeks. The anti-fungal properties works slowly but effectively. The shea also acts as a breathable barrier from further infection!
- USING SHEA TO GIVE SCALP A TREAT - Rub small spots of shear butter all over scalp. Part hair into sections if necessary. Massage all of scalp an leave for 10 - 15 minutes.Shower and rinse scalp with warm water for at least 5 minutes. Comb or brush through hair.
- USING SHEA ON ECSMA AND PSORIASIS - Oner of the most important things to control or alleviate Ecsema and Psoriasis is to keep the skin healthy and hydrated. While it is healing it needs to be protected as the skin has become super sensitive. This requires a pure and hypoallergenic treatment. Preferably not produced at a laboratory if there is a natural alternative.
- Bath/wash with chemical free Bio organic cleansers
- Dry skin with organic cotton towel. Have a different one for each day. Or organic cotton wool Immediately rub into skin some shea butter - use a good amount - it will absorb within 10 minutes
- Rub a further amount into skin this time concentrating on affected areas
- Shea butter should be used daily even after condition goes away or lessens in order to keep the skin healthy
DETOXIFYIING - DIET - EXERCISE
If possible try to
- Drink herbal tea each morning - see list of suggestions or hot water with lemon.
- Healthy diet, The healthiest is one with large proportion of fruit and vegetables and pulses (beans) on a daily basis.
- Stick mainly to white meat (in small quantities) and fish. Unless your are vegetarian.
- Avoid pastries, butter and cheese and dairy milk. Adult humans stomach changes and it is unable to except milk as easily any more - something that is primarily for babies
- Keep clear of fizzy drinks, (except sparking water although they are high in salt so drink in moderation)
- Drink Water , smoothies and juices.
- Exercise - even just a little
RESULT - HEALTHIER SKIN HEALTHIER YOU
DID YOU KNOW Many bath products and shampoos have Sodium Laurel Sulphates and petroleum in them even for babies- the same products that you find in washing up liquids, car shampoos and even floor and bathroom cleaners!
DO YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE IN YOUR SKIN?
Your skin is a living breathing organ. It acts a barometer (a person skin colour changes according to their health) and works to balance temperature, protect from harmful external substances, keeps you warm (DETECTS EVEN SUBTLE CHANGES IN THE AIR), reacts to pressure and touch, stretches when necessary (as in pregnancy weight gain and bruising) and keeps you all together! Do not put anything (unwittingly) damaging on it. It's precious.