I have been using shea butter for a long time. I have been part of an African hand drumming group for many years and shea butter is what we use on the skin of our drums to keep it soft and supple.
The fact that it is 100% pure and natural is one of the reasons we use it. There are no colours, fragrances or chemicals in it to damage the delicate drum skin. We also use it on the sore spots and callouses we get on our hands from drumming incorrectly. Me and my rhythmically challenged friends couldn't do without it.
Several years ago, I had a leak in my roof during a summer thunderstorm that showered my treasured drum with rain water, cracking the skin in two places. Luckily, I was able to have the skin replaced and it is now a working drum again. When it comes to our own epidermis though, dry, cracked skin can not be replaced. We can soothe and heal it, but any scars or damage we accumulate along the way are with us forever.
That's why shea butter is so great. Nature has already created the perfect vitamin-rich, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant formulation to keep our skin healthy and looking good.
Shea butter comes from the nut of the African Shea Tree, specifically the fat in the nut. This fat is high in fatty acids, plant sterols and vitamins A and D. In its pure form, shea butter can be used directly on the skin to moisturize, to aid in healing minor cuts, reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks and to ease the discomfort of skin disorders like eczema and psoriasis. It is also an effective treatment for sunburn because it helps heal the sensitive skin and moisturizes it at the same time. Generally, it is a great skin care option because the skin absorbs it easily and it doesn't leave behind a greasy residue or strong, unpleasant scent.
Shea butter is often added to body care products and it is a favourite ingredient of ours here at the GMSC. It is featured in many of our soap bars, including the Healing Face Bar, Honey Bee Fragrance-Free Bar, Lively Lemongrass Bar and the Luxurious Lavender Bar.
During the process of making soap, shea butter does not saponify, or undergo chemical changes to become soap. In other words, its raw goodness is retained throughout the process giving the finished bars all the benefits that pure shea butter has to offer. Cleansing with one of these soap bars will get you squeaky clean without stripping away all of your skin's own natural oils. Your skin will feel soft and lightly moisturized. We also use shea butter in our Natural Diaper Rash and Chafe Cream.
In addition to the benefits already mentioned, it is completely safe and non-toxic on the delicate skin of our baby's bottoms.
Shea butter is one of those go-to substances that almost makes it worthy of a place in your first-aid cabinet. I even carry a small jar of it in my drumming kit for my rhythmic mishaps. The day that musical talent comes in a little jar, I will put that in my drumming kit too.