Wonderfully softening and an excellent ally for product formulation, shea butter is a staple at Lush.
What is shea?
Shea butter is the ivory-coloured fat extracted from the nut of the vitellaria tree (Vitellaria Paradoxa or Butyrospermum parkii), which is native to Africa, and more specifically the Sahel region. To obtain the butter, the nuts are dried and crushed before being roasted and pressed into a silky liquor. This is then whipped and kneaded in large pans until fat forms on top.
What are the benefits of shea?
- Moisturising and emollient, it softens the skin.
- Conditions the hair and skin, making them smooth to touch.
- Contains oleic acid, a mono-unsaturated fatty acid that is highly compatible with our body's natural sebum and allows the butter to be more easily absorbed into the skin.
What are the benefits of shea butter for Lush formulas?
The butter contains stearic acid, a skin-softening fatty acid that acts as an emulsifier. This means that it helps bind oil and water together, preventing products from separating. Combined with the solid nature of the butter, this emulsifying property creates tight emulsions that leave no room for microbes to move and grow, helping products to remain fresher for longer and thus lower or prevent the need for synthetic preservatives.
Where does Lush source shea?
With seven manufacturing sites across the world, the source for shea butter can change depending on where your Lush product was made. To find out more, you can browse your product’s list of ingredients and click on the ones you are interested in. This should take you to a page full of details!