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Shea, There Is More

Ahhh I bet you thought I was going to say get rid of using shea! Well nope, I wanted to let you know shea is not the only game in town when it comes to beneficial natural butters.

#Shea Isn't Alone

I want to talk to you about some of the observations I have made within some of the natural and not so natural communities. Seems to be a consensus in my opinion that there is little information about other butters and oils, passed on, outside of Shea Butter, Olive and Jojoba Oil and some of the other common oils we have come to know. It got me to thinking why not be that one to introduce you to some of the more ‘exotic’ butters and oils that get little spot light or rotation in the these different circles.

Don’t get me wrong I love the properties that Shea and some of the more common oils give our skin. When I first started out making body butters and going to farmer's markets and other vending events I met a woman who spoke with me at length about her frustration for finding the right combinations for combating her skin afflictions, she was tired of these ‘Shea-heads’ making claims that that is the miracle butter and it is all you need to satisfy what ails your skin. For so long Shea Butter was the only player in town and the only butter that naturalist would promote. I could hear in her voice the anger of the misguidedness she felt because that is all she has been told. She would tell me how many in the community would boast of how Shea Butter, avocado oil and jojoba oil were great recipe ingredients for making a very moisturizing butter for her dermatitis issues. I felt really bad for her and wanted to say I had something to help her but truth was I hadn’t come across anyone who had this affliction. Even back then, the information wasn't that readily available the information on other butters and oils that were from other parts of the globe. You really had to dig deep to find other options and then find companies that sold those. Let's face it, even today, many of the other butters, are not readily available in your grocery store isle or at the convent health food store like shea butter, coconut oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil, and even grapeseed oil.

As I listened to her further concerns I was convinced that she was right there are a lot of ‘Shea-Heads’, we tend to put Shea in everything, and think if we add an oil that is all we need; even those with normal skin conditions- dry or itchy. What we tend to forget just like our inner bodies need the right balance of vitamins and minerals so does the outside of our bodies. We cant just think we can get away with a few vitamins and then neglect adding others to our diet. Eventhough I had agreed in my head with her, I also understood why shea was promoted so heavily in the natural black community. For so long we have been sold on the big company brands of moisturizers, even those that were not for our skin. These brands had more money to promote to us and we just fell in line with purchasing them because the commercials told us it would help our dry skin issues.

The funny thing is all the moisturizers I remember were lotions, not really anything comparable to a body butter and Vaseline was the closest thing back then. That was until stores like the Body Shop came to town and they were the closest thing to getting natural products that I knew about. As the rise of more skin care naturalists began to take hold the boom of shea butter and shea butter products was all people needed to read and they were sold that their skin was saved. Shea became the IT moisturizer and that seemed to be where it stopped, even cocoa butter seemed to take a back seat to the ever healing effects of shea butter, lol.

When I first began creating skin care products and researching the many butters and oils that were out there –believe me there are so many- I wanted to create a formula that included moisture, elemental protection(sun and wind) and cell regeneration. Those three components are what propelled me to formulating the best moisturizing products I could. But I was naïve to think that most thought like I did. Shea, for all its wonderful qualities is not enough and you do need to find the right balance of butters and oils to create a body butter that will not only moisturize and lock in hydration but revitalize your skin as it helps protect its integrity.

I will devote the next several articles discussing some of these butters and oils that you may not have heard of or have heard of but didn’t really know what wonderful properties they possess. I found in meeting new people and introducing them to my products some have mentioned they have an allergic reaction to Shea, because it is from the nut family and many times does more harm than good to their skin. I mean don't get me wrong I love promoting great skincare habits but the way the mass commercial companies promote Shea as if it IS the only natural butter around so they just add it in their ingredient list or say that it is added to a product and that will make it better. What about those who cannot use shea butter on their skin, how about an alternative? Let's not leave them out because their skin causes them to reject an ingredient based solely on the fact of an allergic reaction. I liked using Shea Butter in most of my butter and scrub formulas because it gives the finished product a more fluid consistency. I have found alternative butters like #Mango, and #Capuacu that offer the same fluidity when combinded with right oils. These butters not only gave a combination of vitamins and minerals needed for skin health it gives my butters a lighter feel that tends to melt very easily into the skin. No we cannot please everyone all the time and sometimes we don't have the funds to expand our product lines to benefit those with 'special' needs, but this is why I do encourage those who make products to have some that are nut free. Shea is from a nut and according to the FARRP (Food Allergy Research Resource Program) through extensive searching, there have been known reported case of those with #nut #allergies having reactions to shea butter products. And even if you do not want to take that chance that you could be that one in 1 million to have a bad reaction to shea butter here are some alternative ingredients when looking for skincare products without shea. Here are a list of some raw ingredients that are nut-free and I will cover in future blog posts.

Mango Butter

Cupuacu Butter

Avocado Butter

Kokum Butter

Cocoa Butter

Olive Oil

Avocado Oil

Peach Kernel Oil

Apricot Oil

Here is a simple butter recipe to try using #mango #butter



  • 6 oz Mango Butter

  • 4 oz Sunflower Oil, Apricot Oil or Peach Kernel Oil

  • 40 drops of essential oil of choice

Take a glass container using a double boiler to melt mango butter

Let butter cool.

Add the oil of your choice.

Stir butter and oil with spoon or spatula until blended well

Let set in refrigerator or freezer until top layer is semi solid

Take out and use hand mixer to mix ingredients until a nice light consistency

Add essential and stir with spoon or spatula folding in scent

Grab your container and scoop butter in and seal with a tight lid

Since there are no preservatives to protect the butter keep away from water to prevent bacteria growth. If it melts due to high temperatures place in fridge until solid again.

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