First used by the ancient Egyptians, shea butter has been one of the world’s most effective natural moisturizers for the skin and hair for thousands of years. It is actually a triglyceride fat which is extracted from the nut of the African shea tree. Valued for its healing properties for dry skin, shea butter is often added to lotions, creams, and lip balms as well as hair conditioners. It is rich in vitamins A and E and is helpful for a myriad of skin problems, such as scarring and stretch marks.
It may be surprising to learn that shea butter is edible and is commonly used as a cooking oil in some African countries. Other uses in these countries may include candle-making, water-proofing, hair-dressing, and the preservation of traditional wooden musical instruments, as well as skin protection and moisturization.
Shea butter may be used for medicinal purposes, both on the African continent and elsewhere. In Nigeria, for example, it is often used as a topical pain reliever and as a nasal decongestant and sinusitis remedy. In other countries, such as the United States, shea butter may also be found in anti-inflammatory ointments and sunscreen lotions.
Eu’Genia Shea is a unique enterprise that offers consumers top quality shea butter products while empowering women in northern Ghana at the same time. Founded by Harvard MBA graduate Naa-Sakle Akuete and her mother, the company partners with all-female cooperatives to give women an opportunity to earn higher than average wages and to receive job training while harvesting the shea nuts. The company is named for Akuete’s mother, who immigrated to the United States from Ghana with her husband in the 1970s.
Whereas many products that claim shea butter as a main ingredient usually only contain about 20%, the shea content of Eu’Genia Shea is 95%. There are four fragrances from which to choose and customers may select from three levels of skin care need: Everyday, Pregnancy, and Dermatological.