Shea butter comes from the fat that is extracted from the nut of the Shea tree found in West and Central Africa. Shea butter is ivory or slightly yellowish in color. Shea butter has been used for centuries in Africa and is mentioned in almost all African historical documents. Cleopatra even used it!
Shea butter has been used as a decongestant, anti-inflammatory for sprain, healing salve, cooking oil, and lotion for body and hair. Shea butter is also edible and can be used in food production. Chocolate may contain shea butter as a substitute for cocoa butter.
Recently, studies have found that shea butter can protect the skin from the sun’s harmful rays (like a sunscreen), can soothe and heal chapped, irritated skin, and can help prevent wrinkles.
Shea butter has been classified into 5 grades. A is raw/unrefined and the shea butter is extracted using water. B is refined. C is highly refined and is extracted using solvents such as hexane. D is the lowest uncontaminated grade. And E is with contaminates.