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Beurre de karité, or shea butter, a replenishing raw material from the African continent, presents versatile and still untapped potential

corresponding

ALEXANDRA SALAS

Bella Foods, Inc. P.O. Box 279 Great Meadows, NJ 07838, USA Institutional Affiliation: Walden University, contributing faculty

Abstract

Shea butter, otherwise known on product labels as BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII or beurre de karite, originates from the African tree Vitellaria paradoxa. According to Personal Care Product Council’s 2010 International Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary and Handbook, “Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter is a fat obtained from the fruit of Butyrospermum parkii.” Extensive skin care and hair care product categories contain shea butter. Future plans for this item may eventually go beyond the topical. (see Shea Butter Project http://www.thesheaproject.org/)


INTRODUCTION
Shea butter, an ingredient found in a plethora of low-priced to high-end health and beauty products, is marketed for its strengthening, moisturizing and revitalizing properties. Shea butter is a paste extracted from the shea nut and it is recommended as an anti-aging application to prevent wrinkles, dry skin and treat some acne. Terms used to refer to shea butter categories include refined or unrefined, or pure or natural, and organic (1).
Shea butter, otherwise known on product labels as BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII or beurre de karite, originates from the African tree Vitellaria paradoxa. “The Shea Butter Tree (Vitellaria paradoxa,syn. Butyrospermum paradoxum) is a nutritional and economic resource of great importance across… sub-Saharan Afric