Friday, May 4, 2018

Now Foods Shea Butter Review

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The natural alternative to petroleum jelly, but better.

Where shall I begin to sing praises about Shea butter? I love it, and can't live without it now. Of course, it has its short coming, but I've since learnt how to overcome that.

I've read so much about the benefits of Shea butter on dry skin in the past (pretty much a nutritious skin moisturizer that can help repair skin), and finally got to try it recently as I found an affordable option on iHerb. They have an 207ml version so that's what I bought to try. I don't know if I'll like it so it's safer to go with the smaller option.

On the sides of the bottle are description and instructions of the product.

Now Foods Shea Butter Review

On the bottle, it reads
Condition: Dry or rough skin in need of moisture, especially on tougher areas such as the elbows, knees and feet.

Suggested Use: Gently apply as desired, paying close attention to dry or rough areas, reapply as needed.

If you ever used Shea butter before, you'd realize "gently apply" is not really possible. The Shea butter is pretty much multi purpose - it can moisturizing your skin, scalp, and even hair if you want to.

The whole set of description is also available on its iHerb page.

Now Foods Shea Butter Review

Shea butter is a solid at room temperature (30 degrees C in Singapore), but will soften around body temperature. The label also mentions the formation of fat crystals that may change the colour or texture of the product, but it doesn't affect its function. In particularly cold country, it might be useful to warm it slightly till soft to facilitate application of the Shea butter.

They suggest placing in a pan of warm water, or microwaving to soften the Shea butter. But who has the time for that all day!? I have clever solutions for you later!

Now Foods Shea Butter Review

Here's an embarrassing photo of my almost finished tub of Shea butter. But this is only proof that I've been using and loving it! On the right is a tiny plastic spatula I use to scrape some products every time I use it. The Shea butter has an off white colour, and no scent at all. I suspect they have removed any odour during the refinement process. On the iHerb page, it claims to be hexane free.

Now Foods Shea Butter Review
Keep staring and you'll notice it changes!

On my hand, it starts out as a soft butter. Rubbing it and spreading it on my palms feels luxurious - it nourishes my dry skin without any heaviness. You can even observe a slight sheen on my palms, not the overly greasy kind!

I don't know if it makes any sense to talk about the fatty acid profile of Shea butter. If you're interested in the technical details, I'm sure google can guide you to appropriate websites that can enlighten you. Forgoing all the potential benefits of individual fatty acids, I can vouch for its ability to keep my skin soft all night long. It really locks it in damn well.

Some people prefer raw Shea butter, but I read that refined Shea butter has a longer shelf life and is less prone to oxidation, which is something I've observed as well. Compared to body oils I've used in the past, I notice my clothes doesn't really have that rancid oil smell.Also, since I'm using this mainly to lock in serious moisture, I have no issue using a refined Shea butter.

Comparing it to Vaseline petroleum jelly, I prefer the Shea butter a lot more because it has equal emollient capabilities, but feels less heavy? I don't feel like it's cloaking my skin. Sometimes my skin feels warm after applying some Vaseline. Also, the Shea butter has more slip to it, allowing it to spread out more thinly.

Only draw back? It's rock solid consistency especially when the room temperature drops below 20 degrees Celcius. Using a spatula helps for sure, and that is one of the ways I've used to circumvent this problem.

Introducing the Shea sticks!

Now Foods Shea Butter Review DIY shea stick

The other solution I've found is to put them into old lip balm tubes. This is the best application method I can currently think of. Instead of scraping the product, all I have to do is to glide the Shea stick onto my skin. Or, I can also choose to swipe it across my finger or palms, smooth it out evenly before gently patting it on my face. The warmth of my palms really helps to soften it further, feeling luxuriously rich.

Making it is extremely easy, it's just a matter of melting, pouring, and freezing. If you like, you can even add in a few drops of your favourite essential oil!

As you can see I'm already about to finish this tube of Shea butter. About to clean and refill them (I have more than one sticks so I don't have prepare another batch too frequently). They've become a staple in my skincare routine, and I never leave house without it. I feel safe knowing it's in my bag because I can use it to hide any dry patches that aren't ready to shed just yet. I'm still rather self conscious about my dry skin, so if a small item like this could help, why not?

Have you tried Shea butter before? What are you thoughts?

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