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It must be that African Butter

Beauty

You might have seen this hashtag “#AfricanButter” around social media, however, African butter doesn’t just describe beautiful black people with melanin on overload as you might think. Nature bestowed many gifts upon us and certainly didn't leave out skin-care ingredients among wonderful gifts. Shea and cocoa butters all deliver benefits to the skin that work to nourish and hydrate.

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Women in Ghana making shea butter. Picture: Instagram

Here is a brief history: Shea butter is also known as karite butter. It's made from the nuts of the karite tree found in West and Central Africa. Shea butter is sometimes called women's gold, because its harvest and production creates jobs for many African women. Cocoa butter is extracted from cacao seeds, also known as cocoa beans. It's native to Ghana and also in the America.

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Shea butter is full of vitamin A and is deeply moisturizing and it is known for being so nourishing to the skin that even in Africa's dry climate it works to soothe thirsty skin. It is said to have the ability to improve skin blemishes, eczema, wrinkles and dermatitis as well soothe insect bites and sunburn. This butter packs a powerful punch for an array of skin ailments.

Unrefined shea butter and shea nut. Picture: Instagram

Cocoa beans are good for more than just delicious chocolate they also make a glorious butter. The butter is high in fat which helps it to deliver deep nourishment and moisture to your skin. For those struggling with eczema, cocoa butter may be worth trying.

When purchasing body butter, it is important to look for a butter that is extracted using natural methods to ensure nourishment to the skin. Look for the words unrefined or cold-pressed. This means that the product was extracted from the shea nut, cocoa bean using natural methods that don't overheat the ingredient during the process, thus destroying some of its nutrients.

Raw cocoa butter. Picture: Instagram

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As with any skin-care product, it is best to test a small amount of butter on an area of your skin as a patch test. If skin doesn't react, proceed with slathering yourself in decadent cocoa or shea butter and enjoy their African magic.

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