Shea butter - a challenge and best friend

Shea Butter is both my biggest challenge and my best friend.

Its high level of fatty acids and vitamins make it an incredible moisturiser and it can be a great help with dry/problem skin.

Our Calendula & Beeswax Dry Skin Balm, Neem, Pine & Tea Tree Foot Balm and Chamomile, Calendula & Hyaluronic Hand Balm all contain Shea Butter and I use all 3 every night especially when the colder weather begins. 

It has the unique ability to nourish without clogging pores. I like to put the balm on my hands and then wear gloves in the night for added hydration – sexy I know.

We also supply Langdale’s beautiful Brimstone Spa with a Shea Body Butter used in some of their luxurious body treatments and so I am well acquainted with this amazing little nut. In its raw form it looks good enough to eat, which you actually can. However, don’t worry, I do refrain from sticking my finger in it.

We make sure to buy it unrefined so it’s natural properties remain completely intact. We also buy it in 25kg boxes and I see Gareth’s heart sink when a pallet load arrive to be lugged up our flight of stairs.

The reason I find it so challenging as it is a delicate ingredient to work with. It melts incredibly quickly and does not enjoy being overheated for long. For our recipes the shea needs to be stirred every 15mins to achieve the smooth butter consistency; like a toddler it doesn’t respond well to being left in a corner and neglected.

I start the making process at 10am and have finished it by 5pm. So when a Shea Butter order comes in I have to take a deep breath, ignore any other jobs and commit fully to the high maintenance nut.

However the sense of achievement is definitely heightened at the end of the day, outweighing the pain of a repetitive strain injury on my elbow sustained due to excess stirring. So, next time you are applying one of our various balms you can do so with added respect for this mighty nut that doesn’t take any prisoners.