I‘m excited to introduce a new topic we'll be covering here at the blog. The idea is to showcase the ingredients and product components our members use to make the fantastic handmade products they sell. Our members make everything from perfume, to james and jellies, to soaps, to bath bombs, to candles … and hundreds of other consumer products that help you enjoy your life more.
Our “Ingredients” series will showcase the high quality components they choose to use in their products, and inform you about what to look for in the products you buy for yourself and your family. Today's ingredient is shea butter, and this post is sponsored by one of our members that supplies it: Shea Radiance.
Shea butter is a vegetable fat extracted from the nut of the African Shea tree (Butryospermum Parkii), which is native to parts of Africa. It can be removed using mechanical methods to save time and labor, but it can also be removed by hand to produce a rich, yellow and unrefined butter that melts into the skin — literally like butter. I always have raw shea butter in my bathroom. There's nothing better to moisturize and leave my skin glowing.
Shea butter is traditionally used to soothe and moisturize the skin. Some people report that it can even do more than that, but it's enough for me that it beautifies the skin like few other ingredients can. It's a versatile ingredient, and you'll find it used in everything from handmade soap to sugar scrub to face cream.
Shea Radiance imports shea butter direct from the source in Nigeria, the home of the company's owners, Funlayo and Shola Alabi. This lovely collage shares some of the wonderful images they have shared through the years.
Top Image: Funlayo on one of her frequent trip to Africa to work with the women who extract (by hand) the shea butter sold by Shea Radiance.
Row 1: Shea butter cream in Chocolate Truffle, assorted Shea Radiance products, Funlayo in front of the company's Maryland headquarters, Shea Radiance bulk unrefined shea in a tub, shea nuts on an African tree, Funlayo visiting a village full of women who work with shea for a living.
Row 2: Shea nuts on an African tree, Funlayo posting during a break from teaching women how to make cosmetics with shea butter, shea nuts roasting in the sun, Shea Radiance Ivory Palm Seed Sugar Scrub, Funlayo and Shola teaching a cosmetics making class at this year's Global Shea Alliance Conference in Nigeria, Shea Radiance black soap.
Row 3: Funlayo gathering with the women of Africa, Shea Radiance Liquid African Black Soap, Funlayo posing in front of the Shea Radiance banner at a trade show, group shot after a cosmetics making class, Beautiful African hands holding shea nuts, Funlayo and Shola having fun together.
Obviously, Funlayo gets around! I don't think I've ever seen so many beautiful pictures of Africa from one person's multiple trips to the continent to steep herself in the art and economy of shea production.
If you want to learn about how shea butter production affects women's lives in Africa, you won't find anyone who knows more about that than Funlayo.
If you want to formulate creams and butters with shea, you won't find anyone who knows more about that than Shola.
The couple makes a great family business team, and this is just one more reason why I love sharing them with you.
LEARN MORE ABOUT SHEA RADIANCE
You can purchase Shea Radiance products at their website, where everything is 20% off now, and you can get free shipping with your $50 order, using the code: Holiday2013