Picture the scene: It’s been a long day balancing work commitments and the kids, but now you can lie back and soak in a relaxing bath. Scented Candles flicker around the room, as you drop a Bath Melt into the water and the heavenly fragrance of Wild Lemongrass or Cherry Blossom relaxes you. The water itself takes on a different feel too, as it becomes softer and nourishing for your skin. That’s the shea butter and it’s a hero ingredient we don’t celebrate as much as we should.
Here at Heyland & Whittle we love shea butter, and not just because it leaves your skin feeling so soft. It’s also down to the way in which we source this fabulous ingredient, ensuring women in West Africa receive a fair wage for the nuts they collect. We care as much about our ingredients and the good they can facilitate as we do about our end products and the happiness they bring you.
Collecting shea nuts in a co-operative
Shea is an important natural resource for countries that lie within the fertile belt that stretches from West Africa to East Africa. The fruit is collected in large baskets or gourds by women before the nut at its centre is removed and boiled for around 30 minutes to prevent it from germinating. This preserves the essential natural fats within the nut, which give shea butter its nourishing properties.
Working within a shea butter co-operative puts a source of income directly into the hands of women, transforming the lives of families. Knowing that they will achieve a consistent price for the nuts and without a large part of the profit being skimmed off further up the supply chain allows them a greater level of stability and a chance to invest in the future.
What this looks like in practice is families not having to rely on one meal a day to get by; more girls being able to receive an education; and women having a stake in the financial security of their families. All of this contributes to the beauty of our Bath Melts - little spheres of goodness that nourish your skin and communities.
An all in one conditioning treatment for the skin
Shea is something of a wonder ingredient for your skin, hydrating, soothing and smoothing it all in one go. Unlike other tree nut products, it does not trigger any allergies, offering confidence to those with even the most sensitive skin.
The linoleic, oleic, stearic, and palmitic acids in shea butter are easily absorbed, providing a barrier between your skin and any harmful substances in the environment. This means moisture stays in and elements that cause dryness and ageing are kept out. Combine this with the vitamins E and A in shea butter, which promote antioxidants to target free radicals and you’re set for extraordinarily soft skin.
Shea butter for your hair
If you like to dunk your head below the water in your bath, do not fear, shea butter is also good for your hair and scalp. Those hard-working fatty acids will ramp up the shine and reduce the frizz in your hair, as well as helping to protect it from heat damage when you blow dry it later.