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What Is Shea Butter?

Shea butter is the common name for the dense balm that comes from the African Shea tree, after grinding roasted shea nuts and separating its valuable oil. This oil, solid at room temperature, is creamy and rich. In its unrefined state, shea butter contains Vitamins A and E and a handful of essential fatty acids.

shea butter in a glass with shea nuts
shea nuts

Cleopatra Knew

Among the many natural beauty cures associated with the Ancient Egyptian queen, shea butter was one of the most precious. (The wood of shea trees was held in a place of honour in Egyptian society as well; the beds of kings were carved from it.)