I want to start a new series and share some of my favorite things with you. On Tuesdays I will be sharing different things that I LOVE.
I have gone through several different skin routines over the past several years. I've gone from Clean & Clear and Cetaphil lotion, to Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser, to Neutrogena Naturals and Aveeno face lotion. You get the idea. I was never fully satisfied with any of them; my biggest complaint was that after I washed my face I had a feeling of tightness as if the skin on my face was being pulled out in every direction. I don't know if that makes sense, but it didn't feel right. The face wash took off not only my make-up, but also all my natural oils. I would try to replenish the moisture with the face lotion, but I still wasn't satisfied. And for the record, the soap stripping my skin of all its natural oils really didn't help to eliminate all my acne either.
A little less than a year ago I was introduced to Shea Butter and Black Soap by my neighbor. From the label: "Black Soap is a 100% natural soap with no animal fats or chemicals. The black color is from the burning and boiling of the ingredients to produce a homogenous soap." In fact there are 4 ingredients: cocoa pod powder, plantain peel powder, palm kernel oil, and coconut oil.
I never thought I would use a bar soap on my face, but I LOVE it! It takes off my make up and leaves my skin silky smooth without feeling dry and taught! I also tried the liquid form in the shower and guess what... I love that too!
And then the Shea Butter... I bathed my belly in this stuff during my pregnancy, but just a touch of this on my face has been the best! It is very thick so it really only takes a tiny bit. I typically only use it at night- sometimes in the morning as well just depending on how dry my skin feels. 100% pure Shea Butter is thick. You need to get a little out of the jar on your finger and rub it together in your hands to "melt" it before applying.
I have also used the Shea Butter on Haddie Grace after a bath and as a diaper cream to prevent diaper rash on both the girls. Shea Butter is a great anti-aging and anti-wrinkle agent and (if used liberally) can be protect against sun poisoning. From the website, see more about the properties of 100% Shea Butter below.
Shea Butter comes out of Africa. This yellow-white to ivory colored butter, has been used for thousand of years by African healers to alleviate maladies of the skin and scalp. Shea Butter comes from the African Shea tree found along the West African Savannah Region and some parts of East Africa. It is a wild growing tree that produces tiny almond-like fruits - Shea Butter is extracted from the kernel of this fruit. The tree itself is not cultivated and takes 40 to 50 years to mature. In most parts of Africa, destruction of the Shea tree is forbidden due to its economic, health and social benefits. Indeed many herbalists in Africa regard Shea Butter as an invaluable agent for external and internal body purification. Our 100% Pure Shea Butter is unrefined and it's produced the traditional way without any chemicals by a co-operative of women in Tamale, Ghana. As with all vegetable fats, Shea Butter has soothing, moisturizing and protective effects. It displays a protective role against Ultra Violet Rays of the sun because it contains cinnmic acid. It also prevents certain sun allergies. Traditional uses of 100% Pure Shea Butter include, but are not limited to : Treatment of dry skin, wrinkles and damaged hair Removal of skin blemishes and discoloration Healing of cuts and wounds To relax stiff muscles As an aid for pain from swelling and arthritis; ideal for sprains and boils As sun screen Shea Butter contains fatty acid, triglycerides, and high amounts of unsaponifiable matter which can range from 2.5% to 15%. This exceptionally rich vegetable extract contain fatty acids, phytosterol and unsaponifiables which stimulate cell regeneration and capillary circulation (these favor the healing of small wounds, cracks, crevices and sun ulcers). 100% Pure Shea Butter has antioxidant properties due to its content of tocopherols. In the cosmetics field, this property helps to prevent skin aging. Shea Butter also has restructuring effect on the epidermis and it is also a good agent against stretch marks. It is very well tolerated by the skin, for it does not result in any allergic reaction and can be used in very sensitive skin areas such as tissues and around the eyes.
I have not found 100% Shea Butter very easily. I have seen it a couple places here and there, but it has always been more expensive than I wanted to pay. Most of the "shea butter" you see is not pure. It has some shea butter in it, but it is mostly comprised of other things. Visit NaturallYou for 100% Pure Shea Butter and Black Soap.
You can also find Black Soap at Whole Foods, but most of the soaps there have more ingredients and are not as "pure". Simple is better in my book.
What products do you love to use on your face?