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Why do I see things I can't even pronounce on "natural" products ingredients?
What is Shea Butter?
How can I tell if something is good Shea Butter?
How should Shea Butter smell?
How do I store Shea Butter?
How can Shea Butter benefit me?
How does Shea Butter benefit my skin?
How does Shea Butter benefit my hair?
What's the difference between raw Shea butter, refined Shea butter and highly refined Shea Butter?
How can I pay?
How long will it take before my order is shipped?
How long do I have to cancel an order?
What's your return policy?
What can I use for oily skin?
What can I use for dry skin?
What can I use as an exfoliant?
What can I use for acne?
What if I am allergic?
Where can I go to discuss hair, skin, and health issues?


Why do I see things I can't even pronounce on "natural" products ingredients?
Don't be put off by a product just because you see things like the following on the ingredient label. The FDA requires that cosmetic manufacturers use scientific names for some very common (and very beneficial) ingredients. Examples are: Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Sodium Chloride (Salt), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D) A label that you and I would write as: Water, Coconut Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Avocado Oil, Jojoba Oil, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Witch Hazel, Vitamin E, Rosemary Extract, Vitamin C, Neem Oil, Black Willow Bark Extract Would be written as: Aqua, Cocos Nucifera Oil, Vitis Vinifera Oil, Persea Americana Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis Oil, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Hamamelis virginiana, Tocopherol, Rosmarinus Officinalis Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Azadirachta Indica, Salix Nigra Extract

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What is Shea Butter?
While you may have only recently heard of Shea Butter, its use is far from a recent development. The benefits of Shea Butter have been well known for centuries. Africans have used Shea Butter for many generations to protect and rejuvenate their hair and skin. Shea Butter is not only for those of African descent though. Everyone can take advantage of Shea Butter's benefits. Today, Shea Butter is available in pure form and as an ingredient in many products to help with maintenance of the hair and skin and relief from many common ailments. Shea Butter is only found in the tropics of Africa. It is extracted from the nuts of the Shea-Karite tree which begins to bear fruit after about 15 years; and can take up to 30 years to bear a quality crop of nuts with a high content of irremovable fatty acid. It is this irremovable fatty acid that gives Shea Butter its unique healing properties and makes it far superior to cocoa butter and other vegetable butters. Traditionally, Shea Butter was extracted by people who picked the nuts, cracked them, grilled them and pounded them. They were boiled in water for hours until the Shea Butter rose to the surface. It was then scooped into gourds and left to cool and set. Shea Butter is solid at room temperature although it quickly liquefies right around body temperature. This Shea Butter is called unrefined Shea Butter or raw Shea Butter. Since Shea Butter is an all natural product, it can vary widely in quality, appearance and smell depending on where it is produced from and how it is refined or extracted. Most Shea Butter comes from West Africa. Although a more soft and smoother variety from East Africa is beginning to appear on the market.

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How can I tell if something is good Shea Butter?
Pure Shea Butter can be found in three types of extractions. Also, recently, Shea Butter has begun to be graded. Raw or unrefined- extracted using water. The color ranges from like cream (similar to whipped butter) to grayish yellow. This is the original form of Shea Butter. Refined- is more highly processed. Has many of its natural components still intact. Highly refined or processed- solvents are used to increase the yield (hexane is an example). The color is pure white.

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How should Shea Butter smell?
Shea Butter has a natural smell, which is not unpleasant to most people. The smell of raw or lightly refined West African Shea varies from nutty to similar to Crisco or shortening. Over time the smell of the Shea Butter will diminish. If an unrefined Shea Butter has almost no smell, it is probably getting old. Shea Butter should not stink, not matter how old it is. It is possible for Shea Butter to go rancid. If it does, do not use it. If you do not like the smell of natural, raw Shea Butter, you can purchase more highly refined Shea Butter that has been de-odorized and filtered through clay. However, we do not recommend ever buying Shea Butter that has been refined using hexane or other solvents.

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How do I store Shea Butter?
Shea Butter does not need to be refrigerated. However, over a period of two or three years, the Shea Butter will begin to lose some of its effectiveness. As the natural ingredients begin to break down, some of the healing benefits will be reduced, but the Shea Butter will continue to be an effective moisturizer. Store Shea Butter is a cool (not necessarily cold) place. If you're going to use it within a couple of years, you should have no problems.

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How can Shea Butter benefit me?
Shea Butter can provide relief from everything from just dry skin to many minor dermatological diseases (if you have a serious skin condition, you should see a doctor). It has been clinically shown to provide benefits. Here are some of the benefits of Shea Butter for the skin: Daily skin moisturizer (face and body) Dry skin relief Dry scalp Skin rash- including diaper rash Skin peeling, after tanning Blemishes and wrinkles Itching skin due to dryness Sunburn Shaving cream to reduce razor irritation Small skin wounds Skin cracks Soften tough skin on feet (especially heels) Stretch mark prevention during pregnancy Minor burns Eczema Sun and wind protection Even skin tone Reduce blemishes and scarring Eliminating scalp irritation from dryness or chemical processing Preventing bumps after shaving Reducing acne (especially in combination with African Black Soap) Absorbs quickly without leaving a greasy residue Helps restore elasticity to skin Restores luster to hair

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How does Shea Butter benefit my skin?
Shea Butter nourishes the skin with Vitamins A, E and F. Vitamins A and E help maintain the skin and keep it clear and healthy. They are particularly helpful for sun damaged skin. They help prevent premature wrinkles and facial lines. Vitamin F acts as a skin protector and rejuvenator. It soothes rough, dry or chapped skin and helps soften dry or damaged hair. Shea Butter is high in unsaponifiables (a type of fat). Shea Butter has between 7-12% unsaponifiables. For comparison, avocado oil, a well known skin conditioner, has between 2-6%. This high level of unsaponifiables is one of the properties that makes Shea Butter so invaluable in treating the conditions listed above. Also, Shea Butter easily penetrates the skin allowing the skin to breathe and not clogging pores. Shea Butter has a high level of cinnamic acid, a natural sun screen. So, it provides some degree of protection from the sun. Shea Butter is also anti-inflammatory making it useful in treating rheumatism. While we make no medical claims about our Shea Butter, we do have anecdotal evidence that it is very useful in treating minor skin conditions. We have had several customers who have used Shea Butter for eczema and/or psoriasis and told us it works as well as steroids at a fraction of the cost and without the side effects. We have a customer with an allergy to the sun. When she began using our Nubian Heritage Shea Butter lotion (not even pure Shea Butter), she accidentally discovered that it prevented the rash she normally would get from even a small amount of exposure to the sun.

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How does Shea Butter benefit my hair?
Shea Butter provides moisture to dry or damaged hair from the roots to the very tips, repairing and protecting against weather damage, dryness and brittleness. It also absorbs quickly and completely into the scalp to rehydrate without clogging pores. It is particularly beneficial for processed and heat-treated hair. It is an excellent treatment for dry scalp. It restores luster to damaged hair.

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What's the difference between raw Shea butter, refined Shea butter and highly refined Shea Butter?
The differences between raw, refined and highly refined Shea Butter lie in how the Shea Butter is extracted from the nut and how it is processed after that. Manual extraction processes leave more of the raw ingredients in the Shea Butter. After it is extracted, it can be further refined removing color and impurities that some people don't like. This further refining can also remove some of the smell. You can think of the difference between raw Shea Butter and refined Shea Butter as being similar to the difference between wheat bread and white bread. Truly raw Shea Butter can even be unfiltered. That is one end of the spectrum. On the other end, there is Shea Butter that is extracted using chemicals that is pure white, has no smell and has lost a lot of its healing properties in the process. All of our Shea Butter is mechanically extracted. No chemicals (other than water) are used in the process. Our raw Shea Butter is lightly filtered. But, retains its natural color and smell. Our Ultra Pure Shea Butter is refined. It is further processed by being put through clay filters and the odor is vacuumed out. It retains its healing properties and moisturizing ability.

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How can I pay?
You can pay by sending a money order or echeck or debit/credit card via Paypal.

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How long will it take before my order is shipped?
We attempt to keep all items in stock. If something is not in stock, we will notify you. Credit card via Paypal orders generally ship within two business days of our receipt of your order. Orders paid via echeck or money order will ship in about the same time- once payment is received and cleared.

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How long do I have to cancel an order?
You have until we ship to cancel your order. In many cases, that is not long. We often ship within hours of receiving your order. Once we have shipped, the order will be subject to a 15% re-stocking fee. If you refuse shipment on an order, you will be responsible for the shipping charges to you, the shipping charges back to us plus the restocking fee.

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What's your return policy?
Our goal is 100% customer satisfaction. We screen products for quality before we offer them for sale. If you receive a product that is not working for you, we ask that you attempt to use the product properly. It might take some time to learn the right amount of product to use or frequency to get the absolute best results for you. However, it's impossible for every product to work for every person. If a product just isn't working for you, please call or e-mail us and let us know the specific problem. We reserve the right to refuse returns of any product that is not defective or any item returned without authorization. Generally, we will accept the return of unopened items within 30 days of purchase. Please call to receive a return authorization before returning any product. The procedure is: Call or write us with the specific complaint about the product Return the product to us at the address above Once we receive the product, we will issue a store credit for the purchase amount of the product. NO CASH REFUNDS will be given. Things you should be aware of: No cash refunds will be given You pay the shipping to return the product (any method you choose as long as it gets to us) We do not give credit for the shipping charge Credit is given once we receive the product Items returned without authorization will not receive a credit.

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What can I use for oily skin?
Clays (Red and Green): Clears the pores of blockages and encourages a more regular flow, this leaves the skin more receptive to natural moisture, yet free of excess. Tomato: Helps maintain PH balance while it gently cleanses oily skin, refines enlarged pores, and provides soothing relief for trouble complexions. Lemon: Lemons acidity provides an astringent cleanser stripping away excess oils from the face helping with acne and oily skin. Rassoul Clay: Absorbs oils and impurities from both the skin and hair. Reduces dryness, flakiness, improves skin clarity, skin texture, removes surface oil, removes dead skin layers. THE bar for combo skin and/or the classic "T".

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What can I use for dry skin?
Shea Butter: Shea Butter is gentle enough for babies and people with sensitive skin. It soothes dry, chapped skin, while nourishing all skin types. Avocado: Avocado is therapeutic. Our skin easily absorbs avocado and responds well to its healing quality: it is known to regenerate skin cells and soften tissue. Great Winter Bar. Wheat Germ: Excellent source of Vitamin E and Folic Acid both of which nourish skin cells and prevent moisture loss. Milk: Milk is a natural moisturizer and makes a great facial bar. Rassoul Clay: Absorbs oils and impurities from both the skin and hair. Reduces dryness, flakiness, improves skin clarity, skin texture, removes surface oil, removes dead skin layers. THE bar for combo skin and/or the classic "T".

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What can I use as an exfoliant?
Corn Meal: Gently scrubs away dirt and dead skin cells while stimulating the healthier cells below. Rough Exfoliant Oatmeal: Mild Exfoliant. Good for people w/ sensitive skin and/or allergies. Mild Exfoliant Pumice & Seeds: (Strawberry, Poppy, Sesame, Cranberry, Cumin, Fennel) are rough exfoliants. Great for scrubbing working hands from grime/grease and pumice is great for making feet 'summer ready.' ROUGH Rassoul Clay: Absorbs oils and impurities from both the skin and hair. Reduces dryness, flakiness, improves skin clarity, skin texture, removes surface oil, removes dead skin layers. THE bar for combo skin and/or the classic "T". Medium Exfoliant Yerba Mate: Restores youthful hair color, retards aging, reduces the effects of stress. Great for taking a hot bath with. Rough Exfoliant Comfrey Leaf: Main ingredient in Comfrey is Allantion, which foster the growth of new cells. Good for helping heal cuts and other wounds. Helps relieve sunburned skin and sore muscles. Great for taking a hot bath with. Rough Exfoliant Dandelion Leaf: Helps ease rheumatism and arthritic joints, and also a good skin toner. Soak your hands in warm sudsy water from this bar. Rough Exfoliant Teas: (Black Tea, Indian Black Tea, Roibos (Red Bush Tea), Che Tea, Indian Chai) - With the sweet smell of these aromatic teas they exfoliate the skin. Medium Exfoliants

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What can I use for acne?
Bee Pollen: Suppresses Acne. It's potent antibiotics can act to reverse the effect normal aging exerts on skin, correcting darkening, wrinkles, and blemishes. Carrot: Revitalizing, toning and nourishing for skin. Increases elasticity, aids in scars, boils, acne, irritated skin, roacea, dermatitis, aids in regeneration of cells. Rejuvenating and reduces scarring. High in Vitamin-A and Beta-carotene. Lemon: Lemons acidity provides an astringent cleanser stripping away excess oils from the face helping with acne and oily skin. Specialty Bars/Fruits/Holistic: Pine Tar: This bar is specifically designed for Eczema & Psoriasis. Strawberries: The seeds exfoliate the skin and it's Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant. Milk/Brown Suga'/Lavender: Great combination bar, Brown Suga provides a gentle sugar scrub while the milk moisturizes. Rassoul Clay: Absorbs oils and impurities from both the skin and hair. Reduces dryness, flakiness, improves skin clarity, skin texture, removes surface oil, removes dead skin layers. THE bar for combo skin and/or the classic "T". Mango/Papaya: The juices of mangos and papayas provide anti-oxidants for the skin. And of course my personal heroes Vitamin B5 and Dudu Osun.

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What if I am allergic?
Before using ANY new product please be sure you have no allergies to the ingredients. What may be good for some is not good for all. All suggestions I have listed are just that "suggestions" and not medical advice. Please be sure to do your research.

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Where can I go to discuss hair, skin, and health issues?
http://groups.msn.com/BlessedEarth/ BlessedEarth is a community where we share facts, ideas, opinions and new discoveries in the world of natural health and beauty care. Here, in this peaceful commune please feel free to ask questions or share tips on diet, health and beauty care or share your views and opinions on current events, tell a few jokes or anecdotes or just release and vent so you can feel some sort of balance in this hectic world where balance, although essential to good health and beauty, can sometimes be hard to find. With that said, I welcome you to BlessedEarth...relax, be blessed, be you.

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Last Updated: 19 Apr 2008 21:28:59 PDT home  |  about  |  terms  |  contact
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