Shea butter is a fat extracted from the nuts of the shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa, formerly Butyrospermum parkii), which is native to Africa. The shea nuts are lightly boiled and then sun-dried prior to grinding into a paste. Lastly, the fat is extracted from the paste and turned into butter through churning. Shea butter contains the following fatty acids: oleic acid (40 to 60%), stearic acid (20 to 50%), linoleic acid (3 to 11%), palmitic acid (2 to 9%), and arachidic acid (less than 1%). Shea butter ethyl esters is an eco-friendly derivative of shea butter that has a unique texture with long lasting stability.
While pure shea butter has a very rich texture that can feel greasy on the skin, shea butter ethyl esters are characterized by quick spreading and a powdery light skin feel. Upon application, shea butter ethyl esters form a soft, thin film on the surface of skin. This film provides instant smoothness and also helps to prevent evaporation of the skin’s natural moisture. Over time, this increases skin hydration by causing buildup of water in the stratum corneum (the uppermost layer of skin).