Frequently asked questions and answers
1What is Shea butter and where does it come from?
Shea butter is a fatty extract from the edible seed of the Shea Tree which is also known as Karite Tree. The extract is known to contain a number of ingredients with biological activity. This biological activity includes moisturizing and healing skin ailments. Shea nut products, the solid fat (stearin) and the liquid (olien), are ideal for use as raw materials in cooking oil, margarine, cosmetics, soap, detergents and candles, but it has found its primary market niche as a substitute for cocoa butter in the chocolate and confectionery industry. The Karite tree is grown in the Western and Eastern parts of Africa. The tree itself is not cultivated as it grows in the wild and takes about 40 to 50 years to mature and start bearing fruits.
2What is the colour of your unrefined Shea butter?
Our natural Shea butter is an ivory, off-white color that varies slightly depending on the season. No color, dye has been added to our unrefined & natural Shea butter.
3What variety of Shea butter do you sell?
We produce and sell the West Africa Shea Tree variety Vitellaria Paradoxa.
4Why are your Shea butter prices low?
Ajike Shea Centre owns a Shea butter factory in the Northern region of Ghana where we employ and train women (in addition to their skills & knowledge) to process the Shea butter. There are no middlemen between our company and the producers of our unrefined Shea butter, thus our low Shea butter prices. Eliminating the middlemen translates into low shea butter prices.
5Why should I buy Shea butter from you?
When you buy our Shea butter, you are directly affecting the the lives of our women producers by giving them a better life because we not only provide them a stable income, we also help them start other businesses so that they can send their children to school through out the year. FairTrade is what we stand for.
6How do I store my unrefined and natural Shea butter?
Store your 100% shea butter and oils away from harsh lighting or sun, in a cool dark area away from heat. You may keep refrigerated to extend shelf life. Raw, unrefined 100% shea butter has an average shelf life of 12 to 24 months (depending on the quality) without the addition of preservatives. The life of the 100% shea butter can be prolonged when stored under proper conditions. Avoid overheating unrefined Shea butter and do not leave in your car with the windows closed as this will melt the butter and be sure to store in airtight containers to avoid the butter becoming rancid.
7What is the difference between refined and unrefined Shea butter?
Ajike Shea Centre only carries 100% pure unrefined and natural Shea butter. If Shea butter has been refined, it has been through one or more chemical processes, this leads it to lose its healing properties. It’s these healing properties, combined with the unparalleled moisturizing abilities that sets Shea butter apart from everything other seed oils. Our unrefined Shea butter is extracted by hand from the seed of the Shea tree by the Ajike Women's Shea Butter Cooperative to maintain all the nutrients and beneficial properties naturally found in Shea butter. On the other hand, Refined Shea Butter is processed using chemicals, such as hexane, neurotoxin, to extract the butter from the seed. Refined Shea Butter is stripped of most of its beneficial properties during the refining process.
8How does Shea Butter “heal” my skin?
Shea Butter have very high healing properties with up to 12% of the butter’s make-up (depending on the quality of the butter) more than any other type of seed oil and this is why it is the nun we one seed oil on earth!. These amazing healing properties have shown great success in treating various skin problems such as wrinkles, blemishes, skin allergies, eczema, foot rot, ringworm, stretch marks and other skin conditions. Shea Butter can be used when treating minor cuts, scrapes, and soothing sunburns. Shea butter also has the ability to reduce inflammation, which makes shea butter the premiere product to speed the healing of skin that has undergone cosmetic surgery or tattooing.
9How does Shea Butter protect my skin?
Shea Butter has a naturally occurring latex that places an “active seal” on your skin. The moisture of your skin is sealed in while the shea butter protects your skin from outside environmental factors, such as dirt and pollution. Your skin is nourished, moisturized and protected throughout the day. Shea Butter also provides light protection from the sun, and works with your sunscreen, by moisturizing and protecting your skin from absorbing the sunscreen. We highly recommend you always take precautions when out in the sun for an extended time.
10Can I use Shea butter on my hair as well?
Yes, Shea butter is excellent for your hair and scalp. Don't forget that your scalp is also part of your skin. Shea butter stops itchy scalp and can be sued to seal moisture in the hair after using leave-in-conditioners or Moisturizers. Great for all hair type.
11Do you have a warehouse in any country outside Ghana at the moment in case I want to buy wholesale?
Not at the moment. However, we welcome Importers or a group that each member wants to buy in bulk from a particular country so we could put all their orders together in a single container and ship by sea to their country and from there every member of the group gets their order delivered at their doorstep.
12How do you package your Shea butter in case I want to import?
We package our Shea butter in a double transparent plastic bag and then put in a 25kg brown box. However, we can make arrangements for any kind of packaging options as requested by a buyer which might attract additional package fee.
13Is your shea butter readily available at your centre in case I want to buy in bulk as an importer?
No, we do not stock Shea butter at our Ajike Shea Centre as we only produce when we receive an order. The reason is so that our buyers are guaranteed only freshly made Shea butter at every order.
14How will your non-US wholesale buyers order when you start to sell your Shea butter within the US?
Our Non-US wholesale customers can also order from our US online site if the quantity is less than 100kg otherwise they would have to fill the order form.
15What if I am I Africa, how do I also order for your Shea butter?
In Africa, you can order for our Shea butter by filling the order form on our Ajike Shea Centre site.
16What if I want to buy your Shea butter but I want it refined?
We can ship our unrefined Ajike Shea Butter that you have ordered from our Centre to any refinery of your choice in Europe.