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28 DOBE- Day 22: Shea Butter | Black Excellence

If you were like me, as a kid, you got chalky as a blackboard. My dry skin was not only itchy, but it was also very much an eyesore and a constant reminder that children love to amuse themselves at other kids’ expense. #ashyskinproblems. But I always knew there was a cure for the common ash: shea butter.

Shea butter is not a dairy product, in case you were wondering. The nut of the shea tree provide answers. Raw, unrefined shea butter contains vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A and E, as well as essential fatty acids. It has a creamy color and a very distinct smell. It has been used for centuries for its moisturizing, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties.

Health benefits, on top of cosmetic needs have been found within this little super nut. The nut is most widely used in soap and as a moisturizing lotion.

RELATED: How Shea Butter Changed My Life! 

The shea tree grows naturally in the wild in the dry savannah belt of West Africa from Senegal in the west to Sudan in the east, and onto the foothills of the Ethiopian highlands. It occurs naturally in 21 countries across the African continent, namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic of Chad, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South   Sudan, Sudan, Togo, Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya and Guinea.

Luckily for all of us, it’s an international superstar. You can get shea just about anywhere. It’s always been cheap in my neighborhood, but some places take a different route. But whatever the case, and however you use it…never forget this beautiful example of black excellence.

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Alex Miller is a freelance writer living in Harlem. His work has appeared in Forbes, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other places.

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