Shea Butter

The Journey of Shea Butter: From Seed to Shelf with Shea Radiance


Nov. 29 2023, Published 11:54 p.m. ET

Shea Butter is a vegetable fat extracted from the nut of the Karite tree. Due to its exceptional softening and moisturizing properties, this unique substance is fondly referred to as Mother Nature’s conditioner in some circles. In its unrefined state, this natural vegan extract is rich in antioxidants and Vitamins A and C. You can use it to maintain a healthy skin glow — as it is known to repair damaged and/or dry itchy skin. It is also great for your hair and can help lock in moisture and promote growth when applied to the scalp or hair.

Shea Radiance prides itself on making the best beauty products by blending only the finest natural ingredients. One of the main components of the brand's products is Shea Butter.

Shea Butter History

For millennia, Shea butter has been used as a therapeutic and cosmetic skin care product in Africa. The cosmetic use of this natural fat dates back to the time of the ancient Egyptians. It is often said that the Egyptian queen, Cleopatra, used to keep huge stocks of unrefined Shea butter on hand at all times.

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Across West Africa, the butter derived from the nuts of the Shea tree has been valued for centuries thanks to its healing and restorative properties. This awesome substance has also been part of their diet for just as long.

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Creating High-Quality Natural Products

Shea Radiance offers a wide selection of natural and socially committed beauty products. At present, the company produces more than 20 different products – distributing them across 7,000 stores throughout the United States with the help of its partner Select Nutrition. The brand’s handcrafted offering is designed to meet the hair and body care needs of its customers.

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According to the company’s founder, Funlayo Alabi, the idea to sell Shea butter products in the U.S. came about after she used it to treat her son’s eczema. After seeing the positive effect of using Shea butter, Alabi saw the opportunity for a potentially successful business. In an interview with, she stated, “I have always had a business mind and knew that we could develop high-quality Shea butter products and sell them.”

In the beginning, Alabi mixed her Shea butter products right in her kitchen. This gave birth to the brand’s hand-crafted production approach. To enhance the effectiveness of the products, Funlayo also experimented with other natural ingredients, such as Baobab oil and lavender.

Over the years, this tiny operation grew into a fully-fledged multi-million dollar company based in Ellicott City, Maryland. The brand uses unrefined Shea butter, sourced from women’s cooperatives in Nigeria, to produce natural skin and hair care products.

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The brand has taken steps to ensure that it only sources top quality unrefined Shea butter from specific partner co-operatives in Nigeria. It provides quality improvement training and supplies basic equipment to its partner producers. Shea Radiance also worked with other stakeholders to develop improved production practices that enhance the quality and shelf-life of unrefined Shea butter.

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