In this blog article, we’re writing about a few things you didn’t know about our ingredients. This topic came out of our filming of our Fresh Health with Amber Approved on Shaw TV Calgary not long ago.
At Lowen’s we have high expectations of our ingredients. They need to be safe, effective, ethically sourced, safe, and perform more than one function in any given product, as well as being safe. The repetition is deliberate – product safety is really important to us! I guess this is the Pharmacist in me talking and is the reason each of the ingredients we use have been evaluated by the Environmental Working Group. Remember just because someone calls a product “natural” or “organic,” that doesn’t mean it is safe. Rattle snake venom is also natural but you are unlikely to go looking for a snakebite…although people are injecting botulism toxin (Botox) these days so you never know.
OK, the soapbox has been put away. Getting back on topic, the ingredient that came up with Amber was shea butter. We often see this in skincare products. Is it just another rando ingredient? Nnnnnnnooooppppeeeeeeaaaaaa!
The shea butter that Lowen’s uses comes direct from Ghana from our friends at Baraka Shea Butter. The butter actually comes from the pit of the shea fruit. The fruit is an important food source for the villagers and the “left over” pits then serve as a very important source of fats. Villagers get together as a community to manually extract the shea butter. This is a laborious process that serves as an important community building act. Harvested butter then serves as a vital foodstuff for the village and only the excess is sold. Long story short, shea butter is a food 1st.
So how’d we come to be using this in skincare products? Well, people in Africa have been using shea butter on their skin and hair since the day before forever. It is incredibly conditioning and softening. That’s the key reason we use it in our products. But you could’ve guessed that.
Why else? You ask such good questions! Shea butter is a hearty fat, meaning that it keeps for a very long time. We care about this because as a skincare company, we don’t want our products “expiring” due to ingredient sensitivity. When kept in a cool, dry place, shea butter can keep for years.
The last I’ll write about that most don’t know is that shea butter has built in sun protection. The component in shea butter that does this is cinnamic acid. Protection from ‘ole Sol will vary based on how much shea is in a particular formulation and how processed the shea butter is. As you can imagine, the less processed the higher the cinnamic acid content (as well as vitamin E…yeah there’s vitamin E in them thar shea butters). Shea butter – it’s a triple threat!
That’s it for now.
All the best,
CEO & Creative Mastermind @ Lowen’s