The Shea tree has developed defense mechanisms to resist the long dry seasons. Its seeds are scattered at the beginning of the rainy season, to increase their chances of survival and have a form of germination called cryptoge: their exceptional lipid reserves enable them to develop a root pivot instead of seedlings like most plants. Deeply rooted in the earth, it provides the water necessary for the young plant. In order to resist frequent bush fires, the Shea tree, loses some of its leaves during the dry season so that the flames have less to catch on to and its thick, cork bark gives it certain protection.
The shea tree used by the Yves Rocher laboratories comes from West Africa. Our suppliers are involved locally in the sustainable development of the sector.
The Shea tree is considered sacred and only women are allowed to pick and transform its fruit. This unique, traditional savoir-faire is passed on from generation to generation. During the rainy season the women pick the ripe fruit, blown off the trees by the wind, from the forest floor. Back in the village, the pulp is removed from the fruit, the stones are boiled, dried in the sun then crushed to extract their nuts. They are washed, dried and stored carefully. These are important moments in the life of the village.
Lipids exist naturally in the skin and their role is essential. As we get older or from the effects of certain environmental factors, their production can decrease. With fewer lipids, the skin is more sensitive to external aggressions. It becomes dry, rough, dull, sometimes scaly and very uncomfortable.
The African woman’s beauty secret, Shea butter developed from a traditional savoir-faire, is well known for its exceptional nutritive and reparative properties. To help the economic development of its partner, Yves Rocher has financed a 5000m2 shea butter transformation plant in Bougouni. The women bring the nuts to the transformation plant which are then crushed, roasted and ground up. The resulting mixture is cooked and submerged in boiling water which when filtered gives raw Shea butter. Its color and odor are removed in Europe, using steam and it finally has the qualities required for beauty care.
Thanks to its high level of insaponifiable components, the Shea butter at the heart of our “Expert” repair range, is important in making dry skin suppler, more nourished and repaired*.
* in vivo tests