The shea nut comes from the shea tree that grows in West Africa and has been named the "Tree of Life" by the African women. The shea tree, which grows in the wild, produces its first fruits when it is about 20 years old, but it can take up to 45-50 years before it reaches its full maturity. After this, it continues to produce nuts for about 300 years.
The shea butter used in GAIA's products is purchased through a joint project in Ghana. The project is supported by the organization Fairtrade and the region is ecologically certified. Sheanut trees grow freely without chemicals, pesticides, fertilizers, toxic or dangerous substances coming into contact with these trees. When the fruits ripen, they fall to the ground where women collect them on foot. After they have been sun-dried, roasted and hand-painted, they are kneaded into soft shea butter. The fuel used for the fire on which the nuts are roasted consists mainly of wood collected by the women. No trees are cut down to produce the fuel used in production. Paper-lined trucks transport this organic handmade raw material to the port for further transport to the refinery where it is processed and deodorized by steam treatment to organic standard certification that makes it ready for use.
Destruction of the shea tree is prohibited by law in Africa because its nuts provide such a valuable source of food, medicine and income for the population. The proportion of women employed in the production of shea butter is so large that it is usually called "women's gold". This natural asset strengthens and builds women's financial security.
Shea butter is nature's own fantastic moisturizer. It protects, soothes and moisturizes and thanks to its high fat content, the skin absorbs it slowly, which makes the effect longer lasting. Vitamins A and E increase the body's ability to strengthen collagen in the skin, stretch the skin and prevent wrinkles. Vitamin A has moisturizing properties and Vitamin F soothes dry and flaky skin. Shea butter also increases cell renewal and makes the skin softer and more elastic.