Shea butter business booms due to harmattan

December 29, 2016
Source: Norvan Acquah - Hayford/
Shea butter business booms due to harmattan

As harmattan season intensifies, dealers of the one product “Shea butter” most Ghanaians use to keep their bodies in shape seem to have seen a rise in sales.

Information available to the has shown the rise in patronage of shea butter popularly known as "nkuto."

A quick survey conducted across major markets within the Kumasi Metropolis, to determine the connection between harmattan and the patronage of creams also revealed that, shea butter sold more than any other cream during the dry and hazy season.

Adwoa Baffour, who sells shea butter at Bantama market disclosed that the demand for the local cream is as a result of the cream’s ability to fight dry skin which is the order of the day due to the nature of the weather.

She added that, the shea butter cream has been on high demand because it had some ingredients, which made it effective for fighting some health problems.

Another trader from the central market, Comfort Nyarko also said the use of the local cream is as a result of its ability to moisturize the skin and prevent complete dryness which could lead to skin disease.

Shea butter or “nkuto” some say is the best to use for the skin during the dry season as it is strong to stand dry air. It is aslo said have significant nutrients capable of militating against skin diseases such as pimples, rashes, boils and wrinkles.  

The product is also said to be the best that fits all type skin colours”.

A nurse Jean Mensah who spoke to the said, Shea butter was the best cream recommended for patients during the dry season, explaining that, with the exception of the shea butter, other creams contained some chemicals which could cause skin irritation and bleaching.

Shea butter is an off-white fatty substance obtained from the nuts of the shea tree from West Africa, typically used in cosmetic and natural skin care products. Full of all-natural vitamin A, 100 percent pure, unrefined, raw shea butter aids in numerous skin conditions such as blemishes and wrinkles, stretch mark prevention during pregnancy, muscle fatigue, dermatitis, and radiation treatments for certain medical problems.

Indeed, because raw shea butter is extremely moisturizing and very hydrating, when applied to the skin, it provides immediate softness and smoothness. But it has other proven benefits.

Raw shea butter is rich in stearic, oleic acids and benefit-rich vitamin E and vitamin A. The shea tree is used as a source of vegetable oil containing about 45–50 percent oleic acid, 30–41 percent stearic acid, 5–9 percent palmitic acid and 4–5 percent linoleic acid.

The best shea butter is extracted using cold pressed methods without added chemicals or preservatives.