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Effects of Topical and Dietary Use of Shea Butter on Animals

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  • BSA Seafoods

Abstract

Shea butter is the fat extracted from the nut of Africa Shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa). It is used in cosmetic formulations and as a substitute for Cocoa butter in chocolate industries. It is edible and used cooking fat in Africa. The saponifiable fraction of Shea butter is composed primarily of stearic and oleic acids with lesser amounts of palmitic, linoleic and arachidic acids while the unsaponifiable fraction of Shea butter is composed of bioactive substances that are responsible for Shea butter's medicinal properties. Shea butter is a solid at room temperature and melts at body temperature. It is therefore useful for skin care as it has sun screening properties and acts as an emollient and skin moisturizer. Topical use of Shea butter has also demonstrated anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties. Dietary intake of Shea butter has hypocholesterolemic effect and reduces serum and organ protein concentrations.
American Journal of Life Sciences
2014; 2(5): 303-307
Published online October 30, 2014 (http://www.sciencepublishinggroup.com/j/ajls)
doi: 10.11648/j.ajls.20140205.18
ISSN: 2328-5702 (Print); ISSN: 2328-5737 (Online)
Effects of topical and dietary use of shea butter on animals
Malachi Oluwaseyi Israel
Department of Biochemistry, Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria
Email address:
malachiseyi@gmail.com
To cite this article:
Malachi Oluwaseyi Israel. Effects of Topical and Dietary Use of Shea Butter on Animals. American Journal of Life Sciences.
Vol. 2, No. 5, 2014, pp. 303-307. doi: 10.11648/j.ajls.20140205.18
Abstract:
Shea butter is the fat extracted from the nut of Africa Shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa). It is used in cosmetic
formulations and as a substitute for Cocoa butter in chocolate industries. It is edible and used cooking fat in Africa. The
saponifiable fraction of Shea butter is composed primarily of stearic and oleic acids with lesser amounts of palmitic, linoleic and
arachidic acids while the unsaponifiable fraction of Shea butter is composed of bioactive substances that are responsible for Shea
butters medicinal properties. Shea butter is a solid at room temperature and melts at body temperature. It is therefore useful for
skin care as it has sun screening properties and acts as an emollient and skin moisturizer. Topical use of Shea butter has also
demonstrated anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties. Dietary intake of Shea butter has hypocholesterolemic effect and
reduces serum and organ protein concentrations.
Keywords:
Shea Butter, Skin, Allergy, Inflammation, Cholesterol
1. Introduction
Shea butter is an off-white or ivory-coloured fat extracted
from the nut of African Shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa
formerly Butryspermum paradoxum, B.parkii and B.
paradoxa) [1] Shea tree grows naturally in the wild of the dry
savanna belt of West Africa, from Senegal in the West to
Sudan in the East and onto the foot hills of the Ethiopian
mountains [2-4]. The West African trees are classified as the
subspecies “paradoxa” and the East African one as
“nilotica”[5-7]. It is considered a sacred tree by many
communities and ethnic groups and plays important roles in
religious and cultural ceremonies where is also believed to
have some spiritual protective powers [8,9]. It has been
claimed to possess potentials to improve nutrition, boost food
supply in the annual hungry season [10], foster rural
development, and support sustainable land care [11]. Different
parts of the plant including leaves, roots, seeds, fruit and stem
bark have been used in the treatment of enteric infections such
as diarrhea, dysentery, helminthes and other gastrointestinal
tract infections, skin diseases and wound infections [12]. The
bark is used to suppress cough and also to treat leprosy [13].
Shea nut contains about 60% fat (Shea butter) [14], and
together with the oil palm serve as sources of edible oil for
many households in many parts of the Sahel Africa,
particularly Northern Nigeria [3,11,15-18].
Shea butter is renowned for its use as a component of
cosmetic formulations [16,19] and as a substitute for Cocoa
butter in chocolate industries [20], although the taste is
noticeably different [21]. Shea butter is used by local healers
as a treatment for rheumatism, inflammation of the nostrils,
nasal congestion, leprosy, cough, and minor bone dislocation
[22-25]. It is also used as raw material for the production
margarine, soap, detergent and candle [26]. Low quality butter
and by-products of processed nuts are smeared on earthen
walls of houses as a waterproof to protect walls during the
rainy season [27]. Shea butter has also been used for soothing
and accelerating healing after circumcision, and for
preventing stretch marks in African pregnant women and as an
insect repellent, providing protection against Simulium
infection [24]. There are no reports of allergic reaction owing
to consumption of Shea butter or its produce [28,29]. The
United States Agency for International Development, Gassel
Consulting, and many other companies have suggested a
classification system for Shea butter separating it into five
grades: A (raw or unrefined, extracted using water), B
(refined), C (highly refined and extracted with solvents such
as hexane), D (lowest uncontaminated grade), E (with
contaminants) [30]. Large quantities of Shea butter are
produced in West Africa though the exact production figures
are not known [31]. This work reviews the effects of topical
and dietary use of Shea butter on animal system.
304 Malachi Oluwaseyi Israel: Effects of Topical and Dietary Use of Shea Butter on Animals
2. Chemical Composition of Shea Butter
In addition to a stearic and oleic acids rich saponifiable
fraction, Shea butter contains an unsaponifiable fraction
composed of bioactive substances that are responsible for
Shea butters medicinal properties [32]. With regional
variation in concentrations [6,33], the unsaponifiable fraction
of Shea butter is composed primarily of triterpene alcohols,
with some hydrocarbons, sterols, and other minor components
such as vitamin E [34-36]. The saponifiable triglyceride
fraction of Shea butter constitutes about 90% by mass of the
butter [34-38] and is composed primarily of stearic and oleic
acids with lesser amounts of palmitic, linoleic and arachidic
acids [39]. The triacylglyceride fraction is made up of fatty
acids (acyl chains) attached to a glycerol backbone [40]. Since
different fatty acids are present in Shea butter, different
combinations of fatty acids attached to the glycerol are
possible. In Shea butter, the most predominant combination is
SOS (S-Stearic, O-oleic) making up to 40% of the total
triacylglycerol molecules, followed by SOO (27 %), POS
(P-palmitic, 6%) and POP (1%) [36]. Di Vincenzo and
co-workers [6] however concluded that SOO, OOO, and SOS
were the major triglycerides in Shea butter with regional
variation. Shea butter contains relatively high amount of
saturated fatty acids compared to other plant-sourced lipids
including: grape seed oil (total saturated fatty acids:
10.4-14.3 % of total fatty acids), olive oil (12.7-16.2 %), and
canola oil (5.5-7.7 %) which are all, in contrast to Shea butter,
liquid at room temperature and have saturated fatty acids less
than 20 % of total fatty acids [41-43]. Shea butter fatty acid
composition has been found to vary across the African
countries [6,44]. Maranz and co-workers [44], as shown in
Table 1, nevertheless presented ranges and mean values of the
fatty acid compositions.
Table 1. Fatty Acid profile of Shea Butter
Fatty Acids Mean (%) Min (%) Max (%)
Palmitic (16:0) 4.0 2.6 8.4
Stearic (18:0) 41.5 25.6 50.2
Oleic (18:1) 46.4 37.1 62.1
Linoleic (18:2) 6.6 0.6 10.8
Arachidic(20:0) 1.3 0.0 3.5
3. Effects of Shea Butter
Sun-screening function: Sun-screens absorb or reflect some
of the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation reaching the skin
exposed to sunlight and thus helps protect against sunburn,
preventing erythema and reducing further risk of sun-induced
skin-cancer. The major cause of photocarcinogenesis is UVB
radiation (290-320 nm) since it directly interacts with cellular
DNA, forming cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers and thymine
glycols [45]. Cinnamate esters of triterpene alcohol which are
the main constituent of Shea butters unsaponifiable fraction
are known to have strong absorbance of UV radiation in the
wavelength range at 250-300 nm, which make the addition of
Shea butters unsaponifiables into sunscreens provide
synergistic sun-protection by increasing absorption of UVB
radiation [46]. However, the effectiveness of the triterpenes is
somewhat doubted since studies using double-fractionated
Shea butter with 20% of triterpene esters found that this
triterpenic fraction only provided the sun protection factor
(SPF) of 3-4 [36,47].
As an emollient and skin moisturizer: Due to its semi-solid
characteristics and buttery consistency, Shea butter is great
emollient and moisturizer for the skin, scalp and hair even
without further processing [46]. However Shea butter is
usually found as active component of processed moisturizers
[48]. In addition, fractionated Shea butter especially olein
fraction is easily formulated in creams or surfactant based
products such as bath products and shampoo to provide the
skin, scalp, and hair with well-maintained or increased
moisture [36,46,49]. Shea butter melts at body temperature,
acts as a "refatting" agent, has good water-binding properties
and absorbs rapidly into the skin; making it useful for skin
care [50]. In an article titled ‘Winter Itch’, Shea butter was
recommended for repairing dry inflamed skin caused by
dermatitis and as a night time moisturizer for hands and feet
[51]. Also, in a study by Poelman and co workers [52], a
cream containing 5% Shea Butter versus a placebo cream
were applied to the forearms of 10 volunteers. Short-term
moisturization was observed; it peaked after 1 hour and
persists for 8 hours. For all subjects, a daily application
maintains a very good moisturization of the superficial layers
of the skin. Shea butter has also been shown to be superior to
mineral oil at preventing transepidermal water loss (TEWL).
In a test where participants’ arms were washed in ethanol, it
was found that Shea butter was able to help the skin totally
recover from TEWL within two hours [53]. One study showed
that it worked as an emollient for eczema. Using a scale from
zero to five zero denoting clear and five denoting very
severe disease — Shea butter took a three down to a one, while
Vaseline only took a three down to a two [54].
Anti-aging properties: It has been revealed that Shea butter
has UV anti-erythemic activity, which helps tissue cell
regeneration and softening of the skin [55]. In a clinical study
involving 30 volunteers, Renard [56] reported that Shea butter
diminished various aging signs. In another clinical study by
the same author for studying dry, delicate or aging skin, 49
volunteers applied twice a day either 15% or pure Shea Butter
and discovered that Shea butter prevented photo-aging. Also,
in a study with rats, Shea butter was shown to boost collagen
production [57]. Collagen and elastin are the major structural
proteins providing skin with toughness and plumpness and
α-amyrin and lupeol, the triterpenes found in the
unsaponifiable fraction of Shea butter, were found to
contribute to the inactivation of proteases such as
metalloprotease (e.g., collagenase) as well as serine protease
(e.g., elastase) [36]. The anti-aging, potentially
collagen-boosting effects were attributed to its unsaponifiable
components [32, 36].
Anti-inflammatory properties: The anti-inflammatory
effects of Shea butter have been demonstrated through
inhibition of Inos, Cox-2, and Cytokines via the Nf-Kb
pathway in Lps-Activated J774 Macrophage cells [58]. Loden
American Journal of Life Sciences 2014; 2(5): 303-307 305
and Andersson [57] also showed that Shea butter will reduce
reaction to skin irritants. Hee [46] found α-amyrin to be the
most dominant triterpene in Shea butters unsaponifiable
fraction. Bioactivities of α-amyrin have been studied
especially with α-amyrin extracted from Protium kleinii, a
plant used in Brazillian folk medicine belonging to
Burseraceae family. When administered, α-amyrin was
reported to show dose-related antinociceptive effect against
the visceral pain when mixed with β-amyrin in vivo test on
mice [59]. The topical application of α-amyrin showed
anti-inflammatory effects, inhibiting skin inflammatory
responses such as edema formation, migration of
polymorphonuclear leukocyte, and increase in tissue IL-1β
levels [60]. In another study on the anti-inflammatory effect of
α-amyrin and β-amyrin of Protium heptaphyllum, the result
showed they retarded acute inflammation in rat model of
periodontitis [61].
Effect on Cholesterol metabolism: Shea butter has been
reported to be used by a pharmaceutical company, BSP
Pharma, to lower cholesterol levels [62]. Tholstrup and co
workers [63] observed a reduction of total cholesterol and low
density lipoprotein (LDL) by Shea butter administration and
attributed the anti-hypercholesterolemic effect to the high
stearic acid content of Shea butter. In a study with rats,
Akinwale and co workers [64] reported a significant reduction
in High density lipoprotein (HDL), Total Cholesterol and Low
density lipoprotein (LDL) when rats were fed with Shea butter.
The anti-hypercholesterolemic effect of Shea butter was
ascribed to the presence of saponins in it by Akinwale and co
workers [64]. Saponin which is present in the unsaponifiable
fraction of Shea butter [34-36] has been reported by several
authors to lower serum cholesterol by forming mixed micelles
with cholesterol and bile acids in the intestine thereby
inhibiting its absorption and increasing its excretion [65-69].
Allergy: Although, Shea nut is distantly related to Brazil nut
[70] which cross-reacts with almond, hazelnut, walnut, and
peanut [71], there are no reports of allergy reaction owing to
the topical or oral use of Shea butter. Furthermore, Kanwaljit
and co workers [29] reported that Shea butter contains no
IgE-binding soluble proteins and reassures that Shea butter is
safe for use even for individual with nut allergy. Conversely,
Wiedner [72] found that pharmaceutical composition
containing at least 5% of Shea butters triterpenes such as
butyrospermol, lupeol, parkeol, germanicol, dammaradienol,
24-methylene-dammarenol, and α, and β-amyrins effectively
suppresses hypersensitivity reaction such as Immunoglobulin
E (IgE)-mediated allergic reactions and autoimmune reactions
in mammals.
Effect on protein metabolism: In a study with rats, Malachi
[73] observed a decrease in total protein concentrations of the
hepatic and renal tissues as well as the serum following the
administration of Shea butter based diet. The decrease was
attributed to the presence of saponin, which have been
reported reduce protein digestibility by the forming sparingly
digestible saponin-protein complexes in the intestine [74,75].
Conversely, Belewu and Yahaya [76] reported that there was
no digestive disturbance in feeding goats with Shea butter
cake after observing a significant increase in crude protein
digestibility in goats fed with Shea butter cake against control
goats fed with soybeans cake. Furthermore, Akinwale and co
worker [64] suggested that the decrease in serum albumin
level following the feeding of rats with Shea butter based diet
is as a result of utilization of Albumin in the transport of free
fatty acids resulting from lipolysis in adipocytes.
4. Conclusion
In summary, there is enough evidence to substantiate the
claims of the health benefits of the topical use of Shea butter.
The dietary use of Shea butter, though has the advantage of
anti-hypercholesterolemic actions, is suspected to interfere
with protein digestion.
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... In recent years, the dried kernels have been exported to processing countries in Europe, Japan and Asia where Shea butter is extracted in large -scale industrial plants (Lovett et al., 2000). Traditional extraction has been usually done by boiling water and skimming off the released oil while commercial one is conducted by pressing or solvent extraction with further refining and deodorizing of Shea butter (Israel, 2014). However, with the increased interest in naturally derived products, organic Shea butter production is preferred and thus efforts have been made to industrially produce Shea butter by following the traditional extraction methods. ...
... Some of the isolated chemical constituents are reported to have ant-inflammatory, emollient and humectants properties. The butter has been used as a sun-blocking lotion and some of its components have limited capacity to absorb ultraviolet radiation (Israel, 2014). It is mainly used in the cosmetics industry for skin and hair related products (lip moisturizer, skin moisturizers, creams and hair conditioners for dry and brittle hair (Israel, 2014). ...
... The butter has been used as a sun-blocking lotion and some of its components have limited capacity to absorb ultraviolet radiation (Israel, 2014). It is mainly used in the cosmetics industry for skin and hair related products (lip moisturizer, skin moisturizers, creams and hair conditioners for dry and brittle hair (Israel, 2014). It is also used by soap makers typically in small amounts (5-7% of the oils in the recipe), because it has plenty of unsaponifiables, and higher amounts results in softer soaps that have less cleaning abilitpries. ...
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Abstract This study evaluates the elemental and proximate composition of Shea butter sold in Swali market Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Nigeria. Proximate analysis was carried out using standard method of AOAC (2005) while elemental analysis was determined using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer and Flame photometer. The proximate values were: Moisture (5.220±0.113 %), Crude fibre (0.111±0.001%), Crude Protein (42.316±0.000%), Crude fat (97.000±0.000%), Ash content (0.084±0.006%), Carbohydrate (34.096±0.011%). Results of the elemental analysis (mg/100g) showed that Sodium, Potassium, Iron, Magnesium, Copper, Calcium, Zinc and Manganese contents of the Shea butter were: 836.83±0.101, 45.81±000, 0.61±0.111, 2.56±0.111, 0.18±0.000, 31.31±0.113, 0.30±0.101 and 0.23±0.113 respectively. The elemental and proximate values indicated that Shea butter has nutritive components comparable to other popular nutritious food substances. Hence, its consumption for edible and non- edible purposes should be promoted. Keywords: Shea butter, Swali market, crude protein, moisture, Yenagoa
... The main fatty acids found in shea are stearic, oleic, palmitic, linoleic, and arachidic acid, which provide moisturizing and barrier protective actions [43,44]. The unsaponifiables include antioxidants (oil soluble tocopherols), triterpenes (e.g., butyrospermol), phenols, sterols, karitene, allantoin, and polyphenols (mainly the catechin), which together have been shown to provide UV-B absorbing properties [45,46]. Shea butter has shown to boost collagen production while inactivating proteases such as metalloprotease (e.g., collagenase) as well as serine protease (e.g., elastase) [45]. ...
... The unsaponifiables include antioxidants (oil soluble tocopherols), triterpenes (e.g., butyrospermol), phenols, sterols, karitene, allantoin, and polyphenols (mainly the catechin), which together have been shown to provide UV-B absorbing properties [45,46]. Shea butter has shown to boost collagen production while inactivating proteases such as metalloprotease (e.g., collagenase) as well as serine protease (e.g., elastase) [45]. Two clinical studies showed that shea butter is able to reduce multiple signs of aging and prevent photo-aging [47]. ...
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Botanical ingredients have been used for thousands of years in skincare for their convenience as well as the diversity and abundance in compounds with biological activity. Among these, polyphenols and especially flavonoids have gained increasing prominence due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In this study, the most used botanical preparations in anti-aging products marketed in 2011 were determined. The analysis was repeated in 2018 for new and reformulated products. The scientific evidence for their application as active ingredients in anti-aging cosmetics and their flavonoid content was also compiled by searching in online scientific databases. Overall, in 2018, there was a noticeable increase in the use of botanical preparations in anti-aging cosmetics. However, the top three botanical species in both years were Vitis vinifera, Butyrospermum parkii, and Glycine soja, which is consistent with the greater amount of scientific evidence supporting their efficacy. Regarding the function of botanical preparations, there is a clear preference for DNA-protecting ingredients. The most prevalent flavonoids were flavan-3-ols, proanthocyanidins, and anthocyanins. This study provided an updated overview of the market trends regarding the use of botanicals in anti-aging products and documented the state of the art of scientific evidence for the most used plants.
... Due to its emollient properties, it is a great material for skin-and hair-care formulations. Moreover, shea butter can promote the inactivation of proteases involved in the degradation of collagen and elastases and can absorb UVB radiation, making it a raw material useful for anti-aging and sunscreen formulations [37]. ...
... Vitellaria paradoxa butter (shea tree) Topical use of shea butter has demonstrated anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties [89]. It also plays a positive role in wound healing, wrinkles, and oxidative damage [90]. ...
... The TAG molecular species of the HPKO, shea butter, shea butter solid and liquid fractions, RAMR, and alternative fat products were analyzed using RP-HPLC, and their proposed TAG compositions are summarized in Table 2. The partition numbers (PNs) for the peaks of each TAG molecule are shown in Figure 2b and Table 2. Generally, shea butter is composed mainly of SOS and SOO (stearic-oleic-oleic TAG) as major TAGs, and palmitic-oleic-oleic TAG (POO) and palmitic-oleic-stearic TAG (POS) [17]. The PN of the TAG composition in the shea butter used in this study was distributed at around PN = 48-54; in particular, TAG with PN = 52 was 55.5 area%, while TAG with PN = 50 was 32.0 area%. ...
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We developed an alternative whipping cream fat using shea butter but with low saturation. Enriched stearic-oleic-stearic (SOS) solid fat was obtained from shea butter via solvent fractionation. Acyl migration reactant, which mainly contains asymmetric SSO triacylglycerol (TAG), was prepared through enzymatic acyl migration to obtain the creaming quality derived from the β’-crystal form. Through enzymatic acyl migration, we obtained a 3.4-fold higher content of saturated-saturated-unsaturated (SSU) TAG than saturated-unsaturated-saturated (SUS) TAG. The acyl migration reactant was refined to obtain refined acyl migration reactant (RAMR). An alternative fat product was prepared by blending RAMR and hydrogenated palm kernel oil (HPKO) at a ratio of 4:6 (w/w). The melting points, solid fat index (SFI), and melting curves of the alternative products were similar to those of commercial whipping cream fat. The alternative fat had a content of total unsaturated fatty acids 20% higher than that of HPKO. The atherogenic index (AI) of alternative fat was 3.61, much lower than those of whipping cream fat (14.59) and HPKO (1220.3), because of its low atherogenic fatty acid content and high total unsaturated fatty acids. The polymorphic crystal form determined by X-ray diffraction spectroscopy showed that the β’-crystal form was predominant. Therefore, the alternative fat is comparable with whipping cream that requires creaming quality, and has a reduced saturated fat content.
... It is also used for the prevention and thinning of stretch marks, for massages in children and adults, improving wound healing and as an anti-microbial. 15 Shea butter has some sun-protection, skin rejuvenation and anti-aging properties. 16 Oil can be extracted from the coconut flesh using cold compress or heat Method 1: The fruit is removed from the shell, grind, sieve and pour in a bucket. ...
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Plant and seed oils have been used for centuries and possibly millennia in Nigeria and Africa for the maintenance of healthy skin and the traditional treatment of skin disorders. In recent times, some of these oils have regained popularity due to their availability and affordability coupled with concerns about the side effects of commercially processed skin care products. This is to assess the chemical properties, current knowledge, source of procurement, indications for topical use, benefits, and possible adverse effects of six plant oils and one animal fat commonly used in Nigeria. Methodology This is a literature review and interview with traditional healers and alternative health practitioners to document the traditional, medical, cosmetics, and other usage of oils for skin and scalp care in the African context. Literature review was done on the biochemical and pharmacological properties of each of the seven oils. Searches were made from PubMed, African Journal online, Medline and google scholar. Medical subject heading terms used in the search include Shea butter, coconut oil, palm kernel oil, palm oil, soy oil, Baobab oil and python oil. Result and Conclussion Plant and seed oils used locally in Nigeria and other African countries for skin care and treatment have several benefits due to the constituents of the plant oils (free fatty acids, triglycerides, ceramides, phospholipids, vitamins and antioxidants) which have been shown to promote healthy skin barrier function, wound healing and have anti‐inflammatory and antimicrobial effects. They are however not without adverse effects, which may be mainly due to processing and storage hygiene. Further studies are required on these oils in view of their potential in the development of novel skincare products and dermatological therapies. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
... 7 Active components of shea butter like triterpene alcohols, cinnamic acid esters, retinols, and tocopherols are known to be anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, absorb UV radiation, and slow the skin aging process. [5][6][7][8] Stearic acid and oleic acid fractions of shea butter are formulated into several moisturizing creams, cleansers, and shampoos. 9 This review was done to assess and document the knowledge and use of shea butter for skin, scalp, and hair moisturization by Nigerians and as adjuvant skin treatment by healthcare personnel including dermatologists. ...
... NVA, an emollient of vegetable origin, although having a chemical structure fundamentally different from petrolatum, was designed and launched in the market as a direct alternative, since it reproduces the texture, the appearance, and the after-feel physicochemical properties of the original synthetic raw material. SB is considered one of the most sustainable natural resources in the world; it is associated with certified fair trade and is still recognized for its excellent qualities as a skin and hair conditioner and its antiaging, UV-protective, and anti-inflammatory properties [14][15][16]. LB, MB, and OB are of organic origin and have extraordinary moisturization properties, already duly proven. KV, which is a blend of natural waxes and oils, shows excellent skin-feel properties, and, although chemically different, its macroscopic appearance is similar to that of petrolatum. ...
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