Shea Butter, Squalene and Palm Oil

Shear Butter 2As one stands at the mirror, morning and evening, diligently carrying out the routines of cleansing, toning, moisturizing and nourishing, one can be excused for not being aware of a host of ingredients in the relevant cosmetics. Upon scrutinizing the containers and packaging, however, some alien sounding ingredients will come to light, plus some that readers will recognize. It is a sampling of these key ingredients that will be discussed in this week’s article.


The first that deserves prominence is SHEA BUTTER, one of nature’s wonders, used by generations of Africans for skin care, baby care, healing and food. The butter is extracted from the nuts of these sacred Shea trees, which are treated with great respect, and are indigenous to the savannah areas of west Africa.
What makes shea butter so extraordinary can be contributed to its richness in unsaturated fats, vitamins A, E and D and allantoin, a substance found in some plants.
Shea butter protects the skin from harsh sun (as it acts as a ultra violet blocker) and drying wind, is excellent to promote healing of dry cracked heels, eczema, psoriasis and minor cuts and abrasions .


SQUALENE is often termed a magical ingredient because of its healing properties and the ability to rapidly penetrate the skin. Originally it was, and can still be sourced from shark liver, but we would rather go the “beauty without cruelty” route and opt for this ingredient produced from olives and vegetable oils.
Squalene is found naturally in human sebaceous oil, but levels decline rapidly in one’s early twenties.
This ingredient is excellent for preventing age spots, correctly termed solar keratoses, and has anti-inflammatory and healing effects.


PALM OIL is the most widely consumed vegetable oil on the planet, derived from the fruit of the oil palm tree. Palm oil and its derivatives are present in 70% of cosmetics and other commodities. Besides being used in toiletries, palm oil is present in baking goods, confectionary, ice cream, cereals, candles and many more products.
Although this might seem positive for the manufacturing sector, palm oil has received extremely bad publicity of late because global demand has fuelled unsustainable growth, particularly in Malaysia and Indonesia, where rainforest destruction is at an all time high, resulting in a threat to endangered orang-utans and other animals like tigers and elephants.
What is drastically needed is environmental management, limitations on palm oil plantations and conservation of existing forests.


MatsiMela Home Spa’s soap manufacturer, and partner, Willow Soaps, sources their palm oil from ethically sustainable palm plantations, as per its commitment to fair trade and sustainability. It is with pride in this commitment that we are able to offer the products we do. Yet another reason to indulge in the variety of products that MatsiMela has to offer.