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27 January 2011 @ 09:53 am
Preliminary Review: Shea Terra Organics, part two  
 It's been a week since my last review post of these products.  Time for part two, I think.  I'll include an update at the end on the products I covered in my previous review post.  

1. Aside from their Argan Oil, this Shea Terra Nilotica Shea Butter (certified organic, 100% Shea Butter) is their top selling product.  First, a little about Shea Butter.  We all know how good for our skin it is, right?  We see products touting it's healing powers as an ingredient all the time.  What those commercial products don't tell you, is most of them only contain less than 1% shea butter - or as much as a whopping 3%.  This is pure, 100%, naturally processed Shea Butter.  (Some refining techniques destroy the butter's healthy benefits.  Not the case here.)  Also, there are two types of pure Shea Butter.  The more commonly harvested from West Africa variety (Shea Terra carries that as well; it's a great Shea Butter, by all accounts, but I haven't tried it) and the Nilotica, harvested from East Africa.  Nilotica is softer, smoother, and has less smell than the West African variety.  Shea Terra recommends it for use on babies, it is so soft and easy to use.

But the absolute best part, in my opinion, is that not only are you getting an excellent skin care product, but you are helping women who have suffered gain a new chance at something better.  Here is what Shea Terra has to say: "Shea Nilotica Shea Butter is produced by the Otuwe Shea Butter Cooperative in Northern Uganda. Many of the women have escaped the hands of their kidnappers from the rebel army. Some were even been kidnapped as young girls. Some have lost many of their family members, including their husbands and children. The Otuwe Shea Butter Cooperative gives these women an opportunity for independence that most women in Africa will never get. By selling their shea butter to Shea Terra Organics the women earn up to eight times what their western counterparts get for their shea butter. The women then use the money to feed, educate and get medical services for their children. Some women have taken on orphaned children after losing their own to the war, and are now able to care for them. Many of the women have bought their own small homes, in cash, built for them by the project."

Many lotions and creams you buy for your skin are full of chemicals.  These lotions are not actually moisturizing at all, creating a fake "smooth" feel through the application of ingredients such as silicone.  Worst of all, some are made with dangerous parabens and chemicals that can cause cancer! Rich in Vitamins A & E, Shea Butter is an all natural, healthy alternative that is actually moisturizing!  People have been using it for centuries to treat dry skin, and skin conditions such as eczema and rosacea.  

My husband has rosacea.  Not as common for men as it is for women, but it runs in his family.  He's been treating it topically with a steroid cream, which seemed to work at first, but now no longer seems to have much effect.  When I started using the Argan Oil on my face, I convinced him to give it a try.  Well, he's seen some small success with that, and in the past week, I've researched a bit more, and found that steroid cream used long term can actually have a whole host of really bad side effects, including the original problem actually getting worse.  We talked, and now I've finally convinced him to ditch the steroid cream for good and try something new.  He's going to start using the Rose Hips Black Soap in the mornings, followed up by the Argan Oil during the day (because it absorbs quicker into the skin), and at night, we are applying the Nilotica Shea Butter to his face, as well as his dry, flaky scalp.  We did this last night for the first time, and when he showered this morning, he used the soap as I'd suggested, and applied the oil.  After just one night, the redness is markedly improved, although I can definitely see we have a ways to go, and I'm very excited to see how it looks in a week or two.  Also, his scalp was not itchy at all this morning, so we'll see if we can't cure all of his complaints with this Shea Butter!

As for me, I used it on my freshly shaved legs, and they have never felt so smooth!  It just seems to melt into the skin, I love it!

2. Mango Shea Butter Smoothee - This is a product I probably never would have ordered on my own, but they included it as a sample with my order.  This product blends the two different Shea Butters I talk about above, giving it a thicker consistency than the Nilotica by itself, but not quite as hard as the other, West African variety.  To these two Shea Butters, mango extract is added, for a light scent that I really like. Easy to use, moisturizing, and with a nice light scent - win/win! I like it so well, I will probably order a full size at some point.  (Good work, Shea Terra!  Your sample giving does indeed sell more products!)

3. Bourbon Vanilla 40% Shea Butter Body Cream - I love a good vanilla scent, and this stuff qualifies!  Not fake.  Real extract vanilla is used, along with 40% Shea Butter, and Shea Terra's proprietary herbal blend.  This rich cream seems to melt into your skin, just like the 100% She Butter, but for those who like scented lotions and creams, this leaves a wonderful warm fragrance behind.  I use the 100% Shea Butter on my legs, which get shaved, but the rest of me gets this stuff, because I do like a nice scent with my lotion.  It can be a little harder to apply [than lotion], as it is pretty hard right out of the jar, but I just scrape some up onto my fingers, and then it massages easily enough into my skin, which then feels baby soft. :)

4. Organic Shea Lip Butters - How many people have seemingly chronic chapped lips?  *raises hand*  Well, those Carmex/Blistex/Chapstick brands are not actually healing the problem, they are covering it, often with petroleum jelly based product.  I saw that episode of Dr. Oz with the tub of gross petroleum jelly that represented how much the average woman eats off her lips in ten years.  *shudders*  That was lip glosses, but I know my carmex was my problem - I'm not much of a lip gloss person.  Anyway, I switched to Burt's Bees, but the beeswax feel has never been 100% great for me, and I don't really feel like my lips are getting a lot better.  Enter Shea Terra's lip butters!  Made with 25% sheer butter, African beeswax, and other healing oils and natural herbs, it glides on smooth as silk, tastes good, and my lips feel softer and smoother, with me reaching to reapply fewer times throughout the day.  I bought one for Mark, too, and he's been using it without complaint, which for him is amazing; he's pretty picky about his chapstick. :)  Inexpensive and effective, gotta love it!

5. Roobios Vitamin E Reparative Face Cream - Another piece of their face care line of products, I bought this to replace my anti-aging day cream.  Shea Terra says: "Two of the world's most anti-oxidant ingredients combine in this reparative cream to fight off wrinkle causing oxidation. South African rooibos tea has several times the anti-oxidants of green tea." I have used it for about a week, and while I do like it, and it does seem my skin is younger looking, with fewer fine lines, I am still also using the Agran Oil as an additional moisturizer.  This Roobios cream does not quite give my skin the soft feel the Argan Oil was, but I figure it's very similar to the day cream+moisturizer routine I was using before, but much more affordable, and without all those chemicals!  

Bottom line: I am really, really loving my new skin care regime.  My skin hasn't looked this good in a long time, and I can feel really good about what I'm putting on it, which is something I never even thought of before.  Cost-wise, for organic, all natural products, Shea Terra offers some great prices.  It is also much cheaper than my previous cosmetic company created skin care line.  As a comparison, here are the prices I figured up:

Cleanser
Toner
Moisturizer
Day Cream
Night Treatment

Cosmetic company price for this package: $112
Shea Terra, same package: $85

As for how long these products will last me, I suppose we'll see.  The Night Serum is the most expensive thing from Shea Terra, but it only takes a few drops for my face, so I think the bottle will last a good while.  The night treatment from the cosmetic line I was using, btw, was more expensive for half the amount of product.  Meaning the 2 oz. I'm getting from Shea Terra is less money than I was spending on the 1 oz of night treatment from the other guys.  The cleansers are pretty comparable in price, as are the moisturizers.  But the day and night treatments are not, and Shea Terra offers frequent discounts, so in the end, they are the better price.  

Plus, I KNOW what I'm putting on my face, and it doesn't contain harsh chemicals, cancer causing parabens, or pesticides, as my previous skin care regime did!  (*shudders*)  Plus, I am seeing a marked improvement in my skin, and no breakouts (a minor miracle for me).  It's been two weeks since I started, and I am still really happy.  I'm SO happy, I wish Shea Terra was one of those companies you could sign up to be a "consultant" for.  I feel so passionately about these products, I would love to schedule "parties" and show other women how great they are by letting them try them.  I suppose I could still do that, but it would be rather expensive for me to give out samples of all the stuff I've bought, so maybe not.  Still, I wish I could.  I am not normally an "all natural" kinda girl, but Shea Terra has totally changed my way of looking at what I put on my skin, and it makes me want to show people there are alternatives to those expensive cosmetic lines that have all kinds of "mystery" ingredients.

Recommendation:  If you want to try all-natural skin care without investing too much into it, I recommend starting with two products: Rose Hips Black Soap, and 100% Argan Oil Face + Body.  Wash, apply oil, and see how your face does.  These products together are $42, but use 30% off code TBF30, and it comes to $29 + $7 shipping, so $36.  In the world of Beauty care products, this is a great price.  Even Neutrogena face wash from the drugstore is $15.
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