For nearly two decades Shea Terra’s founder has combed remote villages for the rarest, power-packed ingredients on the planet. Working with tribal peoples to identify ancestral plants and minerals, Shea Terra offers these Super Hero ingredients through our concentrated formulas.
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Disclaimer: The FDA does not allow us to fully describe how amazing these ingredients are. We can’t tell you that they heal- even if they do- firm- even if they do- or do anything that only a drug is allowed to claim. The NCBI is a library of biotechnology articles and is a part of the NIH. We do reference information from their site. We feel this information is helpful for consumers to find products that could be instrumental to their needs.
Protected under CITES, this rare species of aloe is considered the world’s most active. It is brimming with amino acids, phytosterols, as well as over 100 other constituents. It is also rich in anti-oxidants. African Aloe has amazing healing properties. It can speed the recovery of acne spots, and applied to burns it can take the sting out within minutes. African Aloe offers deep cell hydration.
AFRICAN BLACK SOAP
Though not a single ingredient, African black soap is probably one of the most crucial products for healthy skin. Using recipes handed down for hundreds of years, women in remote West African villages produce African black soap from charred cacao and plantain. This no-lye soap breaks down dead skin as it banishes blemishes. It often works better than chemical created ingredients yet is soothing to the skin.
AFRICAN BLACK SEED
Revered by ancient Egyptians and Ethiopians alike, black seed oil has traditionally been used for its ability to increase strength. Although mostly taken internally, studies have shown that even applied topically black seed oil offers an array of skin care benefits. The oil can be used on acne, rashes, and uneven skin. Used on hair the oil is said to decrease hair fall and improve strength.
AFRICA’S GOLD TREE BUTTER
Even more effective than East African (nilotica) or West African shea butters, the butter from the rare Gold Tree is high in stigmasterol and constituents that soothe skin fast. It is particularly beneficial on cracks of the feet when nothing else will do the job.
Used by traditional healers for thousands of years, this tuber is considered a miracle drug by many natives of Africa. Delivering soothing properties from its naturally occurring sterols and sterolins, use African potato to decrease puffiness and for inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and sun exposure.
Also known as Indian gooseberry, amla fruit is extremely high in vitamin C. Applied to skin it helps to brighten and cleanse. Applied to hair it helps to maintain hair color and decrease falling of hair.
One of the rarest, most exotic oils in the world, the golden oil of the argan plant is found only in a small region of Morocco. A close relative to the shea tree, the argan fruit kernel produces rich, anti-aging oil high in antioxidant vitamin E, polyunsaturated and fatty acids.
Referred to in Africa as the Tree of Life, and growing over a thousand years old, there is no wonder why natives travel at length to gather the sacred fruits of the baobab tree. Rich in the amino acid lysine, this amazing oil does a lot of things that we are not able to say. Try it on rough skin, varicose veins and more. Saturated with vitamins and omegas six and nine, baobab oil magically transforms skin in just weeks. This is the must have oil for dry, aging skin and uncontrollable hair.
Formed thousands of years ago, this ancient clay is a wonder for skin conditions. Rich in sulfur, Nigerian black clay helps banish blemishes and skin imperfections.
We use whole blue lotus flowers to produce some of our age defense products. Seen as a symbol of beauty by the Egyptians, blue lotus has skin softening and clarifying properties.
Blue tansy is a plant indigenous to regions of Morocco. Although the blooms are yellow, the plant itself produces an intense blue essential oil. The oil is high in chamazulene and sabinene which have calming effects on the skin.
The flowers that produce prickly pear fruits should not be overlooked. Studies show that they contain many skin regenerating properties due to their high content of vitamin K, magnesium and zinc. They also have hair softening properties.
Considered one of the super powers in the milk kingdom, camel’s milk is loaded with protein and vitamins. This nutrient dense milk brightens skin as it nourishes.
Numerous institute studies conclude that calendula pot marigold, has anti-inflammatory, healing and anti-sceptic properties.
When applied to the skin the bright orange flowers were shown to assist in tissue soldering.
Not only does this beautiful blue oil smell divine, its high azulene content actually relieves tension throughout the body. Cape Chamomile is the perfect essential oil for at home massage therapy and soothing bath drops.
CARROT SEED OIL
This oil is just what the doctor ordered for aging skin! A few drops of carrot seed oil a day could keep the plastic surgeon away. High in Pro-Vitamin A and Beta Carotene, this cold pressed oil (as opposed to distilled essential carrot seed oil) is the ultimate complexion repair serum as it works to reverse skin damage.
More sustainable than cane sugar, coconut sugar is produced from the nectar of the coconut flower. The unrefined sugar is high in AHA which helps to break down dead skin.
DAMASK ROSE HYDROSOL
Produced from the fragrant blossoms of Moroccan roses, Damask Rose Hydrosol does wonders for skin. Delicate droplets of rose oil remain in the water which enhance skin’s appearance and tone. The hydrosol is very hydrating as well as soothing. Our Moroccan rose hydrosol is made by a women’s cooperative. It is highly concentrated.
This bitter date sometimes serves as food when food is sparse. Growing in some of the most unhospitable conditions on earth, desert date is used extensively by people in marginalized regions for medicinal purposes. From Africa to Asia, desert date is used on a variety of skin ailments as well as for softening of the skin.
Named for the scary appearance of the root, devil’s claw is used in a lot of pain preparations. Amongst many other constituents, devil’s claw contains iridoid glucosides attributed with its pain relieving benefits. Devil’s claw makes a good addition in after shave preparations.
EGYPTIAN BLACK CASTOR
The seed of the castor plant is roasted before it is pressed of its oil. The roasting process creates sulfur which feeds the roots and increases hair growth. Egyptian black castor is grown in the black silt of the Nile. It is often preferred because it is cold pressed rather than boiled.
Grown in the Nile basin, Egyptian henna is very strong and pure in comparison to henna from other regions. Most people think of it as a hair colorant, but it actually helps to strengthen hair which reduces hair loss and breakage.
Frankincense is praised for its regenerating benefits. Aging skin is rejuvenated and firmer with the application of frankincense essential oil. Frankincense oil is also known to decrease blemishes.
GHANA GOLD SHEA BUTTER
While almost all shea butter is boiled in unsanitary conditions, and then heated to high temperatures to get rid of the water, our Ghana Gold is one of the few truly cold pressed shea butters in the world. We named it Ghana Gold for its creamy gold color, a healthy sign of tocopherols. Ghana Gold Shea Butter has worked wonders for people suffering with eczema, psoriasis, dry skin and stretch marks, as well as certain scalp conditions.
We coined it Moroccan Lava Clay, for a lack of a better name, as this clay is found only in Northern Africa. In our opinion there is no better clay in the world. Ghassool clay, sometimes erroneously called rhassoul clay, has a unique composition. One of its most active ingredients is silica known to enhance the regeneration of skin. Silica is also beneficial for strengthening the hair and nails. Ghasl means cleansing in Arabic, and this is the origin of the word ghassool. Not only does the clay purify and cleanse the skin, but it is very effective against blemishes. It can also serve as a wash for skin conditions such as eczema.
GOB TREE LEAF (QASIL)
The gob tree grows wild in the arid Somaliland. This soap like leaf works wonders to keep skin clear and smooth. It has light exfoliating properties. The women of Somaliland collect the leaves from the wild, dry and then make them into a fine powder. They use it to protect their skin from the sun.
Many consider immortelle to be the queen of all beauty ingredients. The oil is believed to be regenerating, stimulating and softening. On average the essential oil of immortelle contains 10% curcumene, an active ingredient in turmeric essential oil which destroys free radicals. Only helichrysum italicum contains the beneficial italidiones not found in any other oil in the world.
Many of the world’s most beneficial ingredients come from harsh, arid deserts like the Kalahari. Extracted from bitter melons, Kalahari seed oil is high in hydroxyl acids making it highly antioxidant. The oil is also high in essential fatty acids, protein and vitamin C. It is non-greasy and quickly absorbs making it an ideal oil to care for and protect oily skin.
Also known as the sausage fruit, kigelia Africana is a potent fruit extract building new pathways in the skincare industry. Kigelia is known to have anti-melanoma properties and is revered in Africa as a treatment for sun damage. Applied directly, the fruit pulp is used as a skin tightening agent. It is highly anti-inflammatory, thus working to calm flare ups caused by eczema and rashes.
The root of the licorice plant, not to be confused with today’s black licorice candy, is a tyrosinase inhibitor. Melanin can be produced due to injury or sun damage. This often causes patchy, uneven skin tone. Licorice root is one of the natural agents that protects and repairs this hyperpigmentation largely due to its glabrene content. The root also softens skin.
Indigenous to southern Africa, mafura butter is high in palmitic and oleic acids. It is very soft and often liquidy at room temperature. Mafura butter offers excellent hair conditioning properties. It is high in anti-oxidants and vitamin E so offers good skin protection particularly for lips and nails.
The seeds of the passion fruit, called maracuja by some South American tribes, produces a nutrient rich oil which sinks readily into dehydrated skin. The oil contains an average of 72% linoleic acid. The oil is not only well suited for aging skin, but also for those suffering with acne.
Marula oil is valued for its nutritive, skin restoring properties. Rich in oleic acid and antioxidants, this oil helps to repair sun damaged, aging skin while forming a moisture loss barrier.
This rare butter is found only in the Moabi Forest of the Congo River Basin. The soft butter melts into skin delivering tocopherols. Moabi butter soothes skin and forms a protective coat on the epidermis.
The moringa tree is highly valuable in arid locations throughout African and India. Not only is the leaf power packed with nutrition that makes spinach look insignificant in comparison, but it produces a nutrient rich oil as well. Moringa oil is similar to olive oil in many ways. The oil is high in behenic acid which is why it is often called behen oil. The oil is also high in numerous skin rejuvenating and protective constituents including sterols (β-sitosterol, stigmasterol, campesterol and Δ5-avenasterol) and tocopherols (α-, γ- and δ-tocopherols).
Food of the iKung tribe of southern Africa, the wild growing nuts are packed with protein. They are also brimming with a nutritious skin care oil high in g-tocopherol. The oil is mostly comprised of polyunsaturated fatty acids. The oil is also high in linoleic acid (omega 6) and linolenic acid. Although it is a rich, emollient oil it soaks deeply into the skin providing protection and softening. The oil also contains eleostearic acid which makes it an ideal oil to protect hair against heat damage.
Behold the beauty secret of the Macua women of Mozambique. Only women of status are allowed to adorn their faces with this indigenous facial powder. Sourced from local trees, the powder has skin softening and blemish reducing properties.
Typically orange blossom used in skin care is from the bitter and not sweet variety of oranges. These blossoms exude a sweet, beautiful fragrance. The water produced from these flowers is very toning to the skin. Skin that is prone to blemishes receive relief from the anti-bacterial benefits of orange blossom hydrosol.
With such phenomenal skin care properties, what is amazing is that the beauty enhancing powers of pomegranate took so long to be rediscovered. The polyphenol ellagic acid helps the body secrete glutathione which helps to protect DNA from free radical damage. It also inhibits enzymes that assist in the formation of cancer cells. Pomegranate oil also effectively tightens skin and surrounds cell membranes, visually improving cellulite.
First discovered high in the mountains of India, this unique tea contains anthocyanins found in such super power fruits as blueberries and blackberries. The plants are grown at a very high altitude so are said to have turned purple due to the high levels of UV light. The tea is packed with polyphenols. It has the same benefits on skin as green tea has with the addition of anthocyanins. However, one Japanese study showed that purple tea inhibits lipid peroxidation induced cytotoxicity although other phenotypes of camelia sinensis do not. Purple tea perks up dull skin.
Native to Zimbabwe, the resurrection plant can remain dormant for years without a drop of water. But it magically springs back to life once it gets a little hydration. Just like the plant itself, skin treated with resurrection springs back to life.
Not only should you drink your rooibos, but you should rub it on your body, too. This South African herb is packed with minerals (calcium, zinc, magnesium and iron), flavonoids, and antioxidants. Rooibos is a potent anti-aging remedy, soothes skin and is great on eczema.
RUBIGINOSA ROSE HIPS
Both the fruit and the fruit oil offer phenomenal benefits to skin young and old. Of all the varieties of rose hips, studies state that the wild rubiginosa variety is most effective. While the fruit is brimming with vitamin C, the oil is rich in trans-retinoic acid. Acne and scar sufferers have seen significant improvement with the use of rose hips oil.
Perhaps the most sweet smelling wood in the world, sandalwood isn’t just for perfumery. It does wonders for the skin, too. Long revered by Ayuervedic practitioners, powdered sandalwood brightens the skin and reduces blemishes. It lightly exfoliates skin softening and sweetly perfuming it at the same time.
Desire the benefits of tea tree essential oil, but not the aroma? Try the rare essential oil of saro. A biologist in Madagascar developed this oil in search of ways to protect the dwindling Madagascar forests. The oil is gentler on skin than tea tree essential oil. It is used to prevent air borne diseases by vaporization. It is good for muscles when added to the bath or in a fixed oil for massage. It is also beneficial in acne products as well as for itchy scalp.
This oil gets its name from where it traditionally grows- along the seashore. The hardy plant is believed to produce one of the most healing oils in the world. Sea buckthorn oil contains the rare omega 7 which is a component of skin cells, thus the oil aids in regeneration. The oil is also rich in omega 6 and 9. It is also high in plant sterols which aid the skin barrier. This unique oil is replete with vitamins A, C, E, F, P and B complex.
SHEA NILOTIK’ SHEA BUTTER
Cold pressed, never boiled, this rare East African shea butter is much creamier and softer than its West African sister. The nuts of this differing species produces a butter that is higher in olein and tocopherols. This unrefined butter is exceptional for aging skin and after sun care. Unlike West African shea butter, which can build up in hair, Shea Nilotik’ Shea Butter is also ideal for damaged hair.
SOCOTRA DRAGON’S BLOOD
The Dracaena cinnabari tree produces a sap that seeps from the tree like blood. Why it is called dragon’s blood is not clear, but possibly due to the pre-historic look of the tree. Dragon’s blood acts like a band-aid on the skin in addition to its abilities to rejuvenate the skin.
STINGLESS BEE HONEY
There are 500 known stingless bee species located in regions such as Africa and Asia. These amazing insects create a unique sour tasting honey that is high in anti-oxidants. The honey is often used on top of wounds and blemishes. It also has moisturizing and skin softening effects.
Medicine cabinet in a bottle, this potent oil from Madagascar works wonders for facial care. Highly anti-inflammatory, tamanu soothes skin affected by rashes and sun damage. Tamanu’s germicidal properties make it an effective treatment for acne, cuts and eczema. This, along with its cell regenerating properties, makes tamanu the perfect anti-blemish and anti-aging oil.
Thanaka is created by grinding parts of the limonia acidissma tree into a fine powder. Thanaka is highly prized by the Burmese women who use the mask for protecting their skin from the sun. The women claim that thanaka powder keeps their skin from developing blemishes, brightens their skin and evens skin tone.
In East Africa turmeric powder has long been used by women to perfect the glow and clarity of their skin. Today this tradition is dying, but Western countries are now recognizing the value of turmeric to combat skin imperfections.
Hibiscus blossoms came in a variety of colors. In Nigeria, it is the white hibiscus which is favored. Not only does white hibiscus make a calming drink, it also helps to brighten and calm skin.
Green matcha gets all the rave, but white matcha is higher in anti-oxidants. Grown in Kenya, this finely ground white tea boosts skin health, clarity and brightness.
XIMENIA SEED OIL
Ximenia is extracted from wild harvested “plums.” This thick oil has amazing humectant and emollient properties.
It works wonders to soften hair and rough skin.
Called Cape chestnut by early explorers due to the indigenous nuts appearance, yangu oil comes from a small region in Kenya. Some years the beautiful pink blossoms produce no fruits at all, and so this cold pressed oil is very rare. It is a light, penetrating oil stated to offer some degree of UV protection.