Friday, February 7, 2014

Week 4: Shea Butter, Shea Better

This week at Kabeela was ‘Shea butter week’ – an expert trainer came to the association on Thursday to teach the women the process of turning ordinary cooking Shea butter into a cosmetic product. A total of 21 eager women turned up for the training with the Shea butter that they had previously prepared on Tuesday.
The women prepare the Shea butter 2 days before training session

After a late start, the trainer was ready to show us ‘how it’s done’, so to speak. For her demonstration, a small sample size of 2 litres of Shea butter was used, whereas for mass production and profit purposes the women would need to use 10kg per batch. Other vital ingredients were Vaseline, paraffin, olive oil, yellow colorant and banana-flavoured scent. The first thing that needed to be done was the melting of the Vaseline in a large saucepan, next, the trainer added the Shea butter, paraffin, then lastly the olive oil and colorant.

The trainer adds the Vaseline to the saucepan
Next to be added is the Shea butter

The contents of the saucepan were then left to melt and combine together for 5 minutes, before filtering and adding the banana-flavoured scent and being left to cool for approximately 1 hour.

The Vaseline, Shea butter, paraffin, olive oil and colorant concoction all melting together

The trainer adds the banana-flavoured scent

The end result was a delicious-smelling beauty product, ready to hit the shelves of our future cooperative shop (due to open in March!). We hope that after all this hard work, cosmetic Shea butter production will become a very profitable income generating activity for the women at Kabeela!

Thanks for reading :) 

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