This past year I was happy to find a new product line that melds skin care with social responsibility: Out of Africa (No, not the movie with Meryl Streep!) Massage therapists wash and dry our hands multiple times a day between each client. I was so happy to learn about shea butter for my hands to keep them from becoming overly dry, especially in winter. Shea butter in general helps keep skin moist and supple year round in general.
What is Shea Butter? According to Out of Africa, it is nature’s miracle moisturizer and I agree! When I use shea butter on my hands or skin in general, I don’t get a greasy feel. The butter is absorbed into my skin, keeping it moist and supple and smelling good as well! As a massage therapist, I have to wash and dry my hands multiple times each day between clients. Over the years, I’ve found shea butter to be the one type of skin care product that never lets me down! Shea butter is also often used in massage cream products for its moisturizing properties.
Common names: Shea, karité
Scientific name: Vitellaria paradoxa (syn/INCI Butryospermum parkii)
Shea butter is an all-natural product. It is a creamy-colored fatty substance made from the nuts of karite nut trees (Butyrospermum parkii or “butter seed”) that grow wild in the savannah regions of West and East Africa. While shea butter has a wide variety of applications, it is most well-known for its exceptional dermatological and cosmetic healing properties.
Check out the full line of Out of Africa Products here.
How Out of Africa Got Started–the Social Responsibility Aspect
Victor Lulla, a native New Yorker living in Los Angeles, has long nurtured interests in healthy lifestyles, the environment and social responsibility. After briefly considering an early retirement after the sale of his electronics firm in 2002, he instead created California Inside & Out, a manufacturing and distribution company that developed and marketed natural skin and body care products, based in Venice, CA.
Gilles Adamon, owner of Natura Sarl, headquartered in Benin, West Africa, attended the 2005 Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, CA hoping to find a distributor for his shea butter cosmetic products. As luck would have it, Victor was at the Expo looking for an interesting opportunity to help expand his product line.
The two men found that they shared not only an interest in natural products, but in social responsibility as well. A friendship ensued and Out of Africa was founded later that year as an exclusive joint venture.
The founders agreed that Lulla would purchase state of the art production equipment and raw materials, while Adamon’s team, in collaboration with a West African women’s cooperative, would supply locally-sourced pure unrefined shea butter. The company-owned factory in Benin now produces 200,000 bars of soap a month, along with an expanding array of other shea butter products. The products are shipped to California Inside & Out for distribution under the trademarked brand Out of Africa.
Out of Africa’s “other” mission: Producing premium quality skin care products is only half of our story. Lulla and Adamon’s partnership supports several women’s cooperatives and helps to create jobs in democratic Benin, West Africa. Out of Africa shea butter skin care also sponsors a groundbreaking project in Benin called SCHOOL CHILDREN UNITE. A portion of all sales is being donated to this global leadership initiative.
Purchasing Out of Africa products helps to support education and local enterprise in Benin, West Africa.
Note: Neither I, nor Working Well Massage has any affiliation with Out of Africa beyond buying their products! I do not receive any advertising dollars nor any other incentive to blog about their products or company. I simply like their products and mission!