I love shea butter in my hand cream. I also love it in body lotion and my lip balm. I think I love every single product that contains this precious ingredient.
Recently, I discovered Shea Terra Organic – a skincare brand with organic shea butter at the heart of the company. Shea Terra Organics was established in 2000 by Tammie Umbel, a visionary – and a mom of 14 children! – who fulfilled her childhood promise and a dream to make the world a better place.
Shea Terra is an American brand that uses natural organic ingredients sourced from remote places across the African continent supporting women in small communities to build a better future for their children. The Virginia-based company specializes in skin care and hair care products. Each product is manufactured in small batches to ensure the freshness of the formula.
It is important to mention, that Shea Terra products contain only natural ingredients and their packaging is recyclable – some of the cream tubes that look like plastic to me are made with 86% sugar cane! Moreover, as a truly environmental-friendly brand, Shea Terra doesn’t do testing on animals.
After learning about their story, I was really inspired to try their natural products. In today’s review, I’m sharing my experience with some of their best selling formulas: Rose Hips Black Soap Deep-Pore Face Wash, Rose Hips Damask Rose Moisture Milk, and Shea Nilotik’ Oil (Coconut Lemongrass), Calendula Primrose +E Face Cream.
Shea Terra Organics Shea Nilotik’ Oil (Coconut Lemongrass)
Shea Nilotik’ Oil is the first product that I tried from Shea Terra Organics.
This is a 99.7% natural oil that is extracted from 100% pure Certified Organic Shea Nilotik’ Butter (Vitellaria Nilotica) sourced from Northern Uganda. Compared to the shea butter collected from West Africa (Butyrospermum parkii) Shea Nilotik’ Butter is softer in texture, higher in Vitamin E and has a subtle natural aroma.
Shea butter, in general, has tons of benefits including improving skin tone and texture and reducing the appearance of stretch marks to mention a few. Despite the amazing properties of the shea butter, it can be too heavy on the skin sometimes. Shea Nilotik’ Oil, in turn, remains the properties of the shea butter but absorbs much better and faster into the skin. This lightweight formula can be used not only for skin but also for hair to stimulate the growth of the roots and condition the ends.
The Shea Nilotik’ Oil comes in a plastic 8 oz (236 ml) bottle with a pump and a compostable label with all the details about the product and the main ingredient.
Contains only: 100% pure, USDA certified organic Shea Nilotik’ Oil (vitellaria nilotica), coconut fruit extract (Cocos nucifera), lemongrass essential oil (Cymbopogon flexuosus).
This product is 100% Natural, doesn’t contain silicones, synthetic fragrance, and preservatives.
How to use?
Here are the recommendations from Shea Terra:
Body: Massage into skin as much oil that can be easily absorbed. Use 1-2 times daily to help maintain soft and supple skin.
Hair: Massage oil into hair and scalp. Leave in for 30-60 minutes and shampoo out. Usually, a conditioner is not necessary after deep conditioning with Shea Nilotik’ Oil. Oily hair types may leave oil in hair. Apply oil to 1/2 inch bottom of hair ends and leave in to help decrease splitting. Leave in coily hair types for more manageable hair.
Bath: Add several drops of oil to a warm bath to soften the skin. After bath massage oil into the skin and pat dry.
How it feels?
When I just tried the product for the first time, I really liked how fast the oil absorbs into the skin without leaving a greasy feeling. The oil contains tiny particles of shea butter that dissolve easily once you spread the oil all over your body. The fragrance is citrusy and uplifting – thanks to the coconut fruit extract and lemongrass oil.
Shea Terra Organics Rose Hips Black Soap Deep-Pore Face Wash
Rose Hips Black Soap Deep-Pore Face Wash is one of Shea Terra’s staples and one of the best-selling products. It helps with acne, gets rid of dead skin and rejuvenates aging skin.
The main ingredient of this face wash is the African black soap that was discovered in a small kingdom in West Africa. The authentic African black soap is made of cocoa pod ash and plantain peel ash and doesn’t contain any dye. Shea Terra sources it directly from the place it is believed to be originated – Yoruba tribe in Nigeria. It is still handcrafted following the original recipe by creating the ashes first and then cooking them with oils such as shea butter. The color of the black soap ranges from brown to black, depending on the amount of ashes used in the making – the more, the darker.
This face wash is also infused with South African Rose Hips Oil. Rich in vitamins and essential fatty acids, this oil calms the skin and helps with cell regeneration.
The product comes in a 4 oz (118 ml) glass bottle with a pump and compostable label with all the information.
Contains only: Pure mountain spring water, Yoruban black soap (cocoa pod ash(Theobroma cacao), plantain peel ash (Plantago ovata)), locally harvested palm kernel oil (Elaeis guineensis), camwood bark (Baphia nitida), USDA certified organic sunflower oil (Helianthus annus), USDA certified organic coconut oil (Cocos nucifera), potassium hydroxide (electrocuted salts- what makes oil into soap), IMO certified organic virgin rose hips oil (Rosa rubiginosa), mineral salts.
Rose Hips Black Soap Deep-Pore Face Wash doesn’t contain any synthetic fragrance.
How to use?
Rose Hips Black Soap Wash also doubles as a facial scrub. Here are the recommendations from Shea Terra.
As Face wash: Apply a small amount of Rose Hips Black Soap Wash to wet face, avoiding contact with eyes. Allow sitting for 5-10 minutes. Wash off with warm water working away dead skin. Repeat for desired results. Slight redness and tingling are normal as soap works aways dead skin.
As facial scrub: Add a little organic sugar to a spoonful of this face wash. Apply to face and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Gently exfoliate the skin as soap is washed off.
How it feels?
The product is thick in consistency and has a brownish color. When I spread it all over my face, it smells like cooked brown rice – I do not exactly why it reminds me of this grain, but the scent doesn’t bother me at all. I like mixing it with brown sugar and using as a scrub. Right from the first use, I noticed that the skin feels clear and the overall tone of my skin improved. Nevertheless, I find it a little drying for me for everyday use, at least during the heater season. I’m going to use it once a week as a 10-minute scrub/mask.
Shea Terra Organics Rose Hips Damask Rose Moisture Milk
This lightweight spray-on lotion features two amazing ingredients: genuine Damask rose water and rose hips oil. The Damask rosewater comes from a small women’s cooperative (USDA certified, Fair Trade) in the Rose Valley in Morocco, while the rose hips are hand-picked in the mountains from the Rubiginosa plant.
Both of these natural ingredients are known for their skin benefits: rose water is a natural humectant and rose hips oil is rich in nutrients, vitamins, and trans-retinoic acids* and doesn’t clog the pores.
This fragrant lotion keeps the skin plump and hydrated throughout the day and it is good for all skin types, especially recommended for acne and maturing skin types.
Rose Hips Damask Rose Moisture Milk comes in a 4 oz (118 ml) glass bottle with a spray nozzle which makes it easier to distribute a product on your face.
Contains only: USDA certified organic Damask rose water (Rosa damascena), IMO Certified organic rose hips oil (Rosa rubiginosa), glyceryl oleate citrate (natural sugar emulsifier), sea buckthorn oil (Hippophae rhamnoides), naturally derived preservative (glucono delta-lactone), sodium benzoate
Rose Hips Damask Rose Moisture Milk doesn’t contain synthetic fragrances.
Sodium benzoate is the only ingredient I’m frowning upon, as EWG shows it’s a preservative with a hazard rate of 3 (moderate). Nevertheless, this ingredient is harmful only in big doses and therefore it is allowed in limited quantities in food and cosmetics. Sodium benzoate used in Shea Terra’s products makes less than 1% of the formulas, which is just enough to keep natural ingredients from growing yeast and mold.
So no panic, it’s all organic!
How to use?
Mist on face 2-3 times a day and lightly massage into skin. It is best to apply to freshly washed skin using freshly washed hands.
* If you are pregnant, I’d recommend consulting your doctor before use since it contains rosehip oil.
How it feels?
The velvety milky texture of this lotion reminds me of the face essence. The spray nozzle delivers a fine mist which smells divine! The product absorbs really fast and adds a pretty subtle glow to my skin. By the way, Damask roses are considered the most fragrant roses in the world! And once you try it, you have no doubt in this.
The product also contains my favorite sea buckthorn oil that I use frequently in my routine. This essential oil provides healing and rejuvenating effects on the skin.
Shea Terra Organics Calendula Primrose + E Face Cream
Calendula Primrose + Vitamin E is a soothing face cream for sensitive and dry skin.
The formula of this cream is based on a blend of calendula oil and calendula golden blooms that are infused in the chlorine-free mountain spring water. Calendula has been known for centuries for its soothing, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. This flower contains a number of vital nutrients including vitamins, fatty acids, and antioxidants to name a few.
Apart from calendula, this soothing cream contains cold Pressed Primrose Oil and sunflower oil-derived Vitamin E. The primrose oil is high in Gamma-Linolenic acid along with skin-loving linoleic acid and antioxidants, which not only sooth but also plump the skin. Nourishing Vitamin E used in this product is soy-free.
Altogether, these three power ingredients provide a soothing and hydrating effect to dry and irritate sensitive skin.
Calendula Primrose + Vitamin E comes in a 2.5 oz (75ml) tube that is 86% sugar cane.
Contains only: Pure mountain spring water, cold pressed calendula seed oil (Calendula officinalis), cold-pressed evening primrose oil (Oenothera biennis), vegetable emulsifying wax (Cetearyl alcohol, Cetearyl glucoside), USDA Certified Organic Shea Nilotik’ shea butter (Vitellaria nilotica), vegetable glycerin, whole Egyptian calendula flowers, d-alpha tocopherol (from sunflower oil, soy-free), naturally derived preservative (glucono delta-lactone), sclerotium gum, sodium benzoate.
The product doesn’t contain mineral oils, drying alcohols or synthetic fragrances.
How to use?
Massage into the freshly cleansed face. Apply 1-2 times daily.
How it feels?
Even though this cream feels rich at first glance, it absorbs quite fast into the skin. I have sensitive skin and I like that it doesn’t leave me greasy and doesn’t irritate the skin. It smells like calendula and this profound fragrance has a calming effect on me. I use it as a night cream pairing with my favorite serums for even deeper hydrations.
Summing up, I really like Shea Terra’s natural products. First of all, I like that the products do not contain harsh chemicals and all of them based on natural ingredients. Secondly, every time I use their products, I know that somewhere in a small village in Africa, another impoverished by war family can afford food, medication, and education for their children.
P.S. I was extremely inspired by Tammi Umbel’s story. She also has a very interesting blog at Shea Terra Organics where she shares her adventures on discovering new sources and new ingredients for her products, as well as shares her insights on different ingredients.
This blog post includes PR samples