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Pogbanu Shea Butter FAQs


1. What is shea butter and how is it made?
Shea butter is a fat extracted from the nuts of the shea tree which is found in west and east Africa. The nuts are dried, crushed, roasted, milled and hand kneaded to extract the butter.

2. What does Pogbanu mean and where does your shea butter come from?
Pogbanu means “women’s hands” in the Dagaare language in northern Ghana. Our shea butter comes from the Upper West Region in northern Ghana.

3. What is unrefined shea butter? How different is it from other types of shea butter?
Unrefined shea butter is butter that has not undergone any alteration. The butter is extracted naturally using traditional extraction methods and retains all of its nourishing and healing properties. It typically has an ivory, beige or cream colour, and a nutty/smoky aroma.

Refined shea butter on the other hand has been chemically altered to remove the natural aroma of the butter, is white in colour and has lost the majority of its healing and nourishing properties. 

Which is better?

It depends, some people do not like the natural aroma of unrefined shea butter, so they opt for refined shea butter.

3. How do I store shea butter?
The best way to store shea butter is in an airtight container - away from sunlight, heat and/or water.

5. How long can it be stored?
When properly stored, shea butter can last up to 24 months.

4. Can shea butter go bad?
When properly stored, shea butter shouldn't not go bad during its shelf life. But yes, shea butter can go rancid. Rancid shea butter will have a very strong unpleasant and off putting smell.

7. How do you keep it packaged so that it is good coming from Ghana?
Almost all shea butter comes from sub-Saharan Africa. Depending on the quantity, it is transported either via air or sea cargo. At Pogbanu Shea, our shea butter is carefully packaged in airtight in poly-lined corrugated boxes and transported in temperature-controlled shipping containers to Canada.

8. How does your packaging look?
Our 500g and 1kg come in a sit-up resealable pouch, while our 5kg, 10kg, and 20kg are packaged in airtight poly-lined corrugated boxes. All our boxes are recyclable. 

9. Can shea butter cause allergic reactions?
Shea butter is generally safe to use on all skin types. Although allergic reactions have not been reported, we always encourage you to do a patch test (just like you would with any new product) before using it on your entire skin.

10. I heard shea butter is an edible fat in some communities, is that true?
In some African communities, shea butter is edible. However, at Pogbanu Shea, our shea butter is for cosmetic purposes only and should be used externally.