Out of Africa Shea Body Butter Review

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Out of Africa

Overall Rating: 2 Stars

About Out of Africa:

How We Got Started:


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-source 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.

Shea Butter: Nature’s Miracle Moisturizer. Out of Africa’s shea butter products nourish the skin with 100% pure unrefined shea butter direct from Benin, West Africa. A natural moisturizer and emollient, shea butter contains antioxidant vitamins A, E and F and beneficial fatty acids that leave skin feeling restored and refreshed. The Out of Africa line includes organic shea butter bar soaps, hand and body washes, body butters, lip balms, lotions, body oils and pure unrefined shea butter tins. The natural scents used in our shea butter products are also available in the Out of Africa line of aroma fragrance reed diffusers.

Our “other” mission: Producing premium quality skincare 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 skincare also sponsors a groundbreaking project in Benin called SCHOOL CHILDREN UNITE. A portion of all sales is being donated to this global leadership initiative.

Thank You! Your purchase helps to support education and local enterprise in Benin, West Africa. “A houana ka ka” *, thank you very much.”

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Vanilla Body Butter

About:

“Summer, winter, spring, or fall, your skin needs hydration and nourishment to remain smooth, supple and healthy. Out of Africa’s® new Natural Shea Body Butter – creamy, rich, and fast absorbing but never greasy – is the all-natural, seasonless solution. With a generous helping of nature’s perfect food for skin.
Harnesses the ultra-hydrating and healing properties of the planet’s finest unrefined shea butter, harvested by hand without the use of chemical or synthetic agents by women’s cooperatives in West Africa. Organic Shea butter content of 30% far outstrips the tiny percentage found in conventional body lotions and creams

• Rich in healthy fatty acids and antioxidant vitamins A, E and F
• Treats the senses as it pampers skin: choose from three all natural scents – african wild citrus, vanilla, lemon verbena, or lavender
• 100% natural
• Never sticky or greasy, absorbs easily into skin
• Apply after bath or shower, or anytime skin needs an infusion of moisture
• Highly concentrated; no need to re-apply frequently
• No parabens, sulfates, petrolatum, phthalates or artificial coloring
• No mineral oil
• Cruelty-free and eco-friendly

• A portion of proceeds are donated to programs providing education and medical care to the children and families of West Africa
• Available at natural products stores, Duane Reade, Vitamin Shoppes and Sally’s. Also, find local retailers or purchase directly at www.outofafricashea.com.

Ingredients:

Aqua (Water), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearic Acid, Polysorbate-60, Fragrance (Parfum), Vanilla Planifolia (Vanilla) Bean Oil, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide.

All-Natural. Paraben-Free. Mineral-Free. Eco-Friendly. Cruelty-Free.”

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My Thoughts:

When you’re somewhat of a skin care snob like I am (having been spoiled by mailing entirely-organic lines of skin care products), your standards are high. Overall as a brand, I think Out of Africa is doing great things in reference to helping children and families in Africa. I do appreciate that they are committed to not using parabens, phthalates, sulfates, SLS and artificial colors. Those are all positives. However, it still leave this product just slightly above average for me.

I still see a few questionable ingredients (polysorbate-60, phennoxyethanol, caprylyl glycol) that I don’t like seeing in the mix. Besides that, the ingredients that are clearly plant-derived aren’t organic.

This body butter does an okay job of moisturizing. When you compare this product to an entirely organic body butter, well–there’s no comparison. When your skin feels like it’s only quenched for a mere 10 minutes after application, this is usually indicative of a less than pure & less than awesome ingredient lists that contains some “fillers” and water.

Again, I appreciate the efforts to decrease the amount of harsh ingredients, but I simply don’t want to flip over my tube of body butter and see crummy ingredients. That doesn’t make me eager to apply it to my skin. I’d like to see Out of Africa commit to no junky ingredients and more organic ingredients. As it is, I wouldn’t recommend this body butter simply because I know of many other organic alternatives that easily trump it.

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