Shea Moisture: Skin and hair problems solved by nature — for babies, kids and moms

My boys and I suffer from both dry, sensitive skin and even drier, complicated hair. Typical, drug-store brand skin and hair products only make our problems worse. For years, I’ve struggled to find a company that makes soaps, lotions, shampoos and conditioners that offer us the gentle, yet rich moisture we need. I also prefer to use the least amount of chemicals on and around my kids that I possibly can, sticking to natural ingredients. Oh, and I’d like to do all this without breaking the bank. (Three kids can go through a bottle of bath wash pretty quickly!)
I stumbled upon Shea Moisture’s Olive & Marula Baby Head-to-Toe Wash & Shampoo back in January in the Target clearance rack. I was killing time waiting for a prescription, so I read the label, and found myself impressed by the natural ingredients that were in it, like avocado oil, jojoba, and, of course, shea butter. Equally impressive was the list of all the yucky chemicals that weren’t included in the product. I unscrewed the lid to see what it smelled like. (Sometimes natural products have a funky, overpowering incense-like scent.) It had a fresh, green tea aroma that would work for any member of my family. Next, I looked up product reviews on Amazon. It had a high rating and only a few people claimed the fragrance was too strong. So, I bought the twin-pack of Head-to-Toe Wash & Shampoo and Head-to-Toe Lotion for $15.   

Fast forward three months and I want to shout from the rooftops about the dramatic changes Shea Moisture’s Head-to-Toe Wash & Shampoo and Lotion have made for my boys’ skin – and mine. Winter is especially damaging to our skin. We often find ourselves broken out in eczema. Sometimes our skin cracks so much it bleeds. But, we managed to get through this past winter with skin that was toned, even radiant, thanks to Shea Moisture. In fact, the Wash is so effective, that I only need to use the lotion once a week.
I found that Walgreen’s also carries Shea Moisture products and that periodically they run a buy-one-get-one-50% off (or even FREE!) sale. I stocked up in February, and Yesenia, the beauty advisor in the Aberdeen store, suggested I try She Moisture’s hair products. I have a frustrating mane of elbow-length naturally curly (more like frizzy) hair and am always on the look-out for new products to help me tame the beast. I tried Shea Moisture’s Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo, Conditioner, Curl Enhancing Smoothie, and Frizz-Free Curl Mousse and developed the perfect formula for soft, strong curls that shine without crunching or flaking. I’m finding I wear my hair down far more often than I usually do. I can’t believe I’ve been battling for three decades without this stuff!

My favorite Shea Moisture product has got to be the Raw Shea Cupuacu Mommy Stretch Mark Intensive Repair Oil. I managed to get through my first two pregnancies with minimal stretch marks, thanks to Palmer’s Cocoa Butter, but when my 3rd-timer, 12-pounder occupied my belly, no amount of moisturizer could protect my skin from the damage of carrying that monster of a baby. Fortunately, between that pregnancy and this one, my skin has improved. But, I can’t help but wonder how much better my abdominal skin could be if I had discovered Shea Moisture’s Mommy Stretch Mark Intensive Repair Oil a little sooner. Here I am, nearly seven months into my pregnancy, and my belly is as smooth as it was before I discovered I was having my fourth child. She is also shaping up to be a monster baby, but it looks like my belly is going to escape largely unscathed, thanks to Shea Moisture. (Sorry, but I’m not including a picture. I’m very modest. You’ll just have to take my word for it!)

By far the coolest thing about Shea Moisture, is the story behind it:
Sofi Tucker started selling Shea Nuts at the village market in Bonthe, Sierra Leone in 1912. By age 19, the widowed mother of four was selling Shea Butter, African Black Soap and her homemade hair and skin preparations all over the countryside. Sofi Tucker was our Grandmother and SheaMoisture is her legacy.  
Shea Moisture is fair trade, organic, sustainable and free of animal cruelty. I like to purchase from ethically-minded companies like this, particularly those that use nature as a source for solutions to human problems. You’ll pay a little bit more than you would typical brands, but it lasts a long time and you’re paying for quality. Besides, I think it’s what God would want us to do.
You can find Shea Moisture in most drug stores, usually on a top or bottom shelf, or in an ethnic skin and hair care section. I only discussed the varieties that work for my family’s skin and hair needs, but they have something for everyone! Try it. I’m sure you’ll love it!

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.