The Story of Shea: A Magic Ingredient at the Service of Women

Since the early 1980s, L'Occitane has been committed to a fair-trade partnership with the women of Burkina Faso who make Shea butter. This exceptional ingredient takes care of women’s skin, and contributes to their empowerment.
By Anaïs Chabalier

Women’s Gold

In 1980 Olivier Baussan discovered Shea during a trip to Burkina Faso, this sacred tree whose name means "life"! The harvest is reserved for women, used in cooking, for skin care or during sacred rituals. Processed by hand, it has surprising effects on the skin of those who handle it: instead of damaging, it softens!

A Magic Ingredient

Intrigued by these amazing properties, Olivier Baussan decided to develop a range of products based on Shea butter, which was an immediate success with women. L'OCCITANE discovered that butter produced by hand in cooperatives is particularly rich in Omega 6 and karitene. These molecules have unique properties that help to moisturize, nourish and protect the skin every day.

A Sustainable Industry

To meet the growing demand, L'Occitane created a co-development program with local women. Today, more than 600 tons of this ingredient of a thousand virtues travels each year between Burkina Faso and the L'Occitane factory in Manosque. And there are more than 15,000 women in Burkina Faso working in this industry.

L'Occitane has been committed to a fair-trade partnership with the women of Burkina Faso
L'Occitane has been committed to a fair-trade partnership with the women of Burkina Faso
Shea nuts are worked by hand by local women to obtain the precious butter.
Photography Richard Romenville

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