Guest Blogger: Carolyn
When asked to write a blog entry about a favorite company, the one that immediately sprang to mind was Alaffia. Alaffia is a company that specializes in natural care of hair and skin. I am devoted to this brand, for 3 big reasons: Products, Price and Mission.
The foundation of most Alaffia products (and their value-priced Everyday Shea line) is shea butter. I had used shea butter in the past, and didn’t see what the big deal was. After trying Alaffia shea butter, I was an instant Believer. Theirs is prepared the traditional, time-honored and labor-intensive way, and the rich, luxurious, nourishing results are worth every minute. Like most tropical oils, it is solid at room temperature, so it takes a few seconds to warm it up with your hands to spread it.
I use plain shea butter today in the same way that people used Vaseline in the 60s and 70s, as an all-purpose emollient. It can be used as a hand cream, lip balm or for any rough spots on the body. Used regularly on the feet, it is outstanding for preventing cracks on heels. For years, it has been a critical component of my winter survival kit, particularly in the winter of 2013-2014. For a 26-mile round-trip bike commute in temperatures between 10 and 20 F, I used it on all exposed areas of my face, and it created a barrier which kept the sting off my skin, especially on windy days. That same winter I used it on morning walks in temperatures around –20 F (before factoring in windchill) to protect my eyelids, under eyes, and upper cheekbones; I didn’t miss a day of walking due to cold.
I am also a big fan of the Everyday Shea Body Lotion, which is thick, creamy and has impressive staying power. I use the unscented variety, and add a drop or two of essential oil for each handful, depending on which scent I feel like using that day.
My absolute favorite Alaffia product is the Shea Butter Body Milk. Don’t let the name mislead you; this is less of a milk and more of an extra hefty cream. I use it nightly on my hands. The fragrance is a gender-neutral, beguiling combination of vanilla, orange, almond and lime. It’s hard to go more than a minute without wanting to smell it again. Currently, it is only available in a travel size, but you don’t need much.
The Everyday Shea body lotion and body wash are both exceptional values at $.44 per ounce. This is comparable to conventional, chemical-laden brands like Dove or Olay which cost $.48-.66 per ounce for lotion , and $.41-.47 for body wash (source- drugstore.com)
The best deal on unscented, pure shea butter is the Everyday Shea, in an 11-oz. recyclable plastic jar for $13.99. However, I opt for the smaller Alaffia one, since (even with daily use) it takes me over a year to go through a single 2-oz jar. At $8.95, that still costs less than 2.5 cents per day.
Even without the fabulous products and affordable prices, this company is worth supporting for their mission alone. They donate 100% of profits to their various projects in Africa. Not 1%. Not 5 or 10 %. After paying themselves what they need to cover their necessities, the owners of the company plow every single extra penny back into community improvement through reforestation, education, maternal health, eyeglasses and eradication of female genital mutilation. By buying their raw materials from female-owned cooperatives in Togo, they assist in creating economic empowerment with a “Trade, Not Aid” approach.
If you’ve never tried Alaffia or Everyday Shea, take a look at our selection of shampoos, conditioners, facial moisturizers, body wash, body lotion, bar soap and liquid soap. They also offer products based on coconut oil in their Everyday Coconut line. With so many excellent products at reasonable prices, it’s easy to find something you’ll like, from a company you can be proud to support.