"You wouldn’t expect a holiday to change your life, but it happened to my family in 2007 when a visit to my home country, Ghana in West Africa, actually changed two lives...”
We met Patricia, founder of Aviela Skincare, at a trade fair earlier in the year. We've since worked with our suppliers to bring Aviela's pure shea butter moisturising products directly to you!
“My name is Patricia Monney and, at the time my daughter, Charissa, was two years old but still hadn’t taken her first steps because of a stiff ankle that simply wouldn’t support her weight.
Our GP at home recommended that we allow the issue to resolve itself but, whilst on that Ghana holiday, a respected doctor suggested I massage unrefined Shea Butter into the ankle several times a day. It was hard to believe that this simple, everyday vegetable extract contained the kind of powers that would make a difference but, since it couldn’t do any harm, I duly massaged her ankle for a couple of minutes, three or four times a day. It took barely four days for Charissa to feel comfortable enough to put her weight on her foot. A day or so after that, she took those first precious steps.
While the massaging action itself no doubt played a role, ‘unrefined’ Shea Butter is widely known to have natural anti-inflammatory properties, and these clearly helped to make her ankle more comfortable.
After this, raw unrefined Ghanian Shea Butter became a personal passion of mine, so I began researching extensively what I now know to be ‘nature’s miracle product’ not only for anti-inflammation but also for helping heal and repair dry skin. I created Aviela Skincare, a range of all-natural skincare products, each containing high concentrations of 100% pure, highest grade, unrefined Shea Butter with outstanding power to help naturally heal dry skin.”
Aviela (pronounced A-vee-el-ah) is a very dynamic word used by the Dagara people from the Northern part of Ghana (where Patricia comes from). It generally has a positive connotation to mean something ‘Good’ or ‘Nice’ or ‘Beautiful’.
What can Shea Butter do for the body?
Thanks to its softening, moisturising, anti-inflammatory, anti-irritant and protective properties, unrefined Shea Butter has been used for centuries in parts of Africa as a natural remedy to help hydrate, protect, heal, promote skin renewal and condition, soften and smooth the skin and hair; as well as help control skin inflammation conditions. It is also rich in vitamins A and E plus natural fatty acids (Vitamin F). With a rich, earthy aroma, it is free from artificial colours, fragrances, preservatives and additives.
Refined and Unrefined - What's the Difference?
Natural - Unrefined Shea Butter
Hand-made using centuries-old traditions, so all its minerals, proteins, essential fatty acids and, above all, original healing benefits are retained. Its natural colour depends mainly on its country of origin, so while yellow shea butters are mostly from Burkina Faso, beige products are typically from Ghana, and paler, off-white versions have usually been mixed or whipped to make them softer, lighter and easier to apply.
Artificial - Refined Shea Butter
The refining process, performed partly to speed up production, and partly to revamp its natural colour, scent and texture, treats the raw shea butter with excess heat and non-natural chemicals. Unfortunately, this can compromise its valuable minerals, proteins and essential fatty acids, resulting in some of its beneficial properties being lost. The resulting product, which is generally scent-free and pure white in colour, often has fragrances and preservatives added, but these can increase the likelihood of irritation and allergic reactions.
Aviela’s hero ingredient consists of only 100% pure, grade A, unrefined Shea Butter, so the maximum therapeutic properties are preserved. Unlike many unrefined shea butter products which can be heavy and ‘drag’ on the skin, Aviela products have a sumptuously light, whipped texture, which not only gives a creamy, off-white hue, but enables the products to melt smoothly and effortlessly into the skin.
Aviela ethically source their Grade A, Unrefined Shea Butter directly from the fields of Northern Ghana working with a Women’s Cooperative. These women are based in Gurugu, a village in an underdeveloped part of Northern Ghana very close to our Founder, Patricia’s roots. The high concentration of Shea Butter in all Aviela products means the business can buy more from these wonderful women, so they in turn have more income and opportunity to access education, training and can buy more food for their families.
Take a look at this great video showing exactly where and how this amazing skincare range is made.