What It Means
Most seed oils can be divided into two important fractions.
The first fraction is the called the saponifiable fraction, which contains most of the moisturizing properties, (moisturizing fraction). Cocoa Butter has a very high amount of saponifiable material, making it the butter of choice for moisturing the skin.
The second fraction is called the nonsaponifiable fraction, which contains most of the healing properties, (healing fraction). Mango Butter and Shea Butter have the highest amounts of nonsaponifiable material, thus making these two butters extremely effective as the healing effects actually help in restoring skin cells.
What sets Shea Butter and Mango Butter apart from other seed oils is their exceptionally large healing fraction. The healing fraction, contains important nutrients, vitamins, and other valuable phytonutrients required for healing. Depending on the source, the size of the healing fraction may range from 5% and upward. Some report the healing fraction as high as 17%. The larger the healing fraction the better the chances are for a good quality Shea Butter. In other seed oils, the healing fraction is very small, often in the range of 1% or less. While other seed oils may have a good to excellent moisturizing fraction, these oils contain little or no healing fraction. Because Shea Butter and Mango Butter have such a large healing fraction, in addition to moisturizing fraction, regular use of these natural creams can treat many skin problems, including blemishes, wrinkles, itching, sunburns, small skin wounds, eczema, skin allergies, insect bites, frost bite, and other skin conditions. It is because of these unique healing properties that the shea tree got its name, the karite tree, which means the TREE OF LIFE.