Online Exclusives

Taking the High Road with Shea Butter

February 5, 2009

Rhone Botanicals & Skincare products use only all natural and Fair Trade ingredients.

Taking the High Road

Rhone Botanicals & Skincare products use only all natural and Fair Trade ingredients.

By Joanna Cosgrove
Online Editor

There are a lot of skin care preparations currently capitalizing on the benefits of shea butter and sea salt, but not many of them are like Rhone Botanicals & Skincare products. The company’s core line spans 30 richly formulated whipped butters, balms and scrubs that hinge on Fair Trade-sourced, raw, unrefined shea butter from Burkina Faso, West Africa, and 100%sea salt from the Dead Sea in Jordan Valley, where the high content of salts and minerals gives its waters renowned curative powers and therapeutic qualities. Rhone’s line also includes an Acai Anti-Oxidant Eye Cream and a range of steam distilled plant oils.

Rhone Botanicals & Skincare products originated out of an unmet personal need. After becoming aware of the skin conditioning and moisturizing benefits of pure shea butter about two years ago, the president and founder of the Boston, MA-based company, Denise Rhone, said “When I started looking for pure unrefined shea, I could not find any that were affordable or 100 percent pure. Also, the pure shea I did find was always in a salve consistency,” she said. “I started using the shea myself in its raw form and giving it to friends and family for input.”

Her friends and family had two primary issues with the raw shea butter: its unpleasant smell (it has a strong nut smell) and its innately firm texture which made it too hard to work with. Her solution was to whip the shea butter and add essential oils.

Ms. Rhone said shea butter contains beneficial vegetable fats that “promote cell regeneration and circulation, making it a wonderful healer and rejuvenator for troubled or aging skin. It also contains natural sun-protectants.”

Shea butter is sometimes referred to as “women’s gold,” because the business of extracting the butter from Karite Nuts provides employment and income to hundreds of thousands of rural African village women. To that end, Ms. Rhone’s shea butter products are comprised of only Fair Trade Shea Butter.

“Being a woman of color, I am passionate about helping those who don't have the means but have the will and determination,” she commented. “The particular women’s initiative I support toil tirelessly for little compensation if any. Shea has become a product in demand and is only found in indigenous areas. If I can make a difference in any small way, that is the way I go.  Dagara is a small village in Burkina Faso whose main means of revenue is farming, but one of their few natural resources is shea.

“I had the pleasure of meeting a woman who pretty much single-handedly founded a non-profit company to help these women change their lives and build a sustainable income,” she continued. “The women of Burkino Faso hope that with the help from companies such as mine, their economy will flourish.” 

Ms. Rhone offers her Shea Body Butters in six scented and one unscented varieties spanning mango, lemongrass, lime, pomegranate, coconut and lavender fragrances. The Butters are sold in 2.75 ounce and .5 ounce containers ($25 and $8 respectively). The line also includes Mommy Butter and Baby Butter ($30), which combine whipped shea butter with aloe butter, chamomile, lavender, and other natural ingredients formulated to relieve stretch marks, sore skin, diaper rash and chaffing.

Dead Sea Salt

The secondary companion to shea butter in the Rhone Botanicals & Skincare product lineup is sea salt, but not just any sea salt, 100% pure sea salt derived from the Dead Sea in the Jordan Valley, where the high content of salts and minerals gives its waters the renowned curative powers and therapeutic qualities.

Dead Sea salt contain 35 minerals including magnesium, calcium, sulphur, bromide, iodine, sodium, zinc and potassium, and are said to favorably impact a variety of conditions including skin disorders such as psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema, dandruff, scabies and seborrhea; rheumatological conditions such as arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, osteoarthritis, back pain and bursitis; and skin maladies like rashes, sores, hives, itching and contact dermatitis.

The only ingredients added to Ms. Rhone’s Dead Sea salt products are oils and extracts thought to “benefit the end user in a healthy way both in mind and body.”

“My products are 100% pure and unrefined so that the curative properties are not compromised,” she said. “Rhone Botanicals’ shea and salt are infused only with essential oils and organic carrier oils.”

Billed to enhance circulation, penetrate skin to release body surface toxins, aid in healing skin discoloration, ease muscle/joint soreness, and relieve dryness, the company’s Dead Sea Salt Face & Body Scrubs are offered in lavender, mango and eucalyptus varieties ($28), as well as an exotic Chocolate Orange Cream blend that retails for $30.

Rhone Botanicals & Skincare products are currently sold in selected Whole Foods stores in New England, Green Eyed Daisy Boutique on Martha’s Vineyard, and on the company’s website.

Ms. Rhone said she looks forward to expanding her line to include hair care and body wash products, but for the time being the latest product in the line is the company’s Acai Eye Cream, which combines pure unrefined shea butter with the antioxidant-potent superfruit, Acai. The product is said to “work wonders” on dark circles, puffiness, blemishes and wrinkles around the eye area. The company’s Acai Eye Cream retails for $25 (.25 oz.).

Related End-User Markets:

Related Raw Materials:

blog comments powered by Disqus
  • It’s All About Teamwork

    It’s All About Teamwork

    Melissa Meisel , Associate Editor||January 4, 2016
    Collaboration was the theme of the Consumer Specialty Products Association 2015 annual meeting.

  • Burgeoning Beauty

    Burgeoning Beauty

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||January 4, 2016
    A look at trailblazers for 2016 and beyond.

  • Testing for Sustainable Preservatives

    Adam P. Byrne, William Michael Hart-Cooper, Kaj Johnson, Larry H. Stanker, Dominic W. S. Wong, William J. Orts||January 4, 2016
    A rapid, inexpensive and qualitative protocol for determining microbial growth inhibition.

  • Witch

    Witch's Brew: Dickinson's celebrates milestone in 2016

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||February 1, 2016
    Dickinson’s celebrates 150 years of witch hazel skin care with the biggest line expansion in the company’s history.

  • From Research to Retail

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||February 1, 2016
    What began as research on skin disorders led a dermatologist and his father to create their own skin care formulas.

  • 5 Things I Learned

    5 Things I Learned

    January 15, 2016
    The Avon & Women’s Dermatologic Society Mentorship Program. Dr. Sabrina Fabi (left) and Dr. Kimberly Jerdan.

  • Perfect Timing

    Perfect Timing

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||January 11, 2016
    New ways of collecting data can help cosmetics companies understand what women really want—and when they want it.

  • When a Cosmetic Becomes a Drug

    When a Cosmetic Becomes a Drug

    Jacqueline Sheridan, Dinsmore & Shohl LLP||January 11, 2016
    The unintentional conversion of personal care products through marketing.

  • Africa, Rising

    Africa, Rising

    December 14, 2015
    Savvy marketers should expand their operations on the continent, according to speakers at a WFFC seminar.

  • A Home of One’s Own

    A Home of One’s Own

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||November 23, 2015
    NeoStrata’s Exuviance has opened its first freestanding retail space, complete with on-site skin analysis and express treatment rooms.

  • Hitting a Wall(mart)

    Hitting a Wall(mart)

    November 9, 2015
    Walmart imposes slotting fees and that hurts a lot of Tier 2 and 3 FMCG companies.

  • That’s Quite an Achievement!

    That’s Quite an Achievement!

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||November 2, 2015
    The CEW honors seven beauty industry leaders.

  • What

    What's Not to Love?

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||October 26, 2015
    The sun care category is rife with issues, but there’s a lot to like about it.

  • Sharp Competition

    Sharp Competition

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||October 26, 2015 signs a high-profile athlete to promote its growing direct-to-consumer razor and personal care business.

  • About a Boy

    About a Boy

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||October 19, 2015
    As a mom, Jenny Cupido wanted to solve her son’s skin issues. Now she’s raising an indie beauty brand too.

  • A Suite Deal

    A Suite Deal

    October 12, 2015
    Image Studios provides an innovative venue for beauty professionals seeking a new way to do business.

  • For Their Own Good

    For Their Own Good

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||September 29, 2015
    With a rich heritage and recognized formulation expertise, FC Sturtevant Company is moving into the consumer marketplace.

  • A Foothold in Foot Care

    A Foothold in Foot Care

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||September 22, 2015
    Treating feet right is the heart and soul of one Brooklyn-based company.

  • A New Kind of Hero

    A New Kind of Hero

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||September 14, 2015
    An upstart household product company puts a new spin on the idea of home cleaning.

  • SK-II to the Rescue

    SK-II to the Rescue

    September 8, 2015
    A new formula targets microRNA, which a P&G researcher insists plays a key role in skin aging.

  • A Panoramic View

    A Panoramic View

    Jeremy Kerstetter, Assistant Editor||September 7, 2015
    ZSS takes a 360° approach to skin health.

  • It

    It's All in the Delivery

    Jeremy Kerstetter, Associate Editor||August 31, 2015
    AlureVé relies on pharmaceutical technology for its anti-aging skin care line.

  • A Brand of Its Own

    A Brand of Its Own

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||August 24, 2015
    Amyris creates its own skin care solution for consumers.

  • Eye on Korea

    Eye on Korea

    August 17, 2015
    At the Personal Care Conference in Shanghai there was distinct emphasis on beauty ideas from Korea.

  • No Coasting Here

    No Coasting Here

    August 12, 2015
    A Q&A with Coast Southwest CEO Joseph Cimo.

  • Game Face

    Game Face

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||August 3, 2015
    Meet the team behind Sweat Cosmetics, a new line of makeup built for more than a walk in the park.

  • Freedom To Formulate

    Freedom To Formulate

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||July 27, 2015
    What happens when you remove typical business constraints and let one of the industry’s leading chemists loose to formulate the best anti-aging product? Skyler Brand Ventures knows the answer.

  • Indie Innovators

    Indie Innovators

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||July 20, 2015
    Independent beauty brands often tap the trends and set the tone in the global personal care industry.