Another buzzword in the beauty industry, shea butter is no fad. In fact, it's quite the skin superfood. But what exactly is it?
Shea butter is derived from the nuts of the shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa), also known as the karite tree. Native to Africa, this fatty oil has recently gained huge popularity in the western world, thanks to its throng of beauty benefits. Many people use shea butter for skin treatments such as fighting inflammation and providing moisturization, among others. Packed with vitamins and fatty acids, shea is highly nourishing for the skin and is an excellent addition to your daily skincare routine.
Here are the top ten benefits of shea butter for skin.
Owing to its high fat content, shea butter helps lock in moisture and keeps the skin hydrated, without clogging pores. It is particularly useful if you suffer from dry skin, as it functions as a natural moisturizer. It also protects the skin's natural oils thanks to its high concentration of essential fatty acids and natural vitamins. So if want to find a natural, hydrating face cream or body butter, this African beauty product is your go-to.
A 2010 study discovered shea butter's anti-inflammatory effects could be traced back to one of its prominent compounds: lupeol cinnamate. Known to reduce skin inflammation, this compound is beneficial if you have sensitive skin or suffer from redness. It's also used to reduce any swelling that may be present on the body. If you suffer from skin conditions like dermatitis or rosacea, shea butter can alleviate them when applied to the affected area.
Sore, red skin ... it's the worst, isn't it? You spent just that little bit too long in the sun without sunscreen and now you're paying the price for it. Big time. Luckily, sunburn can easily be treated with natural shea butter. Precisely because it is anti-inflammatory, it fights any form of skin irritation. Specifically its cinnamic acid properties can be noted for this butter easing sunburn and peeling. So slap on the shea nut butter and start feeling its soothing effects right away. What a relief!
The butter of shea nuts contains plant sterols such as oleic, stearic and palmitic, as well as linolenic acids, all of which contribute to skin healing. Raw shea butter is known to be effective in treating acne and reducing blemishes, because it helps turn over new skin cells and speeds up the process of healing in the skin, alleviating acne. If you have oily skin, unrefined shea butter can function as a cleanser, which will help cancel out excessive oil, a contributing factor in acne.
When used as a moisturizer, it can also lessen the appearance of acne scars over time, when applied on a regular basis. However, you will need to stick to it in order to see long-term results.
Considered to be one of the best anti-aging agents for the skin, you should definitely make shea butter a part of your daily skin regimen. No doubt you've tried many skincare products before that claim to reduce fine lines and restore youthful skin. Natural shea butter is one of the most powerful agents for stimulating collagen production in the skin. It also contains vitamins A and E, known for keeping the skin supple, moisturized and nourished. On top of all that, shea butter promotes cell renewal and boosts circulation, giving a skin a more youthful appearance. When applied often, this product can reduce wrinkles and prevent premature aging. All you need to do is replace it with your ordinary lotion.
Vitamin F in this butter is a powerful player in maintaining skin elasticity. As a result, you are a lot less likely to suffer from wrinkles or blemishes when moisturizing with shea butter. Because it's full of antioxidants, unrefined shea butter also fights free radicals, improving the texture and appearance of your skin.
7. It can sweep away stretch marks
You'll often find that many stretch mark ointments contain shea butter as a base. That's because it's packed with vitamin a and vitamin e - essential in improving collagen production and restoring skin elasticity. This emollient can also be used raw, applied directly to the affected area where stretch marks are present. For best results, massage the area using the skin butter on a daily basis. There are of course many treatments against stretch marks, but shea butter is indeed one of the most effective treatments.
You know those little dry spots on your body? Well, it turns out they're quite easy to treat with regular application of unrefined shea butter. During the colder months especially, you tend to develop dry skin and a product proven to rid you of dry patches is shea butter. It's a perfect diy treatment for flaky cuticles or cracked heels. So it doesn't just have to serve as a body butter alone, it can also be used as a natural moisturizer for all those little pesky dry patches scattered all over your body.
Some people swear by coconut oil. But shea butter also deserves a mention. Owing to its hydrating properties and anti-inflammatory properties, shea butter makes an excellent lip balm. It provides your lips with plenty of moisture and nutrients and is also effective in treating chapped lips. African shea butter also contains spf to protect your lips from sunburn. So it's a great way to keep your lips safe and protected whilst out in the sun. You don't have to purchase expensive skin care products. Shea butter is your new lip balm.
With its slew of healing properties, shea butter also provides relief to those pesky post shaving bumps. By moisturizing and soothing the skin, this butter will speed up and simplify the shaving process without leaving you with any irritated bumps afterwards. Because it is anti-inflammatory, you can also apply pure shea butter to insect bites, which will help ease itching and redness.
Clearly, there are many shea butter benefits. However, you should know that it's important to purchase unrefined shea butter, as it is more pure and doesn't contain any impurities, making it more effective in treating different skin issues. It's the same as raw shea butter. This emollient is much more powerful and boasts many more health benefits when purchased as unrefined.
In terms of side effects, shea butter for skin is a low-risk ingredient which is very safe to use and the possibility of allergic reactions are rare. Shea butter should be kept at room temperature.
So, if you're looking for a natural beauty product that fights inflammation, acne, aging or skin dehydration, shea butter is a great universal product to add to your skincare regimen. You'll just need to make a regular habit of using it in order to enjoy its plethora of benefits.