Let's Make it "Butter": All about Shea Butter and its Benefits for the Skin and Body
industry has come to appreciate the uses and benefits of shea butter for the
skin and the body, you can literally find it everywhere from lotions to soaps, lip balms to other moisturizers.
Extracted from the shea (karite) tree common in West and East Africa, shea butter is rich in fats, vitamins A, E, cetyl esters, poly-nutrients among many others and is why it makes for such a great product for both moisturizing and nourishing the skin. These components are easily absorbed into the skin to provide nourishment.
Shea butter is solid at room temperature, and can differ slightly in color from white to a more off-white appearance. It is easy to melt and use in things like cold process soap making!
Categories of Shea Butter
can be categorized as either raw/organic/Grade A or refined depending on the
process of extraction. Raw shea butter is shea butter in its purest form ,without
any additives, whereas the refined one is striped of some of its natural
properties during extraction.
Also, it is usually mixed with other oils or perfumes
to mask shea's natural odor and color. The shea butter is used as a common
ingredient in body and hair oils, as well as soaps and other applications.
Uses of Shea Butter
Shea butter provides a wide range of benefits for the skin includes, but is not limited too:
Acts as a Moisturizer
Due to its
thick texture, shea butter is excellent in not just sealing in moisture and the natural
skin oils to ensure maximum hydration, but it is also rapidly absorbed into the skin to help repeat lipids.
Similarly, the fatty acids, keratin and vitamins contained in shea
butter can penetrate through the skin, thus nourishing it and helping to maintain its
At the same time because of the compounds in which make up shea butter it doesn't leave the skin oily, like some there natural oils.
It Enhances the Production of Collagen
contains stearic, linoleic and palmitic acids that help in collagen production
and maintaining skin elasticity. Similarly, it helps in preventing cell
degeneration. Collagen is the protein responsible for maintaining the skin structure
and facilitating cell reproduction.
Thus helps in elimination of stretch-mark's,
the appearance of wrinkles or cellulite on the skin. The vitamins protect against skin drying and
ageing. Also, it is used in eye serums to help alleviate those pesky bags under your eyes.
Shea Butter Assists in Relieving Skin Conditions.
ability to trap in moisture and skin's natural oils helps in combating skin
conditions like acne, eczema, diaper rash, skin cracks and chipping among many
It is also used to aide in removing skin blemishes and scars. Men also use it as a balm after shaving to prevent razor bumps and post razer burn symptoms.
Sometimes also used for it's anti-fungal properties. shea Butter can help fight certain skin conditions like ringworm and athletes foot!
Helps in Protecting the Skin Against UV Rays
The cinnamic acid and vitamins A, E & F, contained in shea butter helps in protecting the skin against sun rays and relieving sunburns and skin irritations caused by insect bites.
However SHOULD NOT be used by itself in trying to product from harmful UV rays. Like many other oils and butters using shea butter in many instances can be a supplemental additive to your other daily treatments for skin issues or protection.
Due to its' anti-inflammatory property, shea butter soap can be used in treating arthritis, cleaning of rash's, infected skin, burns and wounds to provide and supplement the healing process. Similarly, its antibacterial properties help in disinfecting germs and fighting fungal infections.
It's also should be noted that many of the healing effects from shea Butter can tied to it's moisturizing and antioxidant properties. The skin itself is able to generate new cells at a rapid rate, so with the balance, this process can be more effective and efficient.
However, caution should be applied when using shea butter, and one should always test for nut allergies before applying it to the skin as it can cause allergic reactions
Shea butter has many benefits for your skin and we've just mentioned a few of them. Be sure to use Shea butter as a supplement to whatever other treatments you may have for your condition.
Please share your experiences with products that may contain Shea butter in our comments section of the blog. Have great day!