October 30 2019 – Tyra Johnson-Brown
Shea butter….baby, what’s not to love. One of the best body butters to meet your skin. Shea butter is a skin superfood that comes from the seeds of the fruit of the Shea Tree. The shea tree is also known as the “karite tree” (which means “tree of life”) because of its many healing properties.
Shea butter may also offer mild UV protection (up to SPF ~6) and provides the skin with essential fatty acids and the nutrients necessary for collagen production.
Shea butter is a luxurious butter - very thick and solid at room temperature but has a buttery rich consistency that makes it ideal for use as a natural eye cream, lip balm, or body butter. Shea butter has been used in Africa and many other locations for years to improve skin and hair. It also has a long history of medicinal use, such as in wound care.
Many studies show that shea especially good at penetrating the skin and contains 60% fat, making it highly emollient. We shall not lie, there are some pretty dope products out there stemming from shea butter as the base ingredient. Thanks to some other special properties, shea butter does more than moisturize, it delivers key anti-inflammatory and anti-aging fatty acids right into the skin.
What are the Benefits from Using Shea Butter?
Moisturizing: The concentration of natural vitamins and fatty acids in shea butter makes it incredibly nourishing and moisturizing for skin. It is often used to remedy dry skin and to help protect the skin’s natural oils.
Reduces Inflammation: Shea butter was found to reduce skin inflammation and even potentially help avoid skin mutations. This also makes it beneficial for some people with acne.
Skin Smoothing: Shea aids in the skin’s natural collagen production and contains oleic, stearic, palmitic, and linolenic acids that protect and nourish the skin to prevent drying. With long-term use, many people report skin softening and strengthening as well as wrinkle reduction, and cell regeneration, minimizes signs of aging.
Ways to Use Shea Butter
Just like there are tons of skin, body, and hair care products flooding the market with shea butter. There are several ways to use this creamy gold goodness. People apply shea butter to the skin for acne, arthritis, burns, dandruff, inflamed skin, dry skin, eczema, insect bites, itch, muscle soreness, scaly and itchy skin (psoriasis), rash, a skin infection, scars, sinus infection, skin breakages, stretch marks, wound healing, and wrinkled skin, and just because you smell so darn good afterwards.
Shea butter is also very moisturizing for the hair and scalp. People with curly and coarse hair textures benefit from using shea butter as a sealant to keep moisture in their hair and increase softness. Though shea butter is mainly used to help soften or smooth dry skin, it also contains substances that can reduce skin swelling. This is believed because shea butter contains the chemical compound amyrin, which has well-documented anti-inflammatory properties. In foods, yes food (like coconut oil), shea butter is used as a fat for cooking, and in manufacturing, shea butter is used in cosmetic products, even deodorant.