Shea Butter has shown to be a superb moisturizer, with exceptional healing properties for the skin because of it’s all natural Vitamin A properties and this Vitamin A is so important for improving a number of skin conditions, including blemishes wrinkles, eczema, and dermatitis.
What is Shea Butter?
Shea butter is a skin super food that comes from the seeds of the fruit of the Shea (Karite) tree and that is naturally rich in vitamins A, E and F. It is extracted and prepared without the use of chemicals.
It offers UV protection (it is SPF ~6) and provides the skin with essential fatty acids and the nutrients necessary for collagen production.
In Ghana Shea butter locally known as nkuto or nku, is applied as a lotion to protect the skin during the dry Harmattan season.
In Nigeria, shea butter is known by the Yoruba’s to be ori and like other African countries it is used as body cream to improve skin and hair, and also massaged into joints and other parts of the body where pain occurs.
Benefits of Shea Butter
Shea Butter provides the following benefits listed below:
For Nourishing & Moisturizing the Skin
Shea Butter’s unparalleled moisturizing property is due to several natural moisturizers present in the cream. The moisturizers in Shea Butter are the same moisturizer produced by the sebaceous glands in the skin.
Also, It is often used to remedy dry skin and to help protect the skin’s natural oils.
The positive biochemical and physiological effect Shea Butter has on skin injuries makes this cream ideal for wound healing. Many users of Shea butter have reported that Shea Butter promotes and accelerates wound healing.
A 2010 study found that due to its cinnamic acid and other natural properties, Shea Butter was anti-inflammatory. (source) One compound in particular, lupeol cinnamate, was found to reduce skin inflammation and even potentially help avoid skin mutations. This also makes it beneficial for some people with acne.
Shea Butter 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.
Stretch Mark Prevention during Pregnancy
Shea butter is one of the best emollients out there. It is exceptional at keeping the skin moist and hydrated. Shea butter is made from the nut of the karite tree.
The fatty acids are extracted from the nuts shell. These work by stimulating the skins renewal process… Again preventing and also helping reduce stretch marks.
As you use Shea Butter, you’re likely to discover additional uses like:
- Dry skin
- Skin rash
- Skin peeling
- Itching skin
- Shaving cream for smooth silky shave
- Small skin wounds
- Skin cracks
- Cold weather
- Insect bites
- Muscle fatigue, aches and tension
- For before and after strenuous excercise
- Skin damage from heat (hot grease while cooking, radiation treatment for certain problems etc.)
The amount of time required for optimum result varies with each skin condition. Wrinkles, for example, require 4 to 6 weeks of daily use. Itching is relieved immediately.
Classification of Shea Butter
The United States Agency for International Development and other companies have suggested a classification system for Shea Butter separating it into five grades:
- Grade A (raw or unrefined, extracted using water)
- Grade B (refined)
- Grade C (highly refined and extracted with solvents such as hexane)
- Grade D (lowest uncontaminated grade)
- Grade E (with contaminants).
If you get unrefined Shea Butter, that means it has not been filtered and may contain trace particles of the Shea nut.
The worldwide availability of Shea Butter cream may depend at times on the needs of the chocolate manufacturers to make chocolate. Chocolate use most Shea exported from producing countries. Shea use in the cosmetic industry is a very small fraction of the annual Shea harvest.
In local markets, Shea Butter is readily available for sale but many people have not come to realize it’s multipurpose use.
Everyone should have a jar of Shea Butter, either among the beauty supplies for soft smooth better looking skin, or in the medicine cabinet for minor skin injuries around the house. Shea Butter is the skin’s best friend.
Note: Ask a doc or dermatologist before using, especially with underlying skin conditions. Those with nut allergies should avoid or check with an allergist.
Ever used Shea Butter? How did it work for you?