Shea butter is a fat extracted from the nut of the African shea tree. It is ivory in color when raw and commonly dyed yellow with borututu root or palm oil. It is widely used in cosmetics as a moisturizer, salve or lotion. Shea butter is edible and is used in food preparation in some African countries.It works as an emollient that softens and hydrates skin. Because it contains several types of fatty acids — including lineoleic, oleic, palmitic and stearic acids — that improve the skin’s natural barrier, shea butter also protects skin from damage from the environment like pollutants.
Shea butter can be nourishing for your skin with its fat content. It can also help to soften the skin on your hands and feet and make it supple. It penetrates the skin easily, without clogging the pores, and is effective for dry skin.
Use shea butter to heal cracked heels, dry cuticles, and rough patches on your skin. You can also use it to simply moisturize your skin during the colder months.
Shea butter is more non-saponifiable than other nut oils and fats, thus imparting it great healing potential. Raw, unrefined shea butter is effective in curing skin rashes, skin peeling after tanning, scars, stretch marks, frost bites, burns, athletes foot, insect bites and stings, and acne.
Shea butter has several derivatives of cinnamic acid that exhibit anti-inflammatory properties. These properties make it beneficial for the improvement of skin conditions that result from an increase in inflammatory compounds.
Shea butter is considered as one of the best anti-aging agents for the skin. It stimulates the production of collagen, the youthful scaffolding protein in the skin. The vitamins A and E found in this butter keep the skin supple, nourished, and radiant. If used regularly, it reduces wrinkles and also prevents premature wrinkles and facial lines. Its anti-aging properties can also be attributed to its ability to increase circulation to the skin and promote cell renewal.
For itching skin, both the moisturizing and the anti-inflammatory properties of shea butter prove to be beneficial. Dryness can cause your skin to start peeling and/or become flaky. It can cause the skin to itch. The moisturizing fatty acids of shea butter can provide relief by supplying the skin with the oils it needs
The non-saponifiable matter and vitamin F in this butter are vital ingredients for maintaining the skin’s elasticity. Shea butter also improves the production of collagen in the skin. Thus, its application restores the natural elasticity of the skin besides hydrating, softening, and beautifying it.
Shaving hair using razors can often leave your skin irritated and itchy. At times, it might even develop bumps post shaving as a result of the irritation. Shea butter can help reduce this as it moisturizes and soothes the irritated skin.
Shea butter is an excellent natural moisturizer that is devoid of chemicals. Thus, it is ideal for baby care as besides being gentle and soft on the skin, it is specially adapted for the delicate and sensitive skin of babies. It can be applied after a bath and also used for healing eczema or diaper rash on the skin of babies and toddlers.
Shea butter is easily absorbable and provides extra moisture and nutrients that the lips need during the cold season and dry weather conditions. Thus, it acts as a perfect lip balm and is also effective for treating dry and chapped lips.
A number of chemical treatments like straighteners, perms, and curlers are responsible for stripping off the natural moisture from the hair. Shea butter can help restore this lost moisture. It also protects the hair from harsh weather conditions and the harmful free radicals in the air and water.
The fatty acids of shea butter condition the scalp and hair. It also provides many essential nutrients that improve both scalp and hair health. These, in turn, will make your hair follicles stronger and reduce hair fall and hair loss.
Shea butter is effective in soothing a dry, itchy scalp or dandruff. It possesses anti-inflammatory qualities and rich fat that get absorbed into the skin without leaving a greasy residue behind or clogging the pores.
How To Use
Body Butter Lotion
Take 1 cup of shea butter
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup almond oil
Melt the coconut oil and shea butter in a double boiler.
Mix well and let it cool down for a couple of minutes.
Add almond oil and mix well.
Place this in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes. The oils should start to solidify a little.
Once the natural solidification process has started, whip the oil blend using a hand mixer or a kitchen aid mixer until you get a thick, creamy consistency.
Transfer this to an airtight container and keep it aside. Allow it to set.
Use as and when required to moisturize the body.
You can also add essential oils of your choice in the almond oil step.
Lavender Mint Lip Balm
Take 2 tablespoons of shea butter
1 tablespoon coconut oil
6-7 drops lavender oil
6-7 drops peppermint oil
Melt the shea butter and coconut oil in a double boiler.
Let them cool down slightly and then add lavender and peppermint oils.
Mix thoroughly and pour the concoction into small jars or lip balm tins.
Leave aside until the contents set.
Use once or twice a day as a regular lip balm.