Benefits of Shea Butter for Skin: How to Use Shea Butter for Moisturizing and Nourishing Your Skin

An iconic tree native to West African countries, renowned for the globally acclaimed butter derived from its fruits, which only appears once the tree reaches 50 years of age – such could be a question in a TV quiz show. Many of us would confidently wager on the right answer. It’s the Shea tree, better known as Shea. The equally popular Shea butter shares its namesake. Despite the obvious answer, how much do we truly know about this African guest?

Composition of Shea Butter

Similar to the more familiar cocoa butter, Shea butter is primarily composed of fatty acids: oleic and stearic acids, which together make up about 90% of its composition. The remainder consists of palmitic and linoleic acids. Except for some oil crops, Shea butter has one of the highest proportions of unsaponifiable matter among its peers. Interestingly, Shea butter can maintain its quality characteristics for over a year without the need for preservatives.

Shea Butter: Properties and Uses

The first to note the beneficial properties of Shea butter over two hundred years ago was the Scottish explorer and African continent researcher, Mungo Park. In his diary entries, he described the beneficial properties of Shea butter and even mentioned its excellent taste qualities. Traditionally, a significant portion of produced butter ends up on the dining tables of locals. Among the African population, Shea butter is renowned for its ability to aid in various skin conditions. It’s believed that Shea butter can not only smooth wrinkles around the eyes and reduce under-eye bags but also plump up the lips. Just recall the image of a typical African beauty to believe in this assertion. Local residents are familiar with dozens of ways to use Shea butter, and thanks to its high export rate to European countries, Shea butter has found its application in the production of various skincare products – from moisturizing creams to hygiene lip balms.

Shea Butter: Benefits and Harms

It’s said that the benefits of Shea butter were known to ancient Egyptian physicians, who organized true caravans into the depths of the African continent in search of this remarkable remedy. Nowadays, this miraculous substance is hardly used in food in its pure form, but the benefits of Shea butter as a component in cosmetics production are invaluable. It’s believed that it can:

  • Heal minor wounds and micro-cracks on the skin
  • Reduce swelling
  • Moisturize the skin
  • Combat stretch marks
  • Help prevent diaper rash in infants

Additionally, Shea butter can be taken internally as a source of fat-soluble vitamins A, E, and D – and it will be beneficial. Since large-scale clinical studies of this vegetable oil have not been conducted, it’s necessary to know that there is no reliable data on the harm of Shea butter. For this reason, it’s recommended to ensure the absence of an allergic reaction by applying a drop of Shea butter or a cosmetic product containing it to the elbow crease and the back of the hand. If there are no negative reactions after 20-30 minutes, you can confidently enjoy its beneficial effects.

Shea Butter for Dry and Oily Skin

Shea butter is an entirely natural product, which is why its benefits for the skin are highly valued. For dry skin, Shea butter is a panacea, while for oily skin, after regular use, it provides a chance to fully experience its beneficial properties, normalize metabolism, and eliminate shiny skin.

Shea Butter for the Face

Traditionally, Shea butter is mentioned when it comes to proper facial skincare. There are several ways to restore the healthy appearance of facial skin using Shea butter. The simplest advice on how to use Shea butter for the face is to massage the “T-zone” (the area of the nose, forehead, and chin) with a solid piece. Unlike the “U-zone,” the skin on these areas is slightly oilier, so the properties of Shea butter for oily facial skin are best tested here. And of course, you can’t do without a Shea butter mask overnight. To do this, take 2 teaspoons of Shea butter, mix with equal parts of your favorite essential oils, adding the resulting mixture to a traditional baby cream or night face cream. The main rule of this mask is that Shea butter for the face requires regular use.

How to Use Shea Butter for Hair

To have hair you can be proud of, frequent visits to beauty salons are not necessary. For tired hair, it’s enough to buy a good shampoo and conditioner with Shea butter. If your goal is to resemble the legendary Rapunzel, then Shea butter for hair can be another step towards perfection. A hair mask with Shea butter will also be beneficial. After all, as we have found out, Shea butter is a source of necessary acids and vitamins, making it ideal for hair growth, and the benefit from it will definitely be felt.

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