There is no doubt that natural and chemical-free products are the best for the skin, and that is why we will tell you more about the incredible benefits of shea butter for beauty. This is a famous ingredient also called ‘African gold,’ which is one of the favorite products used by many women and in the cosmetic world for its kind properties.
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What is Shea Butter?
It is a type of fat extracted from the nuts of a Shea tree. The shea butter comes from the famous seed of the shea tree that mostly grows in West Africa. That is why it’s advised to look for African shea butter. Thanks to its moisturizing properties and 100% natural, it has become a favorite ingredient for body creams, lotions, oils, and water cologne in the cosmetic industry.
The word shea means “butter tree,” due to its similarity in texture to butter. It is considered by the aboriginal population (Ivory Coast, Mali, Burkina Faso, or Sudan) as the most precious sacred tree, which is why it is called the ‘African gold.’
It is said that according to historical documents, African shea butter was one of the preferred ingredients for one of the pioneering women in the beauty industry in ancient times. Cleopatra herself used it in her daily beauty routine!
Uses of Shea Butter
Only this wonderful product can replace different creams and cosmetics due to its healing properties. Being so moisturizing, it can be useful as a lip moisturizer, restorer of dry skin on hands or elbows. You can also use shea butter for hair treatment. It repairs split ends and prevents hair frizz. But, without a doubt, the two most important virtues of shea butter are its anti-aging power and its therapeutic properties for skin healing.
Benefits on the Skin
- It is an ally during pregnancy and lactation because it prevents the possible appearance of stretch marks or cracks in the chest due to natural body changes.
- It is one of the best cell regenerators and can be applied to any part of the body without causing damage to health or allergic reactions.
- It has anti-inflammatory properties that relieve pain caused by arthritis and rheumatism.
- It has high concentrations of vitamins A and E, which help balance, hydrate, and soothe damaged skin.
- Provides an extra dose of collagen that fights and prevents the signs of aging on the skin.
- It is recommended for athletes, as it provides extra elasticity to the skin. It is advisable to give a brief message both before and after exercise so that the muscle recovers more quickly and toxins are eliminated from the body.
Benefits for Hair
There are other benefits you are likely to enjoy when you use shea butter for hair.
- Contains vitamin F, which revitalizes hair damaged by weather and chemicals.
- Thanks to its oily composition, frizz disappears, and it is an excellent styling cream.
- It’s a GREAT moisturizer for dry, split-ended hair.
Who Can Use Shea Butter?
The shea butter can be used at any age and by anyone. It is usually recommended for skins with aging signs, from 30 years to avoid the lines by age. If you are under 30 and your skin is dry, you can also apply a small portion before your favorite sunscreen. You will notice significant changes. If you deal with oily skin, use very little product on your face, or you will over-hydrate. It is preferable to use shea butter after your nightly cleansing routine.
This skin product is considered friendly for different types of skin. You don’t need to worry about it if you have delicate skin. Shea butter is full of natural ingredients, so the chances of experiencing any side effects from its use are very minimal. It is suitable for the skin of both babies. Make sure you opt for raw shea butter with no added chemicals.
How to Use Shea Butter
This miraculous product rich in moisturizing properties should be used in small portions due to its greasy consistency.
- First, you must take a tiny portion and heat it with your hands in circular movements until it “melts” and is completely liquid.
- When the small portion of shea butter loses its firm structure and is completely liquid, you can apply it to your skin. The same is also applicable when you use shea butter for hair.
How Much to Use
You are advised to use minimal amounts. This ingredient is extremely high-yielding, and you don’t need to use it too much to enjoy its benefits. If you have multiple stretch marks or other skin conditions, you can apply it three times a day to improve your skin’s state. For your hair, you can melt a small, pea-size amount on your hand before applying.
Shea butter has some amounts of natural latex in minimal amounts. They can cause multiple allergic reactions in some people. If someone is allergic to latex, it’s advised to undergo an allergy test before using it. Raw shea butter can also result in breakouts on your face at times. Very few incidences of such have been reported. If you have specific allergies, then you should consult health experts before applying this product.
There are multiple other alternatives you can use on your skin apart from shea butter. Common options include Avocado butter, Cupuacu Butter, Mango Butter, and Shea oil. You can also give try to unrefined Cocoa butter. Consume foods with antioxidant vitamins like those available in shea butter. Perfect examples include broccoli, spinach, nuts, avocado, blueberries, papaya, and watercress.
How to Recognize a Good Quality Pure Shea Butter
You should first know that raw shea butter is a 100% natural product. It is one of the essential elements for the natural maintenance of your skin.
It has several strengths not only in cosmetics but also in several other areas. Thanks to its extraction method, it effectively retains all the vitamins and fatty acids that can aid you to maintain your beauty as well as your hair. The quality of shea butter depends mainly on the manufacturing method.
Absolutely rich in moisturizing active ingredients, pure shea butter is made in several stages: harvesting, pulping, washing, grinding, extraction, cooking, and storage.
However, to choose a good quality pure shea butter, it is necessary to consider particular factors such as color, smell, and texture. Raw shea butter does not have the same color as refined shea butter. The first is distinguished by a yellow and beige tint, while a purely white dye characterizes the second.
As for the smell, it must be said that pure unrefined shea butter has a strong nutty odor while the refined one is odorless or fragrant with aromatic compounds. The smell of shea butter is relatively popular, even if it seems unpleasant to some.
The texture of pure unrefined shea butter is very hydrating and quickly penetrates your body, while low-quality shea butter will have virtually no effect.
It must be said that pure unrefined shea butter is the best quality that meets the requirements of the epidermis. However, by taking all these factors into account, you will get the maximum benefit from your pure, unrefined shea butter.
Pay very close attention to the product’s quality you wish to purchase. You should look at the available ingredients to confirm if it’s suitable for your skin and ideal to use. This will help you identify the real African shea butter for your skin. Remember to buy your shea butter products from highly reputable stores.
- Nutritional composition of shea products and chemical properties of shea butter: a review
- Patient acceptability, efficacy, and skin bio physiology of cream and cleanser containing lipid complex with shea butter extract versus a ceramide product for eczema
- Profiling the quality characteristics of the butter of Pentadesma butyracea with reference to shea butter
- Evidence-based treatment of atopic dermatitis with topical moisturizers