What Is Shea Butter?
Some call this natural moisturizer a miracle worker. Shea butter is a luxurious natural fat, which is extracted from the African Karite tree. Naturally rich in vitamin E, A and F shea butter has been known to benefit skin in a variety of ways. It is used to get rid of unwanted wrinkles, moisturise skin and is even said to be a natural skin lightener. It contains antioxidants that are able to neutralize sun damage and prevent aging. In this article we will explore 11 of the benefits and uses of this ivory wonder oil.
Benefits Of Shea Butter
Has the weather caused your skin to feel dry and flaky? Try natural shea butter. Shea butter is a powerful moisturizer. This has even been researched and documented. In Sweden volunteers were made to wash on a daily basis with an ethanol solution. This has the effect of stripping water out of the skin resulting in trans-epidermal water loss. What this means is water passes from the skin’s middle layer (dermis) to the outer layer (epidermis) and then evaporates. They then separated the volunteers into two groups. One group moisturized their skin with shea butter and another group used mineral oil.
When shea butter was applied to skin, its water levels increased steadily for as long as four hours! This is not surprising. Shea butter is rich in fatty acids and natural vitamins making it a powerful moisturizer.
2. Does Shea Butter Work On Acne?
Suffering from acne? Raw shea butter can help! This potent moisturizer is readily absorbed into your skin without clogging your pores. Acne is often caused by hair follicles or pores becoming infected with bacteria or become inflamed. Shea butter to the rescue with its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
Before using the shea butter it is recommended that you first use a medicated cleanser. This will shed residue on your skin such as oil and dead skin. Once your skin has been cleansed, apply a thin layer of shea butter to the breakout prone areas using a sponge. If you use your fingers, you will be exposing your skin to the risks of further breakouts, because your fingers bring bacteria to your face. It is also recommended that you leave the shea butter on your skin overnight, as it should be on your skin for at least 8 hours. Shea butter works by absorbing into the skin, providing moisture without clogging the skin further.
3. Oily Skin
Can shea butter be used on oily skin? I know what you are thinking. How can you use a moisturizer on skin that is already oily? Perhaps it will cause breakouts or clog your pores? The answer to all these questions will surprise you. Shea butter is excellent for oily skin. The truth is that some oils are actually good for oily skin. People with oily skin often have stale oil deep within the pores of the skin. Oils like shea butter are able to dissolve this stale oil thereby removing it. Also shea butter is able to prevent oily skin by balancing sebum production. Sebum is the oil secreted by your glands to keep your skin moisturized.
In terms of causing breakouts or clogging your pores, in spite of its buttery consistency, shea butter has a zero comedogenic rating. This simply means it will not clog your pores at all. But don’t believe me, try it for yourself. When you apply it to your skin it is absorbed almost immediately without leaving a greasy layer to your skin.
4. Can Shea Butter Get Rid Of Wrinkles?
As we get older our skin generally becomes thinner and less elastic leading to those unsightly wrinkles and creases. Facial expressions also cause wrinkles. Every time you use a facial muscle, a groove is formed under the surface of your skin. When young a person’s skin springs back to its original appearance, but as we age, our skin loses flexibility making it less likely to bounce back.
Wrinkles can be caused by:
- Sun damage
Skin exposed to sun damage may cause wrinkles. UV light from the sun breaks down the elastin and collagen in our skin. These fibres support the skin giving it its connective tissue.
Sound bleak? Looking for a solution? Try shea butter. This effective moisturizer will have your skin looking young and healthy, transforming dry and cracked skin into smooth healthy looking skin. It’s no secret that dry skin ages faster than oily skin, so it is important to keep your skin moisturized.
As far as sun damage is concerned, shea butter provides a level of SPF protection due to the cinnamic acid esters. This compound not only helps prevent harmful UV rays but also helps neutralize free radicals. Free radicals are unstable atoms that typically cause cell damage and premature aging. Shea butter includes vitamin A, which is an antioxidant. Antioxidants help to neutralize free radicals.
5. Why Is Shea Butter Good For Eczema?
Eczema is a common skin disease that results in rough, dry itchy skin. Common symptoms are rough scaly patches, swelling, crusting and oozing. These itchy rashes can be triggered by many things such as clothing touching the skin. If you are suffering from eczema you are aware that scratching does not help and may even result in infection. Doctors don’t yet know what causes eczema so there is no known cure, but symptoms can be managed. Since it dehydrates skin, the best way to manage it is by moisturising the skin.
Because of its high oil content and fatty acids shea butter is an outstanding moisturizer, penetrating deeply into your skin while inducing skin cell regeneration. Shea butter also promotes healing of dry inflamed skin due to its high levels of vitamins A, E and F.
6. Shea Butter For Babies
Babies skin is delicate. It needs protecting and nourishing. Try organic shea butter. You will love how smooth your baby’s skin feels. The vitamins and antioxidants actually nourish and strengthen delicate skin which is important for baby’s skin development. This organic oil is also naturally antibacterial and anti-inflammatory helping to heal and soothe diaper rashes. The great news is you don’t have to stop at infancy. Shea butter can be used at any age.
Afraid to get sunburned on a beautiful day? Protecting your skin from harmful UV rays is crucial to prevent aging and hyperpigmentation. Don’t forget that when going out for more than 20 minutes, it is recommended that you lather up with SPF 30 or above.
What happens if you do end up with a painful sunburn? You know, the kind where your clothes feel like razor blades. Shea butter is one of the best oils to reduce the inflammation and pain of a sunburn while soothing, hydrating and balancing your skin.
8. Shea Butter For Scars
When your skin is injured your body creates a tough fibre called collagen to repair the wound. Some scars sit flat on the skin, while some protrude. Scars that appear on exposed skin might be unsightly or even embarrassing. There is always a surgical option to getting rid of scars, but who wants surgery? Enter shea butter, the natural way to prevent scars.
If you have a wound or burn it is recommended that you keep the wound moist using shea butter, and keep it covered. The reason that shea butter is effective in reducing scars is it is rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids Which have been proven to reduce scar tissue and repair skin.
If you already have a scar you can use shea butter to break down the old scar tissue. First exfoliate the area in order to remove any dead skin cells. Next, simply melt the shea butter and mix it with olive oil. Massage the scar thoroughly to break down old hardened scar tissue. This will get your blood flowing in the area. For best results, apply shea butter to your scars at least 3 times a day.
9. Shea Butter For Skin Lightening
Hyperpigmentation is a problem that occurs when skin is commonly exposed to the sun. Darkened patches form on the face or hands or any areas that are commonly exposed to the sun. Looking for even skin tone? Try shea butter. Due to its high concentration of vitamin E, shea butter is a potent skin lightener. Vitamin E promotes regeneration of skin cells and aids recovery.
Want an even more effective way to achieve an even toned complexion? Try combining shea butter with essential oils. Essential oils are concentrated natural oils extracted from plants. There are many essential oils on the market that are recognized as useful in achieving even skin tone, dealing with hyperpigmentation and lightening dark areas.