Shea butter is an amazing ingredient with so many wonderful properties that you can safely use on your body as part of your daily skincare routine. In a world largely revolving around cosmetics laden with those nasty, chemical filled ingredients, the chance to use a botanical ingredient that’s good enough to eat, is surely something worth celebrating and at least contemplating adding to your skincare routine.
Shea butter is indeed edible but it also is works wonderfully as a product your can use on your body. Extracted from the nuts of African Karite trees that grows around Uganda and the South Sudan, it has long been used for health, skincare and cooking for hundreds of years.
Shea butter is super rich in vitamin E and vitamin A and the presence of fatty acids and plant sterols, like oleic, stearic, palmitic and linolenic acid add to its amazing properties for use in caring for your skin. So, what exact;y can you use it for in every day use?
- Dry skin
Moisturising properties in Shea butter are the same as those produced by your skin’s sebaceous glands, making the best match for dry skin. You can either put this directly onto your skin, mix with a carrier oil or if you create your own moisturisers, add Shea butter to your list of ingredients.
- Hair Care
Shea butter is said to have a number of benefits for use in hair care including: sealing in moisture, defining curls, conditioning the scalp, alleviating dandruff and decreasing those frizzy moments! Also, if you have very fine hair and find nothing works in being able to give you volume, apply a little just to the roots of your hair before you begin styling and you should find this adds natural volume to your hair.
- Anti Ageing
The daily application of Shea butter to your skin should result in a much brighter complexion and visibly reduced wrinkles after around 6 weeks of use. This has been backed up by The American Shea Butter Institute who claim the application of Shea butter will reduce the appearance of wrinkles over time.
- Soothe Chapped Lips
Shea butter is said to protect and soothe the lips. You can either put a little straight on your lips or if you create your own lip balms, why not add a little to the ingredients to give you an amazing, hydrating lip balm. Apply several times a day an you should see great results pretty quickly!
- Calms Inflammation
Shea butter has multiple anti-inflammatory agents within it and in a study, researchers concluded that Shea nuts and Shea fat (shea butter) constitute a high source of anti-inflammatory compounds. So if you have sore or inflamed joints, simply spread some of this over the area to help soothe and reduce the inflammation.
- Stretch Marks
While many of the authorities say the only way to really get rid of or reduce stretch marks is with laser treatments, there are believers that say otherwise. The power of Shea butter for helping to reduce those unsightly stretch marks due to it’s abundance of vitamins and healing agents is proving those sceptics wrong. Why not try it for yourself? The worst that could happen is you have super soft, hydrated and smooth skin instead.
- Eczema & Acne
Both Eczema and Acne require careful treatments so as not to make the problems worse or more irritated. When asked, both Eczema and Acne sufferers have said that using pure and natural products is favourable as it’s gentle on the skin and soothes the irritation, unlike the chemical filled cosmetic products that seem to inflame the area more. Eczema users would be better off soaking in a warm bath followed by applying the Shea butter while still damp to ensure you lock in the moisture. Whereas Acne sufferers should apply a thin layer to their face after cleaning and leaving it to soak in for a few hours.
- Repairs Cracked Heels
If you suffer with painful, cracked heels, try applying a layer of Shea butter over the area and leaving it to soak in for a few hours if possible or, if not, try to re-apply throughout the day. If you aren’t opposed to wearing socks in bed, try applying a layer over your heels before you go to bed under your socks.
Shea butter is high in vitamin A and vitamin E, as well as plant antioxidants, that are known to protect the skin from external damage. There is also evidence that suggests some of the fats in Shea butter help to prevent damage from ultraviolet radiation, although we don’t recommend you test this out by layering up and lying out in the sun. You should always wear sunscreen if out in the sun for too long.
- Insect Bites
With all of its anti-inflammatory properties, Shea butter also helps to reduce the itching and swelling of insect bites, It has been known to stop the itching instantly!
If you want to give Shea butter a try yourself, make sure you look out for raw unrefined Shea butter or grade A as the product diminishes the more refined it is. Also, one thing to look out for when buying Shea butter is that unrefined, it’s not the consistency of a smooth lotion, it’s harder and much greasier (like the texture of raw coconut oil) and softens when warmed. When looking for the colour, it ranges in from a creamy off-white to brighter yellow when in it’s natural form. If it’s very white, it’s likely to be refined, this isn’t what you want!
I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and has given you some inspiration to give it a go yourself.
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