Shea butter, also known as shea butter, is obtained from the walnuts of the shea tree and has an ivory color. Shea trees are native to West Africa, and most shea butter still comes from that region.
Shea butter has been used as a cosmetic ingredient for centuries. High concentration of vitamins and fatty acids together with its easily absorbable structure; makes it a great product to soften, soothe and nourish your skin.
Here are 16 benefits of shea butter that make it a unique product:
1. Safe for all skin types.
Shea butter is technically a tree nut product. However, unlike most tree nuts, the proteins that can trigger allergies are very low. Shea butter does not contain chemical irritants known to dry the skin and is suitable for almost all skin types.
2. It has an intense moisturizing feature.
Shea butter is generally used for its moisturizing properties. Because; It has a rich fatty acid content including linoleic, oleic, stearic and palmitic acids. When you apply Shea butter topically, these oils are quickly absorbed by your skin. It restores lipids and quickly provides moisture. It restores the barrier between your skin and the outside environment, keeping moisture in and minimizing the risk of dryness.
3. It is anti-inflammatory.
Plant esters of shea butter have been found to have anti-inflammatory properties. When applied to the skin, it slows down the production of inflammatory cells. This, in addition to environmental factors such as dry air; It can help minimize irritation caused by inflamed skin such as eczema.
4. It is an antioxidant.
Shea butter has significant levels of vitamins A and E. This means that it promotes powerful antioxidant activity. Antioxidants are important anti-aging agents. They protect skin cells from free radicals that can cause premature aging and dull appearance.
5. It can help prevent acne.
Shea butter is rich in different fatty acids. This unique composition helps to remove excess oil (sebum) from your skin. Therefore, topical application is thought to reduce the amount of bacteria that cause acne on the skin.
6. Helps support cell regeneration.
The moisturizing and antioxidant properties of Shea butter work together to help your skin build healthy new cells.
Your body constantly produces new skin cells and gets rid of dead skin cells. In fact, you get rid of 30,000 to 40,000 old skin cells every day.
7. It can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks and scars.
Shea butter is thought to stop the proliferation of keloid fibroblasts (scar tissue) and instead promote healthy cell growth. This can help your skin heal, minimizing the appearance of stretch marks and scars.
8. It can help promote healing of wounds.
In addition to reducing inflammation, shea butter also helps reconstruct tissues for the treatment of wounds. Protective fatty acids can also help protect wounds from environmental irritants during the healing process.
9. It can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Shea butter contains triterpenes. These naturally occurring chemical compounds are thought to bypass collagen fiber breakdown. Thus, by increasing collagen production and promoting new cell formation, it can help reduce wrinkles and fine lines that environmental stress and aging can create on the skin.
10. It can help soothe conditions such as eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis.
The anti-inflammatory properties of Shea butter help soothe the skin and relieve itching. This can be particularly beneficial for inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Research suggests that shea butter may work just as well as medicated creams in the treatment of eczema.
11. May help soothe sunburn and other skin burns.
The anti-inflammatory ingredients of Shea butter can reduce redness and swelling. Fatty acid components can also soothe the skin by retaining moisture during the healing process.
A study suggests that oils can be beneficial for superficial (first-degree) skin burns, such as sunburn. The researchers in this study; Although they find that the use of shea butter, aloe vera and other natural products is common, more research is needed to evaluate their effectiveness.
12. May help treat dandruff.
One of the ways to treat dandruff (atopic dermatitis) is to restore lost moisture to dry and irritated scalp. A 2018 review found that shea butter can help reduce dandruff when used in conjunction with other moisturizers.
Where do all these benefits come from?
The benefits of shea butter are due to its ingredients. Shea butter contains:
Linoleic, palmitic, stearic and oleic fatty acids: Components that balance the oils in your skin,
Vitamins A, E and F: Antioxidant vitamins that support circulation and healthy skin cell growth,
Triglycerides: The oily part of Shea walnut that nourishes and shapes the skin,
Cetyl esters: The waxy part of Shea nut oil that conditions the skin and locks in moisture.
How to use shea butter?
For the skin
You can apply Shea butter directly to your skin. Raw, unrefined shea butter is easy to apply. Using your fingers, take a teaspoon of shea butter from the jar and rub it on your skin until it is completely absorbed. It may be difficult to apply shea butter under make-up due to its structure. For this reason, you can choose to apply before going to bed.
You can make a face mask for yourself at home using shea butter and some ingredients. First, wash your face with a suitable cleanser and rinse with warm water. Your face, which you dried with towel paper, is ready to apply the mask.
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 3-4 drops of grape seed oil
- 1 tablespoon of pure shea butter
Mix the ingredients well and apply on your face. For best results, leave the mask on your face for 10 to 15 minutes. Dry your face with warm water.
Be careful with these face masks because if you have acne-prone skin, they can cause acne breakouts.
Unrefined shea butter can be applied directly to your hair. You can use it as a rinse or non-rinse conditioner. Since applying it to the hair follicles can cause an oily appearance, you may prefer to apply it to the ends of the hair.
If you want to get the most out of shea butter, buy it in its raw and unrefined form. The more Shea butter is processed, the more it loses its natural properties. For this reason, shea butter is classified with an A to F rating system, and grade A is the purest form of shea butter you can buy.
Possible side effects and risks
Shea butter is an incredibly low-risk topical ingredient. There are no documented cases of topical shea butter allergy. Researchers believe this is because shea nuts contain very few tree nut proteins that trigger allergies. Even people with nut allergies can safely use shea butter on their skin.
However, if you begin to experience irritation and inflammation, discontinue use. If you experience severe pain, swelling, or difficulty breathing, seek emergency medical attention.