Shea butter is extracted from the nut of the African shea tree. It is usually yellow in colour when raw, with more processed versions being ivory or white in colour.
Because of the shea butter benefits for skin and yes shea butter is edible in some African countries and widely used in cosmetics as a moisturizer or lotion.
There are many health benefits of shea butter, however, these are shea butter benefits for the skin.
Benefits of Shea Butter for the skin
Moisturizes dry skin
Shea butter is an excellent moisturizer for the face and the body. It locks in the moisture in the skin and keeps it hydrated for long.
Shea butter also nourishes the skin with its fat content.
As we all know, we experience dry season called ‘harmattan’ in West African; Shea butter is very effective for dry skin, it helps to soften the skin on your hands and feet.[Tweet This “Shea Butter penetrates the skin effortlessly without clogging the pores.”]
Protection from UV rays
In tropical seasons or regions, hyperpigmentation caused by sunburns is expected, therefore sunscreen goes a long way, however, in a region where there is no market for sunscreen, Shea butter is a natural protector from UV rays.
It has a sun protection factor of 6 (SPF 6) which may not be enough to protect you totally from the sun on a regular sunny day, but it will save you the few times you have to step outside.
Effective lip balm
Shea butter is easily absorbable and provides extra moisture and nutrients that the lips need during dry weather conditions. Thus, it acts as a perfect lip balm and is also effective for treating dry and chapped lips.
When applied, it forms a barrier on the lips and retains moisture in the skin
Moreso the vitamin A and E in the butter nourishes the tender skin and keeps it healthy.
Reduces stretch mark
Stretch marks are a natural occurrence in the body which ordinarily women are insecure about, but in recent times, the female gender has grown to embrace these marks.
Stretch marks could be hereditary or dependent on other factors like rapid weight loss, and pregnancy which expands the body, therefore the skin stretches to accommodate this growth causing stretch marks.
It is essential to stay moisturized during this time, otherwise, the post-pregnancy skin health will not be good.
Non-toxic moisturizing agents like Shea butter for keeping the skin hydrated all through pregnancy and during the lactating period.
Regular application of Shea butter on the stomach, thighs, and breasts well before they come under severe stress may be the key to avoid stretch marks.
Shea butter contains several anti-inflammatory agents such as cinnamic acid, these properties make it beneficial for the improvement of skin conditions that result from an increase in inflammatory compounds.
The lupeol cinnamate found in the butter is known to reduce skin inflammations.
Shea butter penetrates deep into the skin, hence its ability to reduce skin inflammations and heal the skin faster.
Treats acne and blemishes
Shea butter is known for its healing properties, which can be attributed to the presence of several fatty acids and plant acids.
It is more non-saponifiable than other nut oils and fats, thus imparting it great healing potential.
Raw, unrefined shea butter is effective in curing skin rashes, acne, blemishes and after tanning.
Shea butter helps cell regeneration, minimizes signs of ageing. It is considered one of the best anti-ageing agents for the skin.
It stimulates the production of collagen, the youthful scaffolding protein in the skin.
The vitamins A and E found in this butter keep the skin nourished, and radiant. It reduces wrinkles and also prevents premature wrinkles and facial lines.
Its anti-ageing properties can also be attributed to its ability to increase circulation to the skin and promote cell renewal.