All shea butter benefits for skin and hair you must knowEquipeeditoriale
Shea butter is one of the most known ingredients in skincare and beauty. It is used in body creams, bath washes, hair products, lip balms and much more. Shea butter benefits for skin, hair and health are well known. But do you know you can actually use just plain shea butter in your routine? The results will amaze you!
What is shea butter?
Shea butter is a fat extracted from the African nut of shea tree. It has an ivory color and is solid. Shea butter is rich in fatty acids: oleic acid, stearic acid, linoleic acid, palmitic acid, linolenic acid and arachidonic acid. Here are some amazing shea butter benefits you should absolutely know.
Shea butter benefits for skin
Shea butter is one of the best products to use for your daily care and here’s why.
Suitable for all skin types
This is a major benefit of shea butter. It is very hard to find a natural product that fits even to sensitive skin as most contain allergens. Shea butter does not contain any allergens. It is a zero on the comedogenic scale. That means there is no way to clog your pores and it is suitable for oily and acne-prone skin.
Super moisturizing but not oily
Shea butter contains fatty acids that are easily absorbed, restore lipids, and create the moisture needed. Oleic acid and linoleic acid work together and balance each other out so shea butter is absorbed by your skin without causing excessive oiliness.
Shea butter is rich in vitamin A (retinoids) and E. These two vitamins are great antioxidant agents that fight free radicals caused by UV lights and protect you from premature aging. It can be used also in sunscreens, as it has a natural SPF 3-4 and antioxidants work better with the sun.
Be careful! Shea butter is not a sunscreen. A proper sunscreen has at least SPF 30.
This is another interesting benefit of shea butter. When applied to the skin, it inhibits inflammatory cells and triggers cytokines. Shea butter soothes skin, relieves itching and can be helpful for eczema and psoriasis treatment.
The anti-inflammatory properties are also useful for sunburns treatment. It can reduce swelling and redness, and the fatty acids restore the lost moisture and soothe the sunburnt skin.
Boosts collagen production
Shea butter contains triterpenes (most known of them is squalane), which are thought to deactivate collagen fiber destruction. As we age, collagen production is limited, and this is one of the causes of wrinkles and fine lines. So one more benefit of shea butter is that it can delay ageing, reduce photo-aging and prevent but also reduce wrinkles and fine lines.
Some shea butter ingredients are used to treat some infections. It is known that shea butter can kill the spores of the fungi that causes ringworm and athlete’s foot.
It may help reduce the appearance of stretch marks and scars
Shea butter stops the scar tissue from reproducing and boosts the growth of healthy cells. It is therefore great for post-surgery treatment and postpartum stretch marks.
Shea butter benefits for hair
Shea butter has a lot of potential uses and benefits also in haircare, and it is one of the purest products that can treat major hair problems.
It is extra moisturizing
All hair types, but particularly curly and frizzy ones need extra moisture and shea butter is exactly what your hair needs! Rich in fatty acids, vitamin A and E, it helps restore the lost moisture and cure your split ends. Fatty acids reduce the frizz and give you a shiny silky look.
It may also protect your hair from breakage and heat damage. Shea butter is the right treatment for curly hair and very damaged hair but keep in mind that if your hair is oily or very thin, it may make them greasier and weight them down. This can be prevented by using a small portion and washing them very well.
It can reduce scalp inflammation and promote hair growth
Shea butter is beneficial not only for the hair strands but also for the scalp. Inflammation of the scalp can cause itching, flaking, and damage to the fair follicles. This can lead to hair loss and block the produce of new hair strands. You can use raw shea butter or a shampoo with shea butter to reduce the dryness and inflammation of your scalp.
DIY recipes for skin and hair with shea butter
It is really important to point out that you have to use raw and unrefined shea butter, otherwise you may not see all the benefits mentioned above. So buy raw shea butter and follow along these recipes.
Shea butter face moisturizer recipe
Use a small amount and simply apply it to your face.
Mix and melt equal parts of shea butter, olive oil, almond oil, coconut and honey and you will never again see your lips chapped.
Whipped body butter
Melt 1 cup shea butter, ½ cup coconut oil and ½ cup of almond oil (jojoba and olive oil work great too). Put the melted mix in the fridge for about 20-30 minutes until it is not frozen or too soft and then whip it with a mixer until it looks like a fluffy body butter. Store in a container in the fridge.
Shea butter DIY natural hair mask
Melt some tablespoons of shea butter, apply it to your hair (or/and scalp) and just leave it for 1-2 hours or overnight. You can combine it with other effective oils as olive and coconut oil or use it as a base for other natural hair masks.
Hair curling pudding
Put in a bowl ½ tablespoon sweet almond oil, ½ cup aloe vera gel and ¼ cup soft shea butter and mix them with a mixer until the mix looks like a pudding. Store it in a cool and dry place and use it to give your curls the greatest definition!
Where to buy raw shea butter?
You can find raw unrefined shea butter at your local grocery, bio stores, and African grocery stores.