Most of our skin care products contain synthetics that are often the primary ingredients, and you will find it in many lotions, creams, eye makeup, facial makeup, and lipsticks.
In contrast, raw Shea butter is a great natural ingredient because it acts as a moisturizer and gives a nice glow to the skin. It helps make the skin supple by providing hydration; and therefore, is an amazing skin conditioning agent. Look for products that contain pure Shea butter and other all-natural ingredients.
Provides Anti-Aging Properties
Raw Shea butter helps tissue cell regeneration and softening of the skin, which reduces wrinkles. The American Journal of Life Sciences reported a clinical study involving 30 volunteers in which Shea butter diminished various signs of aging. In another clinical study for dry, delicate or aging skin, 49 volunteers applied Shea butter twice daily and discovered that it prevented photoaging. It is also shown to boost collagen production, which is essential for skin strength.
Shea butter helps smooth out wrinkled skin
Shea butter has higher Stearic acid content than other vegetable oils, making it much closer to animal fats in chemical composition. The elasticity and suppleness of the skin are maintained by the structural protein collagen that binds the skin tissue together. Loss of collagen due to aging and sun exposure is the main reason for skin wrinkles. Dehydration of the skin aggravates wrinkles further.
Shea butter can reduce skin inflammation
Shea butter contains several anti-inflammatory agents such as cinnamic acid, but the lupeol cinnamate found in the butter is known to reduce skin inflammations. Since the butter can penetrate deep into the skin layers, it may help reduce the inflammation and normalize the skin faster.
Shea butter works wonders when applied around the eyes. It gets rid of under eye bags and makes the area smooth, removing dark circles in the process. Spot application on acne may help in some cases, but people with generalized skin inflammation, as in the case of rosacea and dermatitis, find relief from the regular use of Shea butter. It is effective against other skin inflammations that result from tanning, scalding, frostbite etc
Shea butter gives pain relief
When massaged into aching joints and inflamed areas, Shea butter provides relief. This makes the butter highly useful to people suffering from arthritis and rheumatic pain. Essential oils such as lavender roman chamomile or Helichrysum may be mixed into the Shea butter to make it more potent.
Muscle soreness resulting from exercise, sports practice, or other strenuous activity may be relieved by massaging in Shea butter. Triterpenes in the butter may even accelerate healing by relieving inflammation. Applying Shea butter both before and after exercise has been found to provide faster pain relief. For best results, organic Shea butter should be used.
Moisturizes Both Scalp and Hair
Shea butter seals in moisture, conditioning the scalp, alleviating dandruff and providing overall protection from harsh climates — much like how coconut oil works for hair. You can use it on your scalp, hair or both to improve your health and appearance.
Gently warm the shea butter to soften it and rub thoroughly through your hair and scalp. For best results, leave on for 20–30 minutes. Then, rinse, shampoo and condition as normal. It can actually provide volume when applied to just the roots when styling!
Relieves Windburn, Sunburn and Winter Dry Skin
Raw shea butter also protects your skin from the sun and is a much healthier choice because most sunscreens are filled with noxious chemicals that penetrate the skin and enter our bodies. These chemicals can cause disease-causing inflammation and numerous other problems. While the SPF is about 6, it can provide some protection in a more natural way and is perfect underneath makeup.
Reduces Stretch Marks, Scarring, and Cellulite
How do you get rid of cellulite and stretch marks? While many believe that Retin-A and laser treatments are the only way to diminish stretch marks, raw Shea butter may help. Because of its amazing healing properties and hydrating qualities, Shea butter can possibly reduce the appearance of stretch marks and scars as well as cellulite by smoothing and softening the skin.
Shea butter can protect your hair from UV rays and environmental pollutants
Even if you are not using the butter regularly for moisturizing the hair or the scalp, you can make use of its protective effects when you step out of the house. Just take some butter and rub it between the palms and smooth your hair with it. Shea butter with its SPF of 6 affords quick and easy protection from the damaging action of sun exposure. The butter acts as a barrier to the chemical pollutants in the air as well.
Shea butter is generally hypoallergenic. But, as in the case of any substance applied to the skin for cosmetic or therapeutic purposes, it should be tested on a small patch of skin before using it more generously.
The natural aroma of unrefined Shea butter is often described as being nutty or smoky, but it may be offensive to some people. Shea butter lends itself to the addition of fragrances and is a good carrier for essential oils. It is a suitable base for making skin creams and lotions of different textures since it blends well with lighter oils like coconut oil.
Shea butter can be used as a hair softener
Shea butter’s ability to soften frizzy hair and make it more manageable has been long exploited by people of its native land. It can be used to just coat the strands of hair or massaged into the scalp. When Shea butter is applied on the hair, it prevents the hair from drying out and becoming brittle, a common problem in hot, windy conditions. It seals in the moisture by coating each strand of hair in a thin, non-greasy layer of fat.
To apply to the hair, take a teaspoonful of Shea Butter and rub it between the palms. When the butter melts, spread it over a small portion of the hair using both hands. Repeat until all hair is covered. Run a brush through the hair to ensure that every strand of hair is covered.
Shea gives relief from insect bites
Shea butter has been traditionally used to treat insect bites. Spot application quickly takes away the stinging pain. Severe itching and scratching often worsen insect bites because it helps spread the poison to the surrounding tissues. The anti-inflammatory property of Shea butter reduces itching and soreness. It can be used to treat mosquito bites and bee stings. It is even effective in treating Jellyfish stings.
When you go hiking or camping, shea butter is quite handy to have. Apply it over any exposed part of the body to ward off biting and blood sucking insects. It is not as effective as chemical insect repellents, it is definitely much safer, especially when repeated use is necessary.
Prevents Diaper Rash for Babies
Shea butter makes a great diaper rash ointment for your baby because of its antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties that can fight off yeast. Raw shea butter can help improve blood circulation promoting cell regeneration while providing improved collagen production.
Both cell regeneration and collagen production are important to healing diaper rashes quickly. Since most children are exposed to a large number of chemicals through the numerous products found on the shelf, this is the perfect DIY solution to help avoid those chemicals and ensure comfort and rapid healing for your baby.
Can give relief from cold and sinusitis
People in Nigeria have been known to use Shea butter to relieve nasal congestion. It may help relive sinus congestion too.
In an experimental study that tested Shea butter, petroleum jelly and the standard nasal drop Otrivin for their effectiveness in relieving nasal congestion, Shea butter seemed to have a more lasting effect of 5-8 hours, although it took up to a minute to clear up the nasal passage when applied to the mucosal lining.
The medicated nasal drop was quicker in clearing up the nostrils, but the blockage returned within 2- 4 hours. More importantly, repeated application of the nasal drops resulted in nasal irritation and rebound congestion. Petroleum jelly didn’t make much of a difference at all.