Most people, especially those who go through skincare routines, have once or regularly used shea butter due to its numerous benefits to the skin. At the same time, most of these people don't know anything behind that butter, such as what it is, its origin, and side effects, among others.
What is Shea butter?
Shea butter, as the term butter states, is a fat extracted from nuts of a Karita tree, also known as shea tree. The nuts exist in ivory and white when raw and processed, respectively. Shea trees are usually found in the dry savannahs of the west and east Africa, where they grow naturally. Shea butter uses majorly includes making cosmetics, body creams, and other body products.
Shea butter benefits.
Shea butter mainly contains stearic, oleic, linoleic acids, vitamin A, vitamin E, among others. All these valuable components are what contribute to the several shea butter benefits to the skin. It's wise to include it in your skincare routine as shea butter benefits are seen on both the skin and body in general. Some of the shea butter benefits include:
Shea butter benefits: Dry skin moisturizer
Dry, dehydrated skin turns rough and scaly while other parts develop cracks. Shea butter is the best solution for this kind of skin. Its fat, emollient and humectant properties enable it to lock in moisture in the skin, thus keeping it hydrated for a long time. Additionally, shea butter helps in softening the skin on your palms and feet. Its easy penetrative property enables it to replace dry skin with a moisturized and nourished skin without clogging the skin pores. For this moisturizing properties, the butter is a perfect treatment for skin conditions such as dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis, which causes a patchy, scaly, and itchy skin.
Shea butter benefits: Eliminates acne and any other skin blemish
One of the major shea butter benefits is its excellent healing power. This is made possible by the presence of palmitic, stearic, and oleic fatty acids that do not convert into soaps when mixed with alkalis. The non-saponifiable property is what gives excellent healing power to the shea butter to eliminate acne.
On top of that, un-refined shea butter is also excellent in fighting skin rashes, post-tanning skin peeling, stretch marks, burns, insect stings and bites, and athletes foot among other skin blemishes.
Shea butter benefits: Anti-wrinkles
If you are searching for a perfect anti-aging agent, look no further than the shea butter. The butter stimulates the production of the youthful proteins known as collagen beneath the skin. Vitamins A and E in the African butter help keep the skin nourished and radiant at all times.
The vitamins, together with catechins in the butter, also bring an antioxidant effect on the skin that fights against free radicals from environmental pollution that is harmful to the skin.
For the butter to work effectively as an anti-aging, make it a habit to use it regularly, whether you have your skincare routine or not. This prevents or at least decreases wrinkles and prevents premature facial lines.
Shea butter benefits: Retains your original skin
A skin that is regularly exposed to the sun develops a hyperpigmentation condition that comes with the change of your skin tone and dark spots. Shea butter contains a lot of vitamin E that helps in skin cell regeneration, thus giving back the excellent complexion of your skin. Therefore, shea butter is the most recommendable for lightening your skin. This benefit has raised a common question to many; does shea butter darken the skin?
Does shea butter darken the skin?
Shea butter does not darken your skin, but instead, it makes it lighter. This does not mean that it bleaches; it means that shea butter gets your skin to its original skin tone. It eliminates all the blemish and black spots on your skin so that you retain your original color. So, if you are light-skinned, you will retain the original lightness, and if you are dark-skinned, and you will retain the original dark tone but clear of any blemish.
Shea butter for baby skin
Baby skin is usually delicate and thus needs protection and nourishment. The vitamins and antioxidants present in shea butter help nourish and strengthen the sensitive baby skin; therefore, it plays a significant role in baby skin development. The butter also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that aid in the removal of the baby diaper rashes. Uses of shea butter are recommended to persons of all ages.
Shea butter on hair
Apart from having tremendous effects on the skin, the benefits of the butter stretch far and wide than just the skin. The butter also has several benefits to the hair. It plays a significant role in repairing damaged hair and protects it from tough weather conditions as well as damages from the harmful UV rays from the sun. Nutrients from the butter also improve the condition of the scalp, therefore, preventing hair loss. Ultimately, shea butter is also known to be a very effective natural hair conditioner.
Shea butter on general body health
On top of all those benefits to the skin and hair from the different uses of shea butter, the general wellbeing of the body is also included. Traditionally, the butter is applied to relieve muscle pains and soreness in Africa. The butter is also further used as an ointment to relieve pain and swelling on parts suffering from rheumatism, which is an inflammatory disease.
Shea butter on dogs
Uses of shea butter apply to not only the human body but also extends to animals such as dogs. The butter extends its moisturizing properties to the dogs, eliminating dry, irritated, and itchy skin in dogs caused by seasonal allergies. However, the shea lotion you use on your skin is not the same one you will use on your dog's skin; it may contain additives that may be harmful to your dog. Look for the exclusive shea for dog's product if you are looking to use a shea product on your dog.
Shea butter products.
There are a variety of products made from shea butter, either in its natural or refined state. Some of the popular products include; shea butter body lotion, shea butter body wash, shea butter soap, shea lips butter, shea butter body creams, shea butter hair conditioners, and shea butter body scrub, among others. The best thing about shea butter products is that most of them are hand-crafted in their unrefined form with no additives and preservatives, thus the excellent performance on your skin.
Shea butter soap
One of the most effective shea products is shea butter soap. The soap comes with a variety of benefits to the skin, similar to the benefits of the shea butter in general. These benefits include; skin moisturizing, smoothening, protecting the skin from inflammatory and bacterial agents, protection against wrinkles, and healing of any skin conditions and blemish.
However, shea butter soap benefits may differ according to the process it was made through.
Shea butter cold process soap and its benefits
The cold process of making a shea butter soap is known to create the best quality. The cold process makes use of only natural ingredients and essential oils. The process involves the melting down of the butter and the essential oils and before adding a mixture of water and lye as your stir until it attains a trace state. You are then required to pour the mixture in the molding of your choice and store it in a cold and dark place for at least 4 weeks. The cold process is preferred over other processes since it produces a smooth and flawless bar, which is excellent for the different uses of shea butter soap.
Some of the benefits of a cold process soap include:
- The soap retains a creamy feeling that enables it to penetrate deep in the skin; therefore, it is the most efficient in eliminating dry and itchy skin.
- Soaps from a cold process possess natural sweet fragrances from the natural essentials such as lavender and jasmine. The scents intensify over time as the cold process soap take long to be ready.
- Unlike soaps from other processes, cold process soap possess the ability to create an excellent lather that makes your bathing luxurious and sensational.
- Cold process soaps come in so many artistic designs, unlike soaps from other processes. Cold process soaps come in creative colors while others are mixed with natural ingredients for texture as others have a decorative herbal top layer finish.
Uses of shea butter
Shea butter uses stretch far and wide. From the making of soaps, cosmetics to hair conditioners, among others. In all its different forms, uses of shea butter may be through the following;
- Application to the body and face as a natural moisturizer.
- As a sunscreen to prevent you from the harmful UV rays.
- Used during pregnancy to minimize stretch marks.
- It is also used as a massage butter.
- It is used on scars to eliminate them through collagen production stimulation.
- It is used in homemade liquid foundation and makeup.
- It is also included in the baby care package.
Possible shea butter side effects and risks
Just like anything else, shea butter has numerous pros but also has its cons. However, not much is known about African butter; it must have a few effects. The butter contains stearic acid, which is known to cause over bleeding. This means that people with blood problems should keep off from shea butter products.
Despite the possible side effects, the use of shea butter has proved to work mysteriously to perfect your skin complexion and keep off skin conditions. It is highly recommendable to use the shea butter products on your skin if you want to achieve the best results.