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  5. Shea Butter For Skin: Benefits, Uses & Side Effects

Do you want your skin to feel buttery soft? The 'Tree of Life' is a popular nickname given to the Shea tree because of its ability to address numerous health, hair, and skin conditions.

Shea (pronounced shay) butter is also known as "Mother Nature's Conditioner" for its exceptional softening and moisturizing properties.

If your skin issues have got you down, let your regular skincare regime take a back seat and make room for shea butter. It's a go-to in many beauty regimens, and no matter what you face, there's more than a slim chance that shea butter will be your new savior.

What Is Shea Butter?

Shea butter is a fat that is derived from shea nuts of the shea tree. It's a natural fat that you extract by crushing and boiling the shea tree's ripe nut or fruit. It's a yellow-ivory colored, buttery, thick, and solid substance at room temperature.

Traditionally, shea butter was used for medicinal and cooking purposes in Africa. The making of shea butter is an indigenous craft of many African tribes.

Shea is packed with essential fatty acids and vitamins, making it perfect for collagen production and UV protection. Its buttery texture contains 60% fat, which makes it ideal for penetrating the skin. Plus, the natural moisturizers in shea butter are analogous to the sebaceous glands of our skin extract. All this together makes shea a moisturizing miracle for your skin.

Is Shea Butter Good For Your Skin?

Shea butter is indeed excellent for the skin. Its unique nutrition concentration works wonders on the skin. It’s an impressive addition to your skincare routine due to its versatile nature - It works for both dry and oily skin, protects the skin from UV rays and sunburns, and hydrates skin.

Try taking a dollop of shea butter on your work-worn, dry hands and rub it together, so it melts. You can massage it on your hands, face, dry spots, or cracks.

As you read earlier, shea butter boosts collagen production and is an excellent moisturizer. The presence of palmitic acid and oleic in shea makes it an excellent source to heal anti-inflammatory issues.

Did you know that shea butter is like food for the skin? It contains Vitamins A, E, and F. Each of these vitamins plays a pivotal role for your skin. Vitamin A helps skin remain healthy, all the three vitamins together help stave off facial lines and wrinkles, and vitamin F soothes chapped, dry or rough skin and helps skin heal.

One of the primary reasons’ shea butter can heal the skin so well is that it doesn’t clog your pores and allows your skin to breathe.

You Can Use Shea Butter To Treat Various Skin-Related Conditions Like:

  • A rash
  • Dry skin
  • Peeling after exposure to the sun
  • Itching
  • Wrinkles and blemishes
  • Sunburn
  • Cracks on the skin
  • Minor wounds
  • Rough skin
  • Insect bites
  • Stretch marks
  • Allergic reactions
  • Heat damage
  • Dermatitis
  • Eczema
  • Irritation and bumps due to a razor
  • Damage due to cold weather

Benefits Of Shea Butter

1. Shea Butter Is An Excellent Moisturizer For The Skin

Shea butter works as a skin-conditioning agent. So, if you are someone who has skin that’s dull and dry, you can incorporate shea butter into your skincare routine.

Of its many qualities, shea butter possesses the ability to form a protective layer on the skin and retain water. This ensures your skin remains hydrated and moisturized.

2. Shea Butter Is Suitable For Sensitive Skin

It might be a good idea for those with sensitive skin to bid farewell to fancy lotions as they can further irritate your skin. Instead, pick shea butter. If you find natural shea butter, it’s the best for skin irritation. More than other options, the natural route is a reliable choice.

3. Shea Butter Soothes The Skin

As shea butter is packed with ingredients like vitamins A and E, it’s useful to treat sensitive and irritated skin. Whenever you have sunburns, dry patches, windburns, abrasions, or even when a baby has a diaper rash, smother the area with shea butter and let it work its magic. In a few days, your skin will feel renewed.

4. Shea Butter Eases Inflammation

If you’re looking for quick relief from skin-related issues like psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema, make shea butter your go-to product. Shea butter’s ability to penetrate the skin swiftly along with the presence of an anti-inflammatory agent like cinnamic acid and fatty acids will calm inflammation and give you relief.

It’s also known to slow down the production of inflammatory cells that contribute to skin conditions and irritation. This study [1] illustrates that shea butter works nearly as well as medicated creams when treating eczema.

5. Use Shea Butter For Youthful Skin

Vitamin A and E not only soothe your skin but also gives you healthier, younger-looking skin. Shea butter’s ability to promote cell regeneration helps decrease wrinkles and fine lines. Its collagen-boosting properties will provide you with plump looking skin.

How To Use Shea Butter?

1. As A Moisturize

Shea butter can transform dry and cracked skin into healthy, moisturized skin. Once you apply it, shea butter delivers an oil-like texture on your skin, which your skin almost instantly absorbs. Immediately absorbing the product restores the lost moisture as well as eases skin tightness.

You can use shea butter throughout the year. In the summer months, use shea butter to restore hydration and calm your skin after a hot day in the sun. During winters, your skin tends to be dry and flakey. Again, shea butter works by restoring hydration and soothes irritated skin.

2. To Soothe Chapped Lips

Chapped lips are an everlasting issue. Shea butter lip balm can help your lips look supple and soft. Dab a dash of shea butter on your lips to make sure your chapped lips or skin remain smooth and soft.

3. To Fight Irritation And Dandruff

Especially if you experience a dry scalp, shea butter's soothing qualities help calm your scalp. Section your hair, take a small amount of shea butter and massage it onto your scalp in a circular motion. Use it repeatedly, and you'll notice the difference in a few days.

4. A Smoothening Cream For Frizzy Hair

You can use shea butter to combat issues like dull, dry, and frizzy hair. Whenever you feel your hair is dry or unmanageable, touch up the problem spots with shea butter. Alternatively, you can comb it through your hair and leave it on for an hour before shampooing.

SkinKraft Tip:

Give your hair a healthy shine, eliminate frizz, and soothe flyaways with shea butter.

5. For Softer Hands

If your hands are dry from daily wear and tear, they need a good dose of shea butter hand cream. One of the primary benefits of shea butter is restoring moisture and hydrating skin.

Smother your hands with shea butter and wake up to hands as soft as silk.

SkinKraft Tip:

If you have cracks on your heels, wear socks after applying shea butter and let the product sink in overnight. Your feet will heal in a matter of time.

How To Choose The Right Shea Butter?

All shea butter is not the same. As shea butter sits on the shelf, it loses some of its healing properties. Highly processed shea butter isn’t as effective. Also, shea butter’s benefits reduce when mixed with other ingredients.

Some products prominently have shea butter written on the label but add very little of the actual substance, so you gain no benefits.

It would help if you considered all these factors when you buy a product with shea butter. Read the ingredients label and see where shea butter lies in the list. Typically, shea should rank early on in the list.

Lastly, ensure to purchase shea butter from a reputable source.

What Is The Best Shea Butter For Skin?

The key is to opt for pure, unrefined shea butter. The quality of shea butter matters, and all products aren’t created equally.

Raw shea butter is the way to go if you want to reap all its benefits. Many cosmetics and skincare products come with shea butter as an ingredient, but it’s often the processed version that doesn’t deliver its full benefits.

The refined version is altered chemically and diminishes the properties of pure shea butter. Pure, unrefined shea butter has a beige color and a nutty aroma.

Side Effects Of Shea Butter

While shea butter is generally safe to use, those who have a nut allergy should be careful. There’s a possibility of experiencing adverse reactions as shea butter is derived from the nuts of the shea tree.

Typically, topical shea butter allergies are rare. You can give it a whirl if you are willing to, if not, apply a tiny amount on a small patch of skin and check to see if there’s a reaction. If your skin reacts, it’s best to discontinue using the product.

Some people say shea butter clogs pores while some say it doesn’t. The debate about this continues, and there’s no concrete evidence as yet. But there’s research that leans towards the fact that it doesn’t clog pores as the fatty acids mimic the oil or sebum that your body naturally produces. [2]

Wrapping Up

Nature has its mechanism of restoring what it takes away, and shea butter is one of them. This magical skincare ingredient can effectively repair and rejuvenate your skin. It’s time you take advantage of its plethora of benefits and transform how your skin looks and feels.

Begin By Knowing Your Skin