Shea butter is a popular ingredient in skin and hair care products. In its natural and pure form, it provides multiple benefits from reducing premature facial lines and wrinkles to soothing skin conditions like eczema. It also helps moisturize and protect the hair from damage.
The butter comes from shea nut tree or karite tree or mangifolia tree that grows in the wild savannahs of west and central Africa.
Shea butter’s skin benefits have been widely recognized. Its phenolics, a constituent element of polyphenols have anti-aging benefits similar to green tea. It contains five essential fatty acids –
phytosterols, vitamin E and D, allantoin and vitamin A. The combination of ingredients helps neutralize free radical damage, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, fading age spots and stimulating collagen production.
The texture consistency as well as its skin care benefits depends on the stearic and oleic acids’ content, which can differ in each crop of nuts harvested. It is also higher in olein that makes it softer and more fragrant. Its absorption into skin is better because of its lower content of saturated fatty acids. Shea butter found in the west is higher in vitamin A, which promotes anti-aging benefits such as reduction of wrinkles and stretch marks.
Here is the rundown of Shea Butter’s skin and hair care benefits.
Shea Butter’s Skin Care Benefits
- Prevents skin aging
- It stimulates the production of collagen.
- It keeps the skin supple, nourished and radiant as well as prevents premature wrinkles and facial lines.
- It does not clog the pores.
- It is good to moisturize skin especially those with dry skin.
- Restores skin’s elasticity
- The vitamin F and non-saponifiable matter found in this butter are essential ingredients for retaining skin’s elasticity.
- It helps maintain even skin tone.
- It hydrates, softens and beautifies the skin.
- Heals the skin
- It is used as a base in medicinal ointments due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
- It heals sunburned, cracked and peeling skin.
- It treats scars, eczema, blemishes, skin discolorations, chapped lips, stretch marks and dark spots.
- It reduces irritation caused by psoriasis.
- It relieves skin allergies like poison ivy and insect bites.
- It promotes healing and disinfection due to high vitamin A content.
- It is also believed to reduce muscle aches and rheumatism by stimulating the elimination of toxins from muscles.
- Acts as a natural sunscreen
- It provides protection against the dangers of sun’s UV rays.
- Protects the lips
- It acts as a perfect lip balm to protect your lips from changing weather condition.
- It treats dry and chapped lips.
Shea Butter’s Hair Care Benefits
- Soothes dry and irritated scalp
- Its anti-inflammatory qualities get absorbed easily into the scalp.
- It soothes dryness, repairs breakage and mends split ends because Shea butter is rich in vitamins A and E.
- It provides relief against dry scalp, dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis.
- Moisturizes the hair
- It is an excellent moisturizer and a natural conditioner as it moisturizes the hair from roots to tips.
- It locks in moisture to the strands without leaving the hair greasy or heavy.
- Due to its emollient qualities, it is widely used in curly hair treatments.
- It restores lost moisture from the hair.
- Protects the hair
- It provides protection to the hair against free radicals found in the air, water as well as harsh weather condition.
- Its low amount of SPF is sufficient to protect the hair from sun damage.
- For processed or colored hair, it coats the hair shaft so it is protected from heat or other damaging factors that passed along the hair.
- When applied before swimming, it protects the hair against salt and chlorine.
- Softens the hair
- It revitalizes damaged and brittle hair.
- It helps in controlling and spreading excess oil in the scalp due to its non-greasy quality.
- For dry and fragile curly locks, massaging generous amounts of Shea butter can provide soft and silky hair.
- Promotes hair growth
- Applying Shea butter to your hair twice a week helps in hair growth.
- It improves hair texture and moisturizes hair.