The use of shea butter dates back to the era of Cleopatra. It’s said that she carried clay jars of shea butter wherever she travelled, to use it as a cosmetic and therapeutic lotion for skin care. The many shea butter benefits for hair and skin made it a popular trade commodity during the Middle Ages.
In this post you will learn:
- What is shea butter?
- Why should you use shea butter?
- What are the benefits of shea butter for hair?
- How to use shea butter for skin?
- How to use shea butter for hair?
What is Shea Butter?
Shea butter is extracted from the oily nuts that grow on top of Karite trees in West Africa. Initially used as an oil, shea butter was turned into and sold as body lotion, soap and nasal decongestant. The process of extracting shea butter is diverse. The most viable method that keeps the essence of the butter intact is cold pressed extraction. This method comes without added chemicals and substances. To reduce the cost of production and increase the quantity of production, organic shea butter is injected with artificial flavours and enhancements. It is always advisable to buy pure and organic shea butter, without any added fragrances or benefits.
Unrefined raw shea butter is an off-white coloured fatty substance. It doesn’t have the texture of your breakfast butter, but is more lumpy.
Cocoa butter is another useful natural ingredient for dry skin. To learn how to use it, read our post on COCOA BUTTER USES FOR SKIN AND HAIR.
Why Should You Use Shea Butter?
Shea butter does not liquefy at room temperature. However, it will soften once you rub it in between your palms, making it rather easy to apply. You will notice that it provides instant softness to the skin. The skin remains hydrated for long making shea butter one of the best moisturisers for dry skin. Raw shea butter can also reduce the appearance of blemishes, wrinkles, and stretch marks. It also soothes any kind of skin inflammation.
Shea butter’s best known benefit, though, is the ability to boost collagen production in the body. Collagen is the main structural protein in the skin, and lack of collagen is what causes visible signs of ageing.
The health benefits of shea butter have been vouched for too. Due to its high content of vitamins A and E, shea butter is enriched in relatively high quantities of saturated fatty acids like MCT oil (Medium-Chain Triglycerides, that have numerous health benefits like improved cognition and weight management) when compared to olive oil, canola oil etc.
Using Shea Butter For Hair And Skin
Shea Butter Benefits for Skin
#1. Shea Butter Moisturizes the Skin From Deep Within
Chemical are important ingredients in your regular lotions and creams. In complete contrast to these products, raw shea butter is a 100% natural moisturizer. The hydration lasts long and leaves the skin glowing. For the best results use organic, raw Shea Butter, with natural ingredients and no additives.
#2. Shea butter has anti-ageing properties
Raw shea butter has cell-regenerative properties, which softens the skin and reduces wrinkles. The American Journal of Life Sciences performed a clinical study which involved 30 volunteers. It was reported that Shea Butter diminished the various signs of aging. As mentioned above, it is also known to increase collagen production, which is crucial for developing skin strength.
#3. Shea butter is the best solution for winter dryness
The high fat content in shea butter, its moisturising and hydrating properties, make it an excellent alternative to using lotions for dry skin during winters. It’s perfect for cracked and dry heels, hands, elbows and knees.
#4. Shea butter reduces stretch marks
Due to its extensive healing and hydrating qualities, Shea Butter can be used to stop/reduce the appearance of stretch marks and scars. This is possible due to the collagen producing abilities of shea butter, that help in the formation of new skin.
#5. Shea butter soothes diaper rash
Shea butter can be used as an ointment for diaper rash, be it for your baby or the elderly in the house. It boasts of anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties, which help fight off yeast. This is the perfect alternative to avoid those chemical induced baby creams and ensure ease and restoration of your baby’s healthy skin.
Shea Butter Benefits for Hair
#6. Shea butter helps reduce dandruff
Shea Butter has moisture-sealing properties. It conditions and nourishes the scalp, relieving it off dandruff. Regular use of shea butter protects your hair and scalp from dust and pollution.
How to use shea butter for hair: You can use it on your scalp, hair or both like any other oil. Slightly warm the shea butter, only enough to soften it. Rub it thoroughly through your hair and scalp. For best results, leave it on your hair for up to 20–30 minutes. Continue to rinse, shampoo and condition as you would any other day.
Lavender oil is another good remedy for dandruff. Read our post to learn how to use LAVENDER OIL FOR HAIR.
Last Words on Shea Butter Benefits
There is a reason behind this one product of history, still finding its way into our lives today. The numerous health and beauty benefits of shea butter makes it a great addition to your beauty regimen as well as daily moisturising needs. Be mindful of buying products rich in shea butter and always opt for the raw, unrefined kind. This is so because the addition of industrial components takes away the natural benefits of the compound. Introduce it to your skin and stick to it; you’ll see the difference in a few days.