Shea Butter is one of the skin superfoods available nowadays. Shea Butter benefits the skin in many ways. It is a rich source of vitamin E. It also gives skin UV protection and essential fatty acids that are necessary for the production of collagen.
What is Shea Butter?
As we all need food to get the energy to do our work. Similarly, our skin also needs food for that glow and brightness. The skin’s superfood is Shea Butter. It is extracted from the nut of the African Shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa). Raw Shea butter is yellow in colour.
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It is a complex fat which contains fatty acids such as oleic acid (40-60%), stearic acid (20-50%), linoleic acid (3-11%). palmitic acid( 2-9%), linolenic acid( less than 1%) and arachidic acid (less than 1%).
There are five grades of Shea butter.
- Raw or unrefined – Grade A
- Refined -Grade B
- Grade C which is highly refined.
- Grade D – a lowest uncontaminated grade.
- A grade with contaminants – Grade E
Grades A, B and C are commercial grades.
Which Grade Is The Best?
As far as I am concerned, I use only raw unrefined grade A . Though there are other varieties of Shea butter available that are refined but refining process removes some properties which are very beneficial.
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Shea Butter Benefits For The Skin
It is one of the best moisturizing natural products in the world. Though solid at room temperature but it melts on the skin and forms a non-greasy coating that locks in the moisture of the skin. After taking bath, apply it all over your body to keep your skin soft and hydrated.
Gives Relief To The Itchy Skin
During the winter season, our skin becomes very dry and itchy. Because of dryness skin starts peeling and becomes flaky. Shea butter is rich in fatty acids that give relief to the skin by supplying the oils that are present in it.
Helps To Soothe Baby Diaper Rash
As discussed earlier, there are no chemicals in unrefined Shea butter so it acts as an excellent natural moisturizer with no side effects on baby’s soft skin. Shea butter has anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties and it can also improve blood circulation, can promote cell regeneration leading to the production of collagen in the skin. All these things play an important role in healing diaper rashes quickly.
Best Anti-aging Agent
Shea butter has anti-aging properties. It stimulates the process of collagen production in the skin. It is rich in vitamin A and E which helps in keeping the skin soft, hydrated and nourished. The regular use of shea butter can reduce fine lines and wrinkles. It also has the ability to promote the process of cell renewal in the skin.
Protection Against Sunburn
It has SPF-6 in it. It is not sufficient for the full sun protection. However, it can offer some protection underneath your makeup and can be considered a much healthier choice than other sunscreens which are filled with chemicals.
Reducing Stretch Marks
Stretch marks occur due to various causes such as rapid weight gain or loss, during pregnancy etc. When the skin gets stretched beyond its elastic capacity, it leads to stretch marks. Laser treatments are not the only solution to stretch marks. Shea butter is a natural emollient. It has hydrating properties which can restore the natural elasticity of the skin and can also boost the production of collagen. Regular use of Shea butter on the affected area can lighten the stretch marks.
As A lip Balm
During winter season and dry weather conditions, our lips become dry and flaky. They need extra care. This butter provides excellent lip care as it is easily absorbable and gives extra moisture and nutrients to the lips.
Shea Butter Benefits For Hair
Prevents Hair Loss
Shea butter has many essential nutrients that are required for the conditioning of scalp and hair. Conditioning results in making your hair follicles stronger and reduces hair fall and hair loss.
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Repairs Damaged Hair
Some chemical treatments like rebounding, perms, curlers remove natural moisture from the hair. Shea butter has the property to lock in the natural moisture of your hair. It also helps in restoring the lost moisture.
It has SPF-6 in it that acts as a Sun cover for your hair protecting them from any Sun damage caused due to UV radiations. Shea butter makes a protected coat on the shaft of the hair against harsh weather, heat tool or some other materials that can damage your hair. That is how they can be helpful in repairing damaged hair.
As Hair Softener and Conditioner
Shea butter can easily soften and condition non-manageable frizzy hair. It is rich in vitamin A and E. These vitamins has moisturizing properties which can nourish your hair from roots to tips. So, it can act as a natural hair conditioner and softener.
Can Treat Split Ends
Shea butter has anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties that can soothe dry, itchy scalp and dandruff. As it contains vitamin A and E which helps in giving strength to hair that reduce breakage and mends split ends.
So, these are the numerous benefits of Shea butter.
If you have never used Shea butter before I will recommend doing a patch test in a small area of your skin. If you experience some rashes on the skin discontinue it immediately and consult a doctor.