It’s fairly likely that you’ve bought a cosmetic in the past that included shea butter. Often seen as a beauty cure-all, it’s rarely explained what it is. So, in this post, we’ll answer the question, what is shea butter and list some of its main benefits.
What is Shea Butter Made From?
Shea butter is fat extracted from the nut of the shea tree. Much like cocoa butter, it’s solid at room temperature, is off-white in colour, and melts easily at body temperature. The shea tree it comes from is native to West Africa, which is where most of the world’s supply is farmed. It has a long history and has been used as a cosmetic ingredient for centuries. Its high concentration of vitamins and fatty acids — combined with its easy-to-spread consistency — make it a great product for moisturising and conditioning your skin.
7 Benefits of Shea Butter
Shea butter is rich in vital vitamins for the skin, including A and E. It also has numerous other benefits, including:
1. It’s safe for all skin types
Despite being a nut, shea butter is very low in the proteins that cause allergic reactions. There’s actually no medical literature documenting an allergy to topical shea butter use. As such, it’s ideal for nearly anyone to use on their skin.
2. It boosts collagen production
As you may know, collagen is the protein that makes your skin look plump and young. Shea butter contains triterpenes, which reduce the destruction of collagen fibres. Use may minimise the appearance of lines and result in plumper skin.
3. It may help with scarring
Shea butter boosts the production of healthy skin cells while also reducing the production of keloid fibroblasts, which are responsible for scars and stretch marks.It also plays a part in removing bacteria, which can prevents further scarring while healing. Shea butter won’t clog your pores and doesn’t contain chemical irritants, unlike many inorganic products.
4. It may help strengthen hair
Using shea butter on hair may reduce breakage. Although this hasn’t been tested specifically, it’s chemically similar to Miracle Fruit seed oil, which has been proven to help hair.
5. It’s moisturising
The main reason we use shea butter for the skin is that it’s moisturising. It’s high in fatty acids that soak into the skin easily, restoring your skin’s natural barrier. It is also great for dry skin and creates hydrated, softer skin, especially important in those dry winter months. Shea butter is also commonly used in moisturisers that help prevent stretch marks.”
6. It’s not oily
But at the same time, shea butter won’t make your skin oily. The acids it contains (linoleic and oleic) are balanced, offering greater absorption into the skin.
7. It’s high in antioxidants
Raw shea butter is very high in antioxidants, but processed shea butter is almost as good. Antioxidants come from its high vitamin content, which your skin needs to stay looking fresh. Studies show that shea butter has phenolic compounds with antioxidant properties. Most of these are catechins, a flavonoid antioxidant.
Where to Buy Shea Butter?
If you want good quality shea butter for the skin or hair, why not shop at a Black-owned business through Wakuda? Here are our top picks for where to buy shea butter;
Akirma Luxe Wonder Balm by Akirma Luxe
Made with 95% organic ingredients and with its floral and citrus scent this balm is suitable for all skin types (unscented option is also available). Use to nourish, soften, heal and moisturise, leaving the skin soft and glowing. It can be used to remove make-up, cleanse, mask and as an intensive moisturiser to treat dry skin. Vitamin E.
Skin Food Formula by Muluku
This lightweight skin food formula feeds and penetrates all 3 layers of your skin, leaving it feeling deeply moisturised, nourished, and energised. It’s beautiful and sweet plant based scent carries throughout the day.
Kings Beard Butter by Beard Kings
Can be used daily for styling and moisturising. It acts as a deep conditioner, taming flyaway hairs and keeping your beard looking fuller and healthier.
Not only for beards and shaving, but for all of a man’s grooming requirements.
Body Butter by Mela Beauty
A thick, buttery body cream that melts on contact with the skin to deeply hydrate even the driest skin. Shea butter, cocoa butter, jojoba oil, and wonderfully fragrant Vanilla are all included. This body butter will leave you smelling and feeling delicious.
Helping Your Body with Shea Butter
Any of these shea butter products from a Black owned business will help your skin feel fresh and new. If using shea butter on hair, opt for raw shea butter or a specific hair recipe.
Whatever you choose, now you know exactly what’s in shea butter and how it can freshen your skin and hair
Although it’s considered safe every skin type, many products containing shea butter have other ingredients mixed in.
If you experience any side effects that you suspect are connected to a shea butter product, discontinue use and see a doctor or other healthcare provider. They can help determine what’s causing your symptoms and advise you on any next steps.