Shea butter is an off-white fatty substance extracted from the seeds of the shea tree. It is rich in vitamin A, vitamin B and fatty acids, including linoleic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid and palmitic acid. The high concentration of vitamins and fatty acids make shea butter a key ingredient in creams, lotions, moisturisers and other emulsions for the skin.
Here are some shea butter benefits:
1. Moisturizes Dry Skin
One of the most effective ways to treat dry skin – and probably the most effective way to incorporate shea butter into your skincare routine – is to apply shea butter to your skin daily. Shea butter penetrates the skin easily, locks in moisture and keeps the skin hydrated longer when compared to other moisturizers.
Additionally, the natural moisturizers present in shea butter are similar to those produced by the skin’s sebaceous glands, making it a great emollient.
2. Contains Anti-Ageing Properties
Shea butter is rich in antioxidant components like stearic acid, oleic acid and vitamin E. These components prevent cellular oxidation, a major process of skin ageing. Raw shea butter also boosts collagen production and helps tissue cell regeneration which reduces wrinkles and facial lines.
3. Protects the Skin From UV Rays
Shea butter contains cinnamic acid esters, a component that has strong UV-absorbing properties. It is estimated to have a sun protection factor of 6. While the UV-absorbing powers of shea butter may not be as great as the synthetic ones, it can provide some protection against UV exposure.
4. Reduces Stretch Marks, Scarring, and Cellulite
Raw shea butter is normally used as a base in creams prepared commercially for the treatment of stretch marks. This is because it reduces the appearance of stretch marks, scarring, and cellulite by keeping the skin supple and increasing its elasticity.
A cell-based study conducted by the National Centre for Biotechnology Information found that shea butter can reduce the growth and production of keloid tissue. This tissue is responsible for the formation of keloids – thick, overgrown scars that rise above the skin level.
5. Shea Butter May Treat Acne
Treating acne is one of the best uses of shea butter for acne sufferers. Acne is a skin condition that occurs when the skin pores become clogged with sebum and dead skin cells. Shea butter can help treat acne as it is non-comedogenic – meaning it’s readily absorbed by the skin and doesn’t clog pores. Additionally, it contains lupeol, a component that reduces the formation of acne.
6. Reduces Skin Inflammation
Shea butter is packed with cinnamic acid derivatives that have anti-inflammatory properties. These properties bring immediate relief to insect bites, itchy skin, skin allergies, and rashes. Shea butter can also help to treat inflammatory diseases such as eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, and dermatitis.
7. Shea Butter Can Help in Wound Healing
Shea butter can help cuts, scrapes, abrasions and other wounds heal faster. The triterpenes present in shea butter enhance tissue repair by reducing the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the wound and accelerating wound closure.
These are just some of the benefits of shea butter for skin. It is important to note that shea butter is available in different grades depending on the method of extraction. If you’re looking to incorporate shea butter into your skincare routine, unrefined shea butter, or grade A, is a great option. You can consider using Sönd’s Sidekick Day Cream for best results.
If you’re allergic to tree nuts, consult your family doctor or a dermatologist before using this product.