Shea butter is a miracle ingredient, and if its uses were tallied up, it would be in thousands.
The main components of Shea butter include oleic acid, stearic acid, linoleic acid, etc. It gets absorbed quickly into the skin as it melts at body temperature. Shea butter may be refined or unrefined. Raw or unrefined Shea butter is the purest form of Shea butter, which is the most natural and the least processed. Since it is extracted manually, it is able to retain its vitamins, minerals and other natural properties. Refined Shea butter, on the other hand, is the processed form of butter.

Shea butter nut

It also is wonderful as a body care product. It is extracted from the nuts of African karite trees (Vitellaria paradoxa), a species that grows from Guinea and Senegal to Uganda and South Sudan.

Shea butter has long been used for health and cooking in Africa and is also an ingredient in a number of confections, especially chocolate; but its latest role is as the new darling of the beauty and body care world.

Rich in vitamins E and A, among others, it has unique properties that make it a standout in the nut oil family. The presence of fatty acids and plant sterols, like oleic, stearic, palmitic and linolenic acids. It doesn’t convert to soap when introduced to an alkali which means that it has greater healing potential for the skin. Shea butter has many other awesome attributes as well, which makes it a wonderful to do the following with:

1. Indulge dry skin

According to the American Shea Butter Institute, the moisturizers in shea butter are the same ones that are produced by the skin’s sebaceous glands, making it one of the best matches for dry skin.

2. Make your hair happy

Shea butter is used in many hair care products and with good reason, it is said to have a number of benefits, including sealing in moisture, defining curl, conditioning the scalp, alleviating dandruff and decreasing the dreaded frizz. Also, applied to just the roots when styling can add a bit of volume to fine hair.

3. Fight wrinkles

A research by the  American Shea Butter Institute says that the application of high-quality Shea butter will diminish the appearance of wrinkles after four to six weeks of use. Other research suggests that the application of Shea butter to the skin results in a brighter complexion and visibly reduced wrinkles.

4. Soothes the lips

Shea butter is said to protect and soothe the lips. Apply several times a day; smooch frequently to test its efficacy.

5. Calm inflamed skin

Shea butter has several anti-inflammatory agents, including derivatives of cinnamic acid. In a study on Shea butter and its anti-inflammatory and chemopreventive effects published in the Journal of Oleo Science, researchers concluded that “shea nuts and shea fat (shea butter) constitute a significant source of anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor promoting compounds.” So go on, soothe away.

6. Fade stretch marks

There are many testimonies across the web of people who swear by the power of Shea butter for helping in this endeavor. Its abundance of vitamins and healing agents doesn’t make this seem like much a stretch.

7. Repair cracked heels and troublesome cuticles

Many who suffer from painful cracked heels and dry cuticles claim that Shea butter solves the problem. For heels that are particularly bad, apply Shea butter before bed and slip into cotton socks for the night.

8. Anti-Ageing Benefits:

Shea butter is considered as one of the best anti-aging and moisturizing agents for the skin. It stimulates the production of collagen, the youthful scaffolding protein in the skin. The vitamins A and E found in this butter keep the skin supple, nourished, and radiant, and prevent premature wrinkles and facial lines. Shea butter penetrates the skin easily, without clogging the pores, and is effective for dry skin.

9. Baby Care

Shea butter is an excellent natural moisturizer that is devoid of chemicals. Thus, it is ideal for baby care as besides being gentle and soft on the skin, it is specially adapted for the delicate and sensitive skin of babies. It can be used for after bath application on the skin and also for healing eczema or diaper rash on the skin of babies.

10. Ditch the itch from insect bites

With its anti-inflammatory magic, it makes sense that Shea butter would quell the swelling of insect bites, it also stops the itch of insect bites pretty much on the spot.

11. Aid your shave

The jury is still out on this one some like a Shea shave because it’s so nice on the skin; others say that it doesn’t provide enough cushion for the razor since it doesn’t lather. If you like more of an “oil shave” then, shave with Shea. And even if you use a lather to shave with, applying Shea post-shave can soothe irritation.

12. Clear nasal congestion

A study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found that Shea butter was potentially more efficacious in treating nasal congestion than nasal drops. Subjects with congestion (mostly associated with seasonal allergy) were given 2-4 grams of Shea butter applied to the interior of the nostril “by means of the subject’s right index finger.” Which is to say, you can try this at home! On a similar note, use Shea butter instead of petroleum jelly to fight it.

When shopping, raw unrefined Shea butter or grade A is preferred, as the product diminishes the more refined it is, and the more additives it has. Also know that unrefined Shea butter is not like a smooth, creamy lotion; it’s a little harder and greasier and softens when warmed. It ranges in color from creamy off-white to yellow (like that pictured above); very white Shea butter has most likely been highly refined.

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  • Reply
    Irene B
    August 3, 2016 at 12:19 am

    I know shea butter is bae. So how does one know which is unrefined?

  • Reply
    Tessy Onyia
    August 3, 2016 at 12:22 am

    Thanks Irene. The unrefined Shea butter is not like a smooth, creamy lotion; it’s a little harder and greasier and softens when warmed. It ranges in color from creamy off-white to yellow (like that pictured above) the very white Shea butter has most likely been highly refined. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply
    Angelica Gill
    August 3, 2016 at 9:26 am

    Nice post, and i love your share. You always share good post for us

  • Reply
    Tessy Onyia
    August 3, 2016 at 9:28 am

    Aww!Thanks Angelica, you just made my day.

  • Reply
    Kachee Tee
    August 3, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    Got some Shea butter from Olumo rock in Abeokuta and still haven't touched it. I really should, especially for skin and hair.
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    Tessy Onyia
    August 3, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    Oh that's so cool, please start using it as soon as possible. Thanks for stopping by.

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