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.
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
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.
8. Anti-Ageing Benefits:
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
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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