Shea butter is a fat extracted from the nut of the African shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa). It is usually ivory in colour. There are so many benefits to Shea butter. It’s widely used in as a moisturizer which makes it a wonderful addition to soap. Shea butter is edible and is used in food preparation in some African countries. Shea butter is similar in properties to cocoa butter, although they taste and smell noticeably different.
Some traditional uses of shea butter include treatment of very dry skin, eczema, blemishes, skin discolorations, scars, stretch marks and wrinkles. It is also used as massage oil for babies and adults alike, and also a relaxer for stiff muscles due to it containing anti-inflammatory, emollient and humectant properties.
Shea oil which is obtained from the shea nuts is used as cooking oil in the northern part of Ghana, as well as oil for the locals to light up their lamps at night. The skin of the shea nut is eaten and the bark of the tree is also used as a treatment for certain childhood illness and minor scrapes and cuts. The dry shell of the nut when burnt acts as an effective mosquito repellent.
Shea butter is so good for the skin because of its high content of palmitic, stearic, oleic and arachidic non fatty acids which are not effected by the saponification process. Recent years has seen increased use of shea butter in many products. Examples of which can be seen in leading skincare beauty creams, lotions, soaps, shampoos, hair conditioners, massage oils, lip balms and so on.
The chocolate industry has been known to use Shea butter mixed with other oils as a substitute for cocoa butter. Other uses include being used as a waterproofing wax and in candle making.
There are so many benefits of Shea butter and by no means limited to the following list below:
- Helps to prevent skin ageing – acts as a protective layer preventing skin dehydration and protecting it from external factors such as heat, cold, wind and sudden changes in climate.
- Acts as a powerful antioxidant. Smoothes and restructure winkles, scars and other imperfection of the skin.
- It is used as a sunscreen before and after tanning, protecting skin of the sun damages such as UVB and UVA.
- Treats stretch marks with great results. Ideal for pregnant women. Also prevents cracking on the breast skin.
- It is effective in treating diaper rash in infants. Relieves redness of the area and protects the skin from wetness.
- It is effective for cold sores/ Nasal decongestion
- It gives elasticity to the skin and softens calluses in areas such as elbows, knees and heels.
- Promotes faster recovery in muscle injuries draining and eliminating toxins. It also works as a anti-inflammatory.
- Protects hair from sun damage. Repair the capillary structure, gives shine and condition the dry and damaged hair result of chemical treatments/ridding scalp of dandruff
- Acts as anti-irritant for the skin with allergies propensity. Prevent and treat redness, rashes and insect bites.
- It is an excellent facial moisturiser/ ideal even for oily skin and does not cause acne.
- Effectively used to treat psoriasis and eczema.
- All massage for both adults and children
- Helping to lessen scarring and keloids
- Fortifying cuticles and nails