Shea butter is the go-to ingredient in the skincare industry for many skin concerns and is found in a wide range of products. Here are 5 reasons why.
Shea butter is often used for creating skincare that is intensely moisturizing and nourishing, but you will also find it in skincare designed to treat specific concerns such as acne, or psoriasis.
The secret to shea butter is that it is jam-packed with highly beneficial fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants, which are known to heal and help a variety of skin concerns, while not leaving behind any oily residue.
What’s not to love? With all that being said, let’s take a deeper look at why shea butter should be in your skincare.
5 reasons why you should use shea butter:
Restores skin to its optimum condition
Because of the richness in texture, you may assume that shea butter shouldn’t be used on oily skin, but as a natural emollient, its main purpose is to restore the skin to its optimum condition.
This means that if skin is dry, shea butter will moisturize it, and If it’s oily, sebum production will be balanced out, without clogging pores.
Shea butter also offers extra protection for mature and sensitive skins due to its high antioxidant levels, which aid in cell regeneration. Skin can shed up to 40,000 old cells each day, so the combined antioxidant and moisturizing properties of shea butter work together to help skin generate new, healthy, cells.
The antioxidant protection, along with the nourishing and moisturizing elements, make shea butter great for all skins, even the most sensitive.
Protects the skin barrier
In a previous blog post, we explored the history and origin of shea butter. Having been in use for over 4000 years, shea butter has an impressive reputation, with the likes of Cleopatra being one of its top fans!
During its history, shea butter has been used for a variety of medicinal uses. With modern research we are able to see that this is due to its anti-inflammatory properties, which help to soothe the skin. Various properties of shea butter, such as stearic acid, promote and protect the health of the skin barrier, working to reduce inflammation.
It also contains an ingredient called lupeol, which helps to prevent the aging of skin by limiting the function of enzymes that work at degrading proteins in the skin.
Due to shea butter’s anti-inflammatory and nourishing effects, it has been the go-to protecting skincare ingredient across generations and will be for many more to come.
Multitasking for many skin concerns
Shea butter is one of the most versatile ingredients in skincare. Because of its wide range of properties, from being anti-inflammatory to deeply nourishing, it is great for the entire family to use:
- Helps to soothe diaper rash for babies as it is sensitive and deeply moisturizing, while providing natural healing for irritated skins.
- As a natural healer for irritated skins, shea butter can be used to reduce irritation caused from razor bumps after shaving.
- With an array of healing vitamins and the ability to melt at body temperature, shea butter can help to reduce stretch marks and provide anti-aging effects to the skin.
Due to several anti-inflammatory compounds that shea butter contains, it can help with soothing acne, preventing breakouts, easing eczema and dermatitis, and calming irritations and redness.
One of the compounds responsible for these remarkable healing properties is cinnamic acid. Cinnamic acid is a gentle provider of polyphenols,, a group of naturally occurring antioxidants, which when applied to the skin can help to repair and rejuvenate cells.
With so many healing properties found within shea butter it's no wonder that Cleopatra was such a big fan!
Contains natural sun protection
The cinnamic acid found in shea butter also provides UV protection. Depending on the quality of the shea butter, it can contain an SPF of 3 – 6.
We do not recommend depending on shea butter alone as a sunscreen, but it can help to create a base of protection, while also delivering a calming and repairing effect to the skin. An SPF of 30-50 should be applied to the skin daily, using shea butter under an SPF can help the skin defend itself against the harsh effects of the sun.
As a natural, plant-based ingredient, with many healing and soothing properties, shea butter offers the whole family a safe and comforting skincare experience.
For more advice on how to best look after your's and your family's skin, download our free checklist on the 15 things you should never do to your skin. You can also subscribe to our monthly updates and receive our articles straight to your inbox.