shea butter
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Shea Butter Benefits and Uses

This elegant butter is strong as well as extremely thick at area temperature level however has a buttery abundant uniformity that makes it perfect for usage as an all-natural eye lotion, lip balm, or body butter. Numerous research studies reveal that it is particularly efficient passing through the skin and also has 60% fat, making it very emollient.

Thanks to a few other unique residential properties, shea butter does greater than hydrate … it supplies essential anti-inflammatory as well as anti-aging fats right into the skin.

What Is Shea Butter?

Shea butter is a skin superfood that originates from the seeds of the fruit of the Shea (Karite) tree. It might provide light UV defense (as much as SPF ~ 6) and also gives the skin with necessary fats as well as the nutrients essential for collagen manufacturing.

Shea butter has actually been made use of in Africa and also numerous various other areas for several years to enhance skin as well as hair. It likewise has a lengthy background of medical usage, such as in injury treatment and also dealing with leprosy.

Shea Butter Benefits

  • Moisturizing: The concentration of natural vitamins and fatty acids in shea makes it incredibly nourishing and moisturizing for skin. It is often used to remedy dry skin and to help protect the skin’s natural oils.
  • Reduces Inflammation: A 2010 study found that due to its cinnamic acid and other natural properties, shea butter was anti-inflammatory. One compound in particular, lupeol cinnamate, was found to reduce skin inflammation and even potentially help avoid skin mutations. This also makes it beneficial for some people with acne.
  • Skin Smoothing: Shea aids in the skin’s natural collagen production and contains oleic, stearic, palmitic, and linolenic acids that protect and nourish the skin to prevent drying. With long-term use, many people report skin softening and strengthening as well as wrinkle reduction.

The good news is, it’s great to use on kids and babies too!

Ways to Use Shea Butter

Shea butter is among one of the most flexible all-natural charm active ingredients and also I utilize it daily in some kind. I’ve utilized it for many years in whatever from my homemade cream bars and also initial magnesium body butter to homemade lip balms as well as recovery salves.

Some of favorite uses for shea butter:

  • By itself for face and body as a natural moisturizer
  • In a shea butter lotion bar stick for easy use
  • After sun or beach exposure to replenish skin
  • Alone or in a pregnancy salve to ward off stretch marks
  • As a natural cuticle cream
  • As the best under-eye wrinkle remover and bag-reducer
  • As a massage butter
  • In my homemade velvety soft whipped body butter
  • On sore/raw noses during a cold or flu
  • Added to basic homemade lotion
  • On scars to naturally help collagen production
  • As a base for homemade deodorant
  • By itself for low-grade sun protection
  • Whipped into magnesium body butter
  • As a natural baby-care product (alone) or ingredient in baby care recipes
  • By itself on the lips or in homemade lip balms
  • In a homemade shimmer lip balm
  • On the eyelids before applying makeup to make it last longer
  • To improve skin elasticity (some even say it helps with cellulite)
  • On the hair or scalp (in mixture with other natural ingredients)
  • In homemade liquid creme foundation and makeup

TIP: If the shea butter is too thick for what you’re trying to do, melt it over very low heat and then use. Do not let it get close to boiling or you will lose beneficial properties. You can also emulsify it with other oils using the technique in my lotion recipe.

What Kind of Shea Butter Is Better?

There is a huge variation in the quality of shea butter depending on the manufacturer, so if you’ve tried shea butter before and haven’t liked it, it may have been the brand.

The American Shea Butter Institute warns that one of the main healing components in shea butter, cinnamic acid, is less present in inferior brands. They have issued classifications of different grades of quality, and the best grade with the highest cinnamic acid content is Grade A.

I only use raw, unrefined, Grade A shea butter. There are many refined ones that are odor free and bleached to be completely white, but the refining process removes some of the beneficial properties.

Which to Buy

  • raw/unrefined
  • unbleached
  • organic
  • Grade A

Caution: Before Using

If you use unrefined shea butter, that means it has not been filtered and may contain trace particles of the shea nut. Gently heat the shea butter until it just melts and then pour through a cheesecloth or strainer to remove any particles. Once strained, pour it into any silicone molds in pre-measured amounts (tablespoons, 1/4 cup, etc.) so that it is ready to use for natural beauty recipes.

Storing Shea Butter

Ask a doc or dermatologist before using shea butter, especially with underlying skin conditions. Those with nut allergies should avoid or check with an allergist.

Store shea butter out of direct light or heat. Several sources suggest shea butter may go rancid or expire within 12-24 months, but since it has so many uses you’ll never have a jar of it that long. Leave it out on your bathroom counter and watch it disappear!

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