Shea Butter Basics

by The Artistry | Mar 18, 2020


Rich in vitamins and fatty acids, shea butter is an ivory-colored fat extracted from shea tree nuts found mostly in West Africa where it’s referred to as Women’s Gold. Shea butter is highly nourishing and moisturizing commonly used on skin and hair products.

Shea Butter Benefits

  • Emollient properties
    Shea butter contains 60% fat, making it highly emollient. It can penetrate into the skin, creating a smooth and soft barrier that seals in moisture. This moisturizing effect can last several hours. 
  • Anti-aging properties
    Shea butter contains vitamins A and E which are known for their ability to correct skin defects like wrinkles and acne and help reverse skins’ natural aging. Shea butter also contains oleic, stearic, palmitic and linolenic acids that protect, nourish and prevent skin from drying, promoting collagen production or decreasing the breakdown of collagen that’s already happening. When using as a regular beauty regimen over the long-term, many people observe skin-strengthening and wrinkle reduction. 
  • Anti-inflammatory and healing properties
    Proven to have anti-inflammatory properties, shea butter contains cinnamic acid and other natural properties that help calm redness and skin swelling. This might help treat conditions associated with skin swelling such as eczema.

 

How to use and when

Solid at room temperature and buttery rich consistency. The natural body temperature of your fingertip will melt the shea butter instantly.

Shea butter is easy to spread on skin, ideal for use as a natural eye cream, lip balm, or body butter.

The fatty acids and oils in shea butter may make applying makeup on top of it difficult. We recommend using it in night-time beauty regimen before heading to bed.

Depending on your skin type, shea butter can be comedogenic. If you have dry skin, you can apply it all over your face. If you have oily or combination skin, avoid the nose and area around the nose where oil glands are more active and the skin more blackheads, acne-proned. Apply topically on the forehead, around the eye and your cheeks.

How to choose: Unrefined vs Refined

Unrefined shea butter is grainy and comes with a strong odor, it is difficult to use as a skincare product. There are many refined ones that are odor-free and bleached to be completely white but note the refining process removes some of the beneficial properties.

How to store

Store shea butter out of direct light or heat. Select containers in dark colors to protect the integrity of the shea butter. Product typically lasts 12 to 24 months hence pick a size that fits your usage amount.

Caution

It is rare to have an allergy to shea butter. People who are allergic to tree nuts have a low risk of reaction to shea butter on their face as researchers believe shea nuts contain little of the tree-nut proteins that trigger allergies. However, we advise those with nut allergies to consult doctors prior to use as a safety precaution.

 

Related: Find out all other anti-aging methodology

 

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