An oil derived from the karite tree, shea butter is an oil high in beneficial fats that offers many health benefits. It contains beneficial properties for your skin, hair, and overall health. Shea has seen a recent uptick in popularity as more people learn about the many benefits it offers.
It can be found in many beauty and health products such as lotions, cosmetics, and soaps. If you are looking for a healthy, natural ingredient to use for pretty much anything, shea fits the bill!
If you’re not convinced yet of all the shea butter benefits, continue reading for 21 more reasons to add shea butter to your life.
Here’s what shea butter can do for you:
1. Treats Acne
Due to the presence of many beneficial plant sterols and fatty acids such as palmitic, oleic, stearic, and linolenic acid, shea butter has developed a reputation as a healing compound. These beneficial acids and sterols don’t undergo the process of saponification when they come into contact with alkalis. This makes shea stand out when compared to other nut fats and oils. Shea provides an effective treatment for peeling skin that results from tanning, scars, rashes, stretch marks, burns, athlete’s foot, frostbite, stings, and acne!
2. Moisturizes Dry Skin
You can use this product as a great facial and body moisturizer due to its high-fat content. It acts as a humectant and emollient. When your skin gets dry, it may become scaly or rough. When shea is applied, the moisture in your skin is locked in and it maintains hydration for longer!
If your skin feels especially dry, shea’s high-fat content can help treat problem areas and return it to its original, supple self! It does an especially good job of penetrating deep into your skin without clogging pores.
3. Reduces Inflammation Of The Skin
The acid cinnamic is found in shea and it offers many anti-inflammatory benefits! These acids allow it to vastly improve skin conditions brought about as a result of inflammation. With shea, symptoms of conditions such as rosacea and dermatitis, both brought on frequently by increases in inflammation, can find relief. Other forms of inflammation such as rashes and sunburns can be treated effectively using this amazing substance.
4. Soothes Aching And Sore Muscles
When you exert yourself, inflammation in your muscles may occur, resulting in muscular pain. People in Africa have used shea for years as an effective treatment to relieve muscle soreness and general aches. There hasn’t been much research on these effects but anecdotal feedback from those who’ve tried it points to shea being effective at reducing swelling and pain in muscles.
5. Offers Anti-Aging Effects For Your Skin
Shea stimulates collagen production which provides many shea butter benefits to the skin! Due to this, it is considered one of the best anti-aging compounds available for the skin. Using this butter your skin will appear more radiant, nourished, and supple due in part to the high contents of vitamins E and A. If you add it to your daily skin-care regiment you’ll likely notice a reduction in wrinkles. You’ll also have a decreased risk of developing premature facial lines and wrinkles!
6. Restores Your Skin’s Elasticity
Skin elasticity may be effectively restored using this butter due to its Vitamin E and non-saponifiable matter! As mentioned previously, shea increases your body’s natural production of collagen which provides plentiful benefits to your skin! Increased hydration and a softening of the skin may occur with frequent applications. This should result in a restoration of your skin’s natural elasticity.
7. May Reduce Stretch Marks
Shea has become increasingly popular due to its purported ability to help in the reduction of stretch marks! Shea is found in many off-the-shelf creams and ointments specifically marketed for their stretch-mark-reducing abilities. As your skin’s natural elasticity finds restoration, you may notice after a few weeks that your stretch marks start to fade!
8. Excellent Lip Balm
Shea makes a great lip balm for use during dry or cold condition due to its ability to provide beneficial nutrients and moisture. When used on your lips, shea forms a thin barrier that helps to retain your skin’s natural moisture, making it effective for both treating and preventing chapped or dry lips!
9. Relieves Itchy And Peeling Skin
Shea can be used as an excellent treatment for skin that is peeling and or itchy due to excessive dryness. Shea’s anti-inflammatory and moisturizing effects make it especially suited to this task. The high content of fatty acids supply your skin with the moisture and oil it needs. Shea butter also relieves itching and dryness caused by skin conditions such as psoriasis!
10. Reduce Razor Irritation And Bumps
You can use it to reduce the itchy and irritated skin that may develop as a result of shaving with a razor. It may even minimize post-shaving bumps brought on as a result of this irritation! Apply shea butter after shaving to lessen the negative effects, or before shaving to better prepare the skin by smoothing it out.
11. Helps Soothe Baby Diaper Rash
Shea butter’s amazing moisturizing ability makes it a great natural alternative for the treatment of diaper rash! It is especially gentle and soft on a baby’s skin, which makes it an excellent choice! It can also be used to treat eczema in babies, which only adds to the list of shea butter benefits!
12. Mends Split Ends And Breakages
Shea’s regenerative and moisturizing abilities also have many benefits for your scalp and hair. Applying it to your hair will strengthen the individual follicles and reduce breakage. Its high vitamin E and A content help fix split ends and moisturize dry hair.
13. Repairs Hair Damage
If you’re like most of us, you likely have used many chemical hair treatments such as perms, straighteners, and curlers. This all result in the natural moisture in your hair being lost! Applying shea to your hair will help replenish this lost moisture! It also acts as a barrier to the elements, protecting your hair from the harsh weather and other harmful chemicals it may be exposed to from water and the air in your environment.
14. Soothes Both Itchy And Dry Scalp
Aside from helping soothe itchy or dry skin, it can also help minimize the itchiness and dryness of your scalp! It is easily absorbed into your scalp without leaving any greasy feeling which may clog your pores. This makes it a great choice to prevent dandruff, psoriasis of the scalp, dry scalp, and many other scalp conditions!
15. Effectively Conditions Your Hair
Its high content of vitamins E and A make shea probably the best choice for your hair when it needs extra moisture. Considered a natural conditioner, it keeps your hair moist without leaving it feeling weighed down or greasy.
16. Effectively Prevents Hair Loss
Due to its ability to condition your hair and scalp, it effectively prevents premature hair loss. As a result of the many amazing nutrients with beneficial effects to your hair and scalp, your hair follicles will end up strengthened. You should notice a marked reduction in hair loss.
Also attributed to its prevention of premature hair loss are its many anti-inflammatory properties. Besides just minimizing hair loss, your hair will likely grow thicker with a lovely, natural sheen.
17. Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Shea butter can be used for more than just topical application to the skin and hair! It is edible and has been used by the people of Africa for hundreds of years as a food. Regularly consuming shea may result in a significant reduction in cholesterol levels! The high contents of stearic acid found in shea have a profound effect on plasma cholesterol and lipoprotein levels.
18. Helps Treat Diarrhea
Shea can surprisingly be used as an effective treatment for diarrhea! Diarrhea is a symptom of a plethora of ailments. Shea is not the end all treatment but it has been found to be effective at treating it for the majority of occurrences! Shea was used traditionally for these benefits and is finding its way into more and more diarrhea treatments.
19. Has Wound Healing Abilities
When applied topically to a wound, shea can help quicken the healing process of cuts and abrasions due to its beneficial phytonutrients. Because it is highly absorbable, shea is especially suited to this task since it can quickly make its way deep into your skin. Your skin cells will obtain the necessary healing nutrients and fats in order to heal.
20. Offers Up UV Protection
Besides just being able to help heal and moisturize your skin, it can also be used as a natural sunscreen. The cinnamic acid found in shea offers UV protection with an SPF range from anywhere to 6 to 10. Its SPF rating is on the low side though so its best to not rely on it as your sole form of sun protection. You might want to use it after sun exposure to restore lost moisture and repair any oxidative damage that could have occurred.
21. Reduces Nasal And Sinus Inflammation
Applying shea to your nostrils provides an effective treatment for nasal congestion! Nasal congestion is often the result of the inner workings of your nasal passage becoming inflamed. The oft-mentioned anti-inflammatory benefits of shea work to reduce the inflammation occurring in your nasal passages and sinus, which can help clear up your nostrils!
With so many shea butter benefits to our skin, hair, and health, it’s hard to fault it! It is an all-natural ingredient that offers real results for hair and skin and should be a part of everyone’s beauty routine!