Benefits and Uses of Shea Butter for Skin, Hair and Health
Shea butter is obtained from the nuts of Karite trees and is solid fatty oil looking very much like hard lumps of caramel ice cream. The fruits of karate trees contain nuts in them, within which shea butter is found. You can extract the butter from the nuts by crushing them and boiling. It is edible and is used in a lot of food preparations. But it is more popular for its beauty treatments and is an important ingredient in many of the beauty products like shampoos, lotions, conditioners, cosmetics etc. You get shea butter in refines and unrefined forms. Unrefined or raw shea butter is its purest form and it retains all the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. It has lots of health and skin benefits and it is also good for the hair.
Benefits of Shea Butter for the Skin:
Shea butter is excellent for the skin and used for treating various skin conditions.
Shea butter acts as a great anti-ageing agent keeps your skin young looking and glowing. It also a good moisturizer and helps in keeping your skin hydrated and supple. Shea butter promotes the production of collagen, which is essential for maintaining the elasticity of the skin and preventing the signs of ageing. Vitamin A and E found in it nourish the skin and keep it supple and radiant. They also prevent the signs of ageing like wrinkles and fine lines. Shea butter do not clog the pores of the skin, instead it is absorbed directly in to the skin.
The skin of babies is very gentle and delicate. So they need skin care products that are soft and gentle and without any chemicals. Shea butter is natural and do not contain ant chemicals. So it is perfect for applying on the skin of babies. You can apply it on the skin of the baby after he/she had the bath and also for treating eczema and diaper rashes.
Shea butter is a great healing agent and is an important constituent in many of the ointments because of its anti-inflammatory properties. It is very beneficial for treating chapped lips, scars, eczema, skin discolorations, blemishes, dark spots and stretch marks. You also get relief from irritation caused by psoriasis. Vitamin A present in shea butter helps in treating infections and also provides a soothing affect to the skin. Vitamin E helps in rejuvenating the skin and treats chapped and dry skin.
Shea butter is easily absorbed by the skin and by applying it you get the extra moisture and nutrients that you need in any season, whether it is summer or winter. So it is very effective to treat chapped lips and protect your lips from cold and dry weather and also from dry summer days.
Restores skin elasticity:
Shea butter is non-saponifiable and this property along with Vitamin F present in it helps in maintaining the elasticity of the skin. So, if you feel that your skin is loose and its elasticity is decreasing, apply shea butter and it will restore it. Shea butter is also good for keeping up the even tone of the skin. Moreover, shea butter keeps your skin beautiful by hydrating it and making it soft.
Shea butter may be used as a natural sunscreen to protect your skin from the harmful reactions of ultra violet rays of the sun. It is the one of the best for taking care of your skin in winter. Shea butter keeps your skin moisturized and provides the essential nutrients needed by the skin, acne also protect the skin during the winter and summer months.
Benefits of Shea Butter for the Hair:
Shea butter protects your skin from various external agents like wind, water, and the harmful effects of the sun. Apply it before swimming to protect your hair from chlorine and salt in the water.
If you have brittle and rough hair, use shea butter regularly on your hair. This will revitalize your hair and keep it soft. Applying shea butter twice a week helps in the proper growth of the hair and also improves the texture of the hair.
Shea butter may be used a natural conditioner because of its high moisture content. It seals the moisture in your hair and scalp without making the hair greasy.
Soothes dry and irritates scalp:
If you are suffering from dandruff and have dry scalp and itchy scalp, apply shea butter and it will help in treating your scalp. This is because it has anti-inflammatory properties and gets absorbed into the skin of the scalp fast and do not block the pores. Vitamins A and E in it also help in treating dry and itchy scalp by keeping the scalp moisturized.
Health and Medicinal Benefits of Shea Butter:
Shea butter is rich in plant antioxidants like Vitamin A, Vitamin E and catechins. Vitamin A and E protect the cells from the harmful actions of the free radicals in the body and also save the cells from damages caused by environmental conditions. The cinnamic acid esters present in shea butter protect the skin from the damages caused by ultra violet rays of the sun.
Shea butter is a rich source of various derivatives of cinnamic acid and these show anti-inflammatory properties. Lupeol cinnamate is also good for treating tumors.
Sea butter is a rich source of fatty acids and plant sterols like palmitic acid, oleic acic, lenolenic acid and stearic acid. These provide great healing properties for shea butter. These components are oil soluble and do not convert into soap when they come in contact with alkali. So it is very effective in healing the skin form scars, stretch marks, skin peeling as a result of sun tan, burns, frost bites, insect bites etc. It is also good for treating athlete’s foot, muscle fatigue and arthritis.