Shea butter, also known as shea butter, boasts numerous benefits it provides to your skin and hair!
Shea butter is a product that we believe you have all either heard of or even already tried. Due to the wide range of benefits it provides to the skin and hair, shea butter is the main ingredient of more and more cosmetic products. It is a product that, due to the various advantages and properties it provides with regular use, has become increasingly popular in the cosmetics industry in recent years.
But what is shea butter actually, what ingredients does it contain and what benefits can it provide? Find out below. :)
What is shea butter?
Shea, scientifically known as Vitellaria paradoxa, is an African tree that can grow up to 15 meters, characteristic of savannas found in West Africa. Shea butter is also known as karite butter, and is obtained from the aforementioned shea tree. The fruits of the shea tree are dried and crumbled to obtain a powder which is then boiled in water, during which a fatty substance is released which is thickened and used as butter. In this way, vegetable fat is obtained which is edible (used in local cuisine, industrial, in the chocolate industry) and which due to its useful properties is also used in cosmetics.
Shea butter has been used in Africa for centuries to care for the skin and protect it from the sun, heat and salt water. It is edible so it can also be used in food preparation, and it is known that the chocolate industry sometimes uses shea butter as a substitute for cocoa butter. Its use is diverse and is therefore one of nature's most prized products.
Shea butter is an ointment that is extracted from the nuts of the shea tree, is dirty white or ivory in color and has a creamy consistency that spreads easily on the skin. High concentrations of fatty acids and vitamins make shea butter an ideal cosmetic ingredient for softening the skin, and it also has anti-inflammatory and healing properties.
What does shea butter contain?
Shea butter is considered to be a superfood because it is rich mainly in unsaponifiable ingredients, essential fatty acids, various vitamins and many other ingredients, which is why it has been used for skin and hair care for many years. Let’s find out what ingredients shea butter contains and what their purpose is!
- FATTY ACIDS: Shea butter contains five main fatty acids - palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic and arachidonic acid, which together make up 85-90% of fatty acids. These fatty acids allow shea butter to melt at body temperature and be quickly absorbed into the skin, giving the butter a firm consistency while helping your skin regulate fat secretion.
- PHENOL: Phenolic compounds are known to have antioxidant activity, and shea butter contains as many as 8 of them, which shows how great the antioxidant power of shea butter is!
- VITAMINS A, E AND F: Shea butter naturally contains vitamins A, E and F, which stimulate circulation and the renewal and growth of new healthy cells. Vitamins A and F also help treat skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis, and can even slow premature aging.
The beneficial properties of shea butter are largely due to the presence of triglycerides and vitamins, which have a beneficial effect on the work of many organs and systems, and provide your skin with the necessary care.
Benefits of shea butter in skin care
When it comes to natural cosmetics, shea butter is one of the most common ingredients in such products. This could by no means be called a coincidence, as shea butter is rich in a wide variety of nutrients. Read below what are all the benefits and advantages of using shea butter!
- VITAMINS AND FATTY ACIDS FOR HYDRATION - As we have already said, shea butter contains plenty of vitamins A, E and F, and is also rich in fatty acids, which help protect the oils secreted by the skin, which in combination makes it an ideal moisturizer for dry skin. Shea butter is an excellent moisturizing cream for the face and body because its rich oil content provides emollient and moisturizing properties. Dehydrated and dry skin becomes rough and scaly after a while, and cracks can develop on the skin due to dryness in some parts of the body. Shea butter with its oil content is effective for skin care and prevention of skin cracking. It can also help soften the skin on your arms and legs and make it supple. It easily penetrates the skin without clogging the pores and due to its ability to retain moisture in the skin, it is very effective for dry skin.
- CINNAMIC ACID TO REDUCE INFLAMMATION - In addition to vitamins and fatty acids, shea butter also contains cinnamic acid which helps your body fight inflammation. In other words, shea butter has anti-inflammatory properties. It has been proven to reduce skin inflammation and help prevent skin mutations, and it is also good to use on skin prone to acne breakouts. Shea butter can also be used to treat diseases such as sunburn, rashes, cuts and scratches that can cause swelling, and has been shown to be successful in relieving rosacea.
- OLEIC ACID FOR SMOOTHING THE SKIN - Shea butter contains many fatty acids, such as oleic, stearic and palmitic, thanks to which shea butter promotes the production of collagen in the skin. Given that we know the importance of collagen as an ingredient in maintaining skin elasticity, we can easily conclude that the use of shea butter has a positive effect on skin smoothness and wrinkle reduction. It also has a very beneficial effect on scar regeneration.
- PARTNER FOR PREVENTION OF STRETCHES - During pregnancy, as a result of increased volume due to the growth and development of the child, stretch marks are very common, especially in the abdomen and waist. It is also common for stretch marks to appear in the breast due to the growth suffered by the breasts when they are preparing to produce breast milk. By regular application on those areas of the body where stretch marks often occur, with the help of shea butter during pregnancy and breastfeeding, you can successfully prevent the formation of stretch marks.
- NATURAL PROTECTION AGAINST UV RADIATION - Shea butter is distinguished by the fact that it is one of the few natural substances that protects the skin from UV radiation, and also helps in healing sun-damaged skin. To keep your skin healthy, nourished and silky soft despite harmful UV rays, use products that contain shea butter.
- SENSITIVE SKIN CARE - If you have sensitive skin, it is very likely that you have already realized that not all products and cosmetics, although natural, are good for your skin. But without any fear we can tell you that shea butter is very useful and suitable for very sensitive skin! Shea butter provides quality hydration to the skin of the face and body, and with its vitamin F, which is a vital component of cell membranes, in combination with other vitamins, it provides your skin with a gentle renewal and protection. Shea butter can also be used as an anti-wrinkle cream for the eye area. The skin tolerates it well and does not cause any allergic reactions, which is why it is an excellent choice for the care of sensitive children's skin. African women have been using it for centuries in the daily care of babies and children, but also in skin problems such as diaper rash.
- SHEA BUTTER AGAINST THE SIGNS OF AGING - Due to its high content of essential nutrients and the ability to stimulate the metabolism of skin cells by preventing the appearance of wrinkles, shea butter helps prevent and treat skin aging.
As we can see, shea butter is indispensable in everyday skin care due to its composition. Due to the large amount of unsaturated fatty acids (between 7 and 12%), vitamins and high protein and mineral content, shea butter is especially effective in the regeneration of skin cells and for the care of older and wrinkled skin (antiaging effect). It has an anti-inflammatory effect, so it also helps with various skin diseases such as psoriasis, seborrhea, eczema, neurodermatitis and acne. It also helps heal minor wounds, scratches and burns. Shea butter penetrates deep into the skin, regenerates it, so it can also be used in the treatment of stretch marks and scars.
Benefits of shea butter in hair care
Although shea butter is traditionally used on the skin, did you know that it is also beneficial for your hair and scalp? Namely, shea butter helps protect hair from sun damage, providing a protective effect. But its benefits do not end here, so shea butter regenerates the hair, restores the structure of the hair, gives it shine, volume and wonderful softness. Let’s explore the deeper benefits of shea butter for your hair!
DAMAGED HAIR CARE - Thanks to its moisturizing properties, shea butter is the best remedy for hair revitalization. Hair that is dry, damaged and dull will have a great benefit from shea butter. Due to the high level of minerals and vitamins, anti-inflammatory properties, shea butter is great for hair care. Shea butter is quickly absorbed and leaves no greasy marks on the scalp. It is often used as an ingredient in shampoos, conditioners and hair masks. Treatments such as hair straightening, exposure to high temperatures and curlers can cause the loss of natural moisture in the hair, but shea butter can help you restore this lost moisture. Shea butter also protects hair from bad weather, harmful free radicals in the air and water, and in addition, shea butter also has SPF, or sun protection factor, which is enough to protect hair from sun damage. The sun's UV rays can very easily damage your hair and make it extremely dry and brittle. If you have been in salt water or a swimming pool, it is also important to "supplement" your hair with nutrients. To protect it, you can apply shea butter to your hair before going out in the sun or in the water, or you can put it on as a mask later. Vitamins A, E and F, which are abundant in shea butter, have proven to be the best hair restoration vitamins for damaged hair. So, shea butter compensates your hair for damage caused by adverse weather conditions and the sun, is especially useful for treated or colored hair, and also protects hair from salt and chlorine.
- MEDICINE FOR DRY AND IRRITATED SCALP - Shea butter is an effective product for dry scalp that is itchy and prone to dandruff. Shea butter has anti-inflammatory properties and a rich content that is absorbed into the scalp without leaving a greasy residue or without clogging the pores. It is therefore extremely effective in eliminating problems such as dry scalp, dandruff and psoriasis.
- PREVENTING HAIR LOSS - The fatty acids in shea butter soften the scalp and hair, and also offer many essential nutrients that improve the health of the scalp and hair. Shea butter has the effect of strengthening hair follicles and reducing hair loss. Another important feature of Shea butter, which can prevent hair loss, is its anti-inflammatory properties. Skin diseases on your hair can be treated with these compounds so hair loss is reduced. When you use shea butter, your hair will strengthen and gain a natural shine!
Shea butter offers you additional benefits!
- PAIN REDUCTION - If you suffer from arthritic and rheumatic pain, or you want to give your painful joints and inflammation a massage, use shea butter. Shea butter provides relief to the joints, and if you use it in combination with oils like lavender, chamomile or immortelle, you can intensify the effect even more. Also, muscle pain caused by exercise, sports or other strenuous activities can be relieved by massaging with shea butter. The triterpenes contained in shea butter can have an effect on accelerated healing and alleviating inflammation. It has been proven that applying shea butter before and after exercise relieves pain faster.
- INSECT BITE TREATMENT - Shea butter is traditionally used to treat insect stings. Severe itching often exacerbates poisonous insect bites because it helps spread the venom to surrounding tissues, but the anti-inflammatory property of shea butter reduces and quickly removes itching and pain. It can be used to treat mosquito bites and bee stings, and is effective even in treating jellyfish burns. When you go hiking or camping, take a product with shea butter with you and don’t let the stings spoil your experience!
- LIP CARE - Shea butter is easily absorbed and provides additional moisture and nutrients that are very necessary for the lips in cold seasons and dry weather. In this way, it acts as an excellent lip balm, and is also effective for treating dry and chapped lips. When applied, it creates a barrier on the lips and retains moisture in the skin. On the other hand, in addition to rehydrating them, shea butter helps the lips bring a beautiful glow.
FUN FACTS ABOUT SHEA BUTTER
Finally, we will mention a few interesting facts about shea butter.
Shea tree is never cultivated, and the main reason is that it takes about 15 years for the tree to bear the first fruits, while it reaches its full maturity only in 25-50 years!
It is an African tradition that only women are allowed to touch the shea tree, pick the fruits and process them. Shea butter is therefore also called "women's gold" because it allows hundreds of thousands of African women to earn income by processing shea fruit into butter and thus procure clothes, medicines and provide education for their children. For this reason, felling trees is strictly prohibited.
Shea butter has been used in Africa for more than 2,000 years because of its healing properties - as a remedy for rheumatic pains, muscle inflammation and as a shield from the dry desert wind.
In African tribes, shea butter is also used to care for baby skin, and some tribes even believe that skin smeared with shea butter cannot be pierced by a single bullet.
LA PIEL PRODUCTS WITH SHEA BUTTER
If you want your skin to be incredibly soft, nourished, smooth and fragrant, choose one of the La PIEL peels that will, with its rich ingredients (one of which is shea butter), provide your skin with a renewal of its surface layer and thus help you even with adults. hairs, smaller stretch marks and smaller scars.
For carefree enjoyment of your activities, choose La PIEL rich sunscreen with a factor of 30, which at the same time nourishes and protects your skin from harmful UV rays. The combination of different oils creates a natural protective factor, with the help of exotic mango oil, but also almonds, carrots, which is also an excellent antioxidant, coconut, mandarin and olive. In addition to oil, shea and cocoa butter will give you extra care and extreme skin hydration.
As for the inevitable lip care, the natural formula of La PIEL lip balms is enriched with vitamins and nutrients such as vitamin E, argan oil, jojoba and almond oil and shea butter, and provides protection, care and hydration to your lips.