Shea Butter is a thick white fatty substance harvested from the nuts of the Shea Tree in Africa. Rich in Vitamin A, Shea Butter is a soothing balm for many different skin conditions. Thick and creamy, shea butter is gentle enough for even the most sensitive or broken skin. By imparting skin-restoring Vitamin A directly to the affected areas, shea butter immediately softens and heals skin. The benefits of shea better go beyond simply skin softening. By providing a barrier between your skin and harsh elements, this amazing butter allows your skin to heal naturally, from the deep epidural layers out to the delicate top skin.
Soothes Dry Skin
Shea butter moisturizes irritated dry and flaky skin. Dry skin can be itchy and painful, especially in the winter months. Using it in places like hands, feet, elbows, and even your cheeks can help reduce the redness and irritation that harsh winter weather and dry air cause your delicate skin. Shea butter is gentle enough for everyday use on red, scaly dry skin, even the dry skin around your eyes or on your cheeks. Winter colds can also cause dry skin and irritated noses; shea butter can soften the damage that excessive wiping may cause.
Reduce Itching, Even After Sunburn
Shea butter contains anti-inflammatory properties that give soothing relief to sunburned skin. In addition to reducing the pain and tight, dry feeling of sunburned skin, it also helps mitigate inflamed dermatitis and provide relief. Shea butter is also rich in Vitamin E, which contains healing antioxidants. These compounds help reduce the presence of free radical molecules – damaging molecules that affect healthy cells and increase oxidative stress on the body. Oxidative stress and free radical damage are particularly likely with sunburns; treating the burned area with healing balm can reduce the epidermal damage.
Alternative to Shaving Cream
Shea butter can be used as an alternative to shaving cream for those with sensitive skin, or for those who suffer from eczema or breakouts on the face. The Vitamin E within helps increase blood flow to the skin, making it easier to get a close shave. Shea butter is all natural, without harsh chemicals that many commercial shave gels and creams contain. This wonderful butter also soothes and moisturizes, important for those with dry skin. As you shave, the razor will remove the top layer of dermatitis in addition to hair. This can irritate your skin; using shea butter immediately calms, soothes, and moisturizes.
Heal Cracked Skin
Both Vitamin A and Vitamin E are essential nutrients to rebuilding and healing cracked and dry skin. In addition to the vitamins, shea butter’s antioxidant properties help reduce redness and inflammation. It also boosts collagen production, helping deep cracks mend from the inside out. The moisturizing properties of shea butter also help soften cracked skin, allowing it to heal naturally. It acts as a barrier to harsh air or water – both of which can increase cracks in the skin, or prevent it from healing.
Calm Cold Weather Damage
Many people who enjoy winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, or simply spend plenty of time outside in the cold find that applying shea butter to their exposed face, neck, and hands may reduce the chapping and irritation dry, cold air can cause to their skin. It even contains sunscreen at around level 6 SPF. The moisturizing qualities of shea butter penetrate deep into the skin offering more moisturizing benefits while preventing windburn. It’s perfect for cracked and dry heels, hands, rough elbows, and knees.
Prevent Stretch Marks
Many pregnant women swear by shea butter to reduce the appearance of stretch marks and soothe sore skin that is stretched by their developing pregnancy. Not only gravid ladies enjoy the benefits it brings for stretch marks. Anyone can get them – teens that go through a sudden growth spurt or anyone who gains weight rapidly may experience the slightly painful stripes that represent skin growth. The healing properties of shea butter, including essential Vitamin A, may help reduce stretch marks and boost collagen production. Plumper skin may reduce the appearance and texture of stretch marks.
Ease Muscle Fatigue
The healing properties of shea butter aren’t limited to just the skin. Rich healing antioxidants and restorative vitamins can also help ease the tightness, tension, and soreness of overworked muscles. Shea butter may also be whipped – just like regular cooking butter – with muscle relaxing essential oils such as lavender or frankincense to help relax muscle soreness. The phytonutrients found in it also impart plant protein – the building blocks of muscle – to your body to help restore torn muscle fibers from exercise.
Poison Ivy or Poison Oak
The rashes from poison ivy and poison oak are itchy, painful, and contagious. Using shea butter to calm red and irritated skin can help reduce the itching and tightness of these rashes. Shea butter also provides a natural barrier with its thick, slightly oily nature. It’s thick enough to remain in the place where applied and helps prevent the rash from spreading. As your skin heals from poison ivy and poison oak, use the butter to keep the new skin fresh and soft, and soothe the dryness from the old skin as it flakes away.
Treat Eczema and Dermatitis
Eczema and dermatitis can’t be cured, but healing shea butter applied to the rash can help with dryness and irritation. Using shea butter mixed into a moisturizer may also help prevent flare-ups when applied to unbroken skin. The antifungal properties found in it can also help prevent infection for severe eczema, especially when the rash appears in the folds and crevices fo the skin. Keeping skin dry and germ-free helps reduce inflamed and infected dermatitis.
Applying Shea Butter
You can apply shea butter directly to the skin, including cracked and broken areas. Simply smooth on using your fingertips in a circular motion. There is an oily consistency to shea butter, so use caution around delicate fabrics. Pure shea butter contains cinnamic acid, which includes many of the healing properties found in the butter. Many commercial preparations of shea butter are blended with other ingredients, and the chemical effects of the cinnamic acid are diminished.