Shea Butter: 17 Natural Benefits and Ways to Use It for Better Health
6 minute read
Shea butter is called “butter” because of its thick consistency. This rich and creamy product is ideal for moisturizing and soothing.
When you take a deeper look at the compounds in shea butter, you find powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-aging components that make this butter all the more beneficial to have.
Shea Butter: Full of Benefits
Used for centuries in African countries for moisturizing and healing, shea butter comes from the seeds of the fruit on the shea tree.
Like aloe vera, shea butter is naturally full of vitamins A, C, and E, which are not only ideal for skin care but are potent antioxidant compounds. This butter also provides essential fatty acids and the nutrients required for collagen production. Basically, shea butter is your skin’s best friend.
There are three main benefits that shea butter can offer you:
The combination of fatty acids and vitamin found in shea butter make it incredibly valuable for your skin. Giving nourishment and moisture to your skin, you can reduce signs of aging, prevent dryness, and promote a healthy glow all year round.
A compound known as cinnamic acid in shea butter is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Studies have found that this ingredient helps to reduce inflammation as well as skin mutations. The combination of anti-inflammatory and soothing properties means shea butter can be used successfully as a natural treatment for acne and other skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
Shea butter contains oleic, stearic, palmitic, and linolenic acids that all work to nourish and protect the skin. These acids also boost your body’s natural collagen production. In all, these attributes allow shea butter to prevent dryness, cracking, and aging so your skin is softer, stronger, and younger.
Natural Healing Agent
The vitamins in shea butter increase blood circulation which allows for faster healing of injuries or wounds. For smaller injuries, an application of shea butter can effectively soothe the area and enhance healing time. With daily use, shea butter even helps reduce the appearance of scars and promotes healthier skin in once damaged areas.
The Best Uses for Shea Butter
Now that you know the multitude of benefits that shea butter can bring you, you need to know all the ways you can use it. The recommendations below are common uses for shea butter. There are likely some you know and others you will be dying to try. Either way, a little shea butter can go a long way in your home.
1. Apply shea butter daily to your face and body as a natural and effective all-over moisturizer.
2. You can buy shea butter in stick form for easy application on the go.
3. Shea butter has been proven to effectively reduce the presence of stretch marks that develop as a result of pregnancy and weight gain.
4. You can add this butter to your makeup, specifically your foundation, to increase moisture and prevent the makeup from drying out your skin.
5. Shea butter acts as a natural cuticle cream to protect your nails
6. By itself, or added in combination with sunscreen, shea butter helps to reduce sun exposure and protects your skin from damaging UV rays. It also helps to enhance healing after extensive sun exposure.
7. When applied to scar tissue, shea butter helps to increase flexibility of the tighter skin and stimulates increased collagen production in the scar area.
8. Shea butter acts as a natural massage product, effectively softening the skin without leaving behind a greasy residue (as is typical with most massage oils).
9. Add a little around your nose during the colder months, or when you have a cold, to prevent the skin around your nose from drying out.
10. When added to a basic lotion, you get enhanced moisturizing effects, or you can make your own homemade whipped body butter with shea.
11. Shea butter makes the cheapest and most effective under-eye cream. By stimulating circulation to the area you will notice reduced dark circles. The increased collagen in the area will reduce wrinkles and fine lines that appear around your eyes.
12. You can make your own homemade deodorant with shea butter, to effectively reduce perspiration and protect the delicate skin under your arms.
| Related: How the Link Between Your Skin and Gut Can Fight Allergies |
13. Because of the delicate nature of shea butter and the ability to soothe and moisturize at the same time, it is a great addition to baby care products. Use in place of powders to prevent diaper rashes and soothe chapped skin.
14. When used on its own shea butter serves as an effective lip balm. You can even find your own recipes for homemade shea butter lip balms and save on buying them from the store.
15. When applied to your eyelids before makeup, it helps the powders or creams to adhere longer so you have to apply makeup less often.
16. The enhanced collagen production that results from the presence of shea butter increases elasticity of your skin. This makes it an effective and simple way to reduce the appearance of cellulite when applied daily to affected areas.
17. You can apply shea butter directly to your scalp as a protective measure against dry scalp and hair. Whether used alone or mixed with other hair care products, shea butter provides nourishment and moisture to dry hair and relieves your scalp of any flakiness.
The Bottom Line
Typically thought of as a moisturizing cream, shea butter can do so much more than was originally thought. This butter can enhance the health of your skin along with providing benefits to your overall health.
With many possible uses shea butter is an essential product to keep around the house, helping to protect your beauty and your health.