If you’re someone who uses moisturisers regularly then you must not be a stranger to shea butter. Even if you’re not sure what it exactly is, you’re likely to have heard about it. Shea butter has emerged as one of the most commonly used ingredients in skin care products in recent years.
What Is Shea Butter?
Shea (pronounced shay) butter is a fat that’s extracted from the seeds of the Shea tree which grows naturally in West Africa. More specifically, the fat is extracted from the oil rich kernels within the shea seed. The kernels are separated from the seeds, ground into a powder, and boiled in water. The butter then floats up to the surface, and is then collected to be used in various ways.
Traditionally, shea butter has been used for cooking and medicinal purposes in Africa, but it has also been used as an emollient for the skin as it is incredibly rich in vitamins and fatty acids. Shea butter's nourishing tree-nut oils can penetrate your skin and form a silky, gentle barrier that traps moisture. It might take hours for this hydrating effect to wear off.
All these make shea butter a coveted ingredient that can be used in skin care products such as soap, shampoo, face wash, moisturiser, etc.
Benefits Of Shea Butter
Here are some of the biggest benefits of using shea butter for your skin:1) Excellent at moisturising
Thanks to its emollient properties, shea butter acts as an excellent moisturiser that softens and hydrates the skin. Shea butter is rich in fatty acids such as linoleic, oleic, palmitic and stearic acids, which improve the skin’s natural barrier and by helping lock in the skin’s moisture.2) Soothes & heals the skin
Shea butter happens to be rich in anti-inflammatory compounds, which make it perfect for soothing and healing the skin. It is also often used in medicinal products that are aimed at treating skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, making it the right choice for someone with sensitive skin.3) Prevents acne, breakouts & other ailments
Thanks to its antibacterial properties, shea butter can work to prevent and reduce acne by ridding your skin of acne causing bacteria.
Acne can also be caused by overproduction of sebum, the oily substance that your skin produces to naturally moisturise it. Overproduction of sebum could be a result of excessive drying of the skin, which can be prevented by shea butter as it helps hydrate the skin. Shea butter is also non-greasy making it less oily on your skin.
Shea butter also happens to have antifungal properties which help it fight fungal infections such as ringworm and athlete’s foot.4) Boosts collagen production
Shea butter contains naturally occurring chemical compounds called triterpenes which are thought to prevent collagen fiber destruction. This results in a healthy production of collagen in your skin which leads to many wonderful benefits such as:
- Always start by cleansing your face before applying the face mask. Cleaning out your pores and getting rid of impurities before applying the face mask helps the charcoal penetrate your skin better.
- Plumper skin
- Decreased fine lines & wrinkles
- Decreased appearance of stretch marks and scarring
Shea butter is also rich in antioxidants like vitamins A and E, among many other antioxidant compounds. Antioxidants have been shown to prevent damage to the skin caused by free radicals.6) Promotes skin cell regeneration
The combined effects of shea butter’s moisturising and antioxidant properties result in promoting skin cell regeneration.
Your body is constantly producing new skin cells while simultaneously getting rid of dead skin cells. As the new skin cells are made, the dead skin cells pile up on top of them.
Shea butter helps maintain the right moisturise balance on your skin, leading to fewer dead skin cells.7) Helps with skin burns, wounds & sunburn
Shea butter’s anti-inflammatory properties help reduce the swelling of the skin, and redness. It also helps with treating superficial burns on the skin, mild cuts and wounds, and it even helps with sunburn.
Speaking of which, shea butter may also be great at offering protection from the sun’s harmful rays.
Shea butter helps maintain the right moisturise balance on your skin, leading to fewer dead skin cells.
How To Use Shea Butter For Skin?
The easiest way to use shea butter for your skin is by purchasing a moisturising cream like our Shea & Vitamin E Body Butter which is a super rich formulation that delivers the goodness of Shea, Vitamin E, and other antioxidants. This rich nourishing body butter is like a superfood for your skin. The shea oil and vitamin E oil help to protect your skin and repair the natural skin barrier.
You can apply this cream to your face and body before you go to bed as it works best when applied topically, and left for a long time.
For a complete skin care routine, explore VLCC’s face and skin range of products.