Today, many of us won’t touch a product unless it lists hyaluronic acid, retinol, or any of the other scientific-sounding ingredients that seem to be revolutionizing the face of skin care, and your own, these days. However, while much of this stuff has proven quite effective, there are still those of us who prefer natural ingredients, that have grown out of the same earth as we have. Shea butter is a natural ingredient used for centuries. In fact, Cleopatra was said to have used it in her beauty regimen, and they say Marc Anthony was not hard on the eyes. Here are some of the ways shea butter can be used as a moisturizer for skin and hair.
Shea butter contains fatty acids and plant sterols which do not convert into soap as easily as other nut oils and fats, which makes it a great healer for skin. Raw shea butter has been known to help treat skin rashes, and peeling after tanning and is effective on everything from scars, frostbite, athlete’s foot, stretch marks, arthritis, to insect bites.
Shea butter consists of plant antioxidants, like vitamin A and vitamin E and catechins, which protect cells from damage by the environment and free radicals, and cinnamic acid esters to prevent skin from sun damage.
In addition to preventing sun damage, shea butter can stimulate the production of collagen, the protein building block of skin. The vitamins E and A lend their moisturizing powers, keeping skin supple and preventing premature wrinkles.
- Skin Elasticity
As mentioned earlier, shea butter is non-saponifiable, which means it does not convert easily into soap. This and its vitamin F content make it vital in the maintenance of skin elasticity and tone.
- Dry Scalp
Got flakes? Try shea butter. It’s an effective treatment for dandruff or a dry itchy scalp. Shea butter is easily absorbed into the skin, so you don’t have to worry about greasy residue or clogged pores. Once penetrated, its vitamins A and E work to repair breakage, soothe dryness, and mend split ends.
Shea butter can be used as a natural substitute for your conditioner. Its presence of A and E vitamins make it effective in locking moisture in without added weight and greasiness. Shea butter is widely used in the treatments of curly hair because of its emollient properties, It can also restore moisture loss caused by chemical treatments, such as perms and straighteners.
- Hair Protection
Not only can shea butter protect your skin against free radicals, it can protect your hair as well. The small amount of SPF contained in the cream provides sufficient protection from sun damage caused by UV rays, and can actually repair preexisting damage as well. This is because shea butter coats the shaft of the hair to protect it from heat tools and other damaging materials. This is especially beneficial to frequent swimmers looking to protect hair from chlorine and to those with colored or processed hair.
- Hair Softener
Brittle, dry hair? Shea butter to the rescue. Because of its non-greasy texture, shea butter can help control the spread of excess oil in the scalp and make hair soft and silky. Shea butter should be applied generously twice a week for moisturizing and improving hair texture and growth.
Do you use shea butter? Let us know which one of its myriad of applications you find most beneficial and how it is working for you.