Shea butter and its properties are known throughout the world. It is a nut butter derived from the shea nut tree (Butyrospermum parkii). It is also known as “women’s gold” because, in the area where it grows, West Africa, its collection and processing is considered a women’s industry, empowering women and supporting the development of their families and communities.
Today, shea butter can be found in products ranging from skincare to chocolate bars, but it is worth noting that she has enjoyed a decent place in skin and beauty care, medicine and food production for thousands of years.
Shea properties and benefits
One of the earliest documented uses of shea and its properties is by Cleopatra. The Egyptian queen included this butter in her skin care routines. The nuts were processed until they were filled with the product in earthenware jars that were brought to the palace to complete the beauty arsenal of this powerful woman. Aware of its benefits, Cleopatra never gave up shea nuts.
Properties such as these confirm the wisdom of her choice:
– Anti-ageing. It helps to stimulate the production of collagen in the skin, thus delaying its deterioration, minimising wrinkles and making it look younger. Its vitamin A and E content help keep skin supple, smooth and radiant.
– Anti-inflammatory. Its effect is so beneficial that it is even used to treat dermatitis and rosacea. Its potential to reduce skin inflammation helps care for skin that has suffered sunburn, cuts or rashes.
– Smoother skin. Its properties make it possible that, after the application of shea butter, the skin becomes softer to the touch, and its elasticity is restored. Another related benefit is its high nourishing power without clogging pores.
– UV protection. The boost from plant oils such as shea butter can positively impact the skin before and after sun exposure. Cleansing the skin with a soap containing shea butter also boosts an antioxidant.
– Natural healing. Shea butter is rich in vitamins and excellent for healing the skin and reducing the appearance of scars. Shea butter is also helpful in protecting against insect bites, allergic reactions and stretch marks.
It is not surprising that shea butter has so many properties, especially considering its high percentage of fatty acids and vitamins and its smooth texture.
How to benefit from the properties of shea butter
Uses of shea butter
Shea butter on the skin
Shea butter can be applied directly to the skin at the beginning of the day, complemented with a suitable sunscreen. It is a natural product that is very easy to spread and pleasant to use. As it is so creamy, a teaspoon-sized portion is sufficient for the skin on the face, neck and décolleté.
Areas such as elbows and knees also benefit from a daily application of shea butter after showering. In winter, applying this product to the hands is advisable to protect them from damage caused by low temperatures.
After facial cleansing, shea butter can be applied to the face in the evening to deeply nourish it. Some people prefer to limit its application to this time so that the texture of the butter does not interfere with the daytime make-up finish.
Shea butter: used for hair
Shea butter can be applied directly to the hair as a conditioner. As it is a natural product, it is up to the individual to decide whether to rinse it out afterwards or leave it to work. In this case, it should be applied in smaller quantities.
Few people know that shea is an ally in the fight against head lice. After washing, applying it to the hair makes it easier to comb with a combing comb, preventing the parasites from sticking to the hair and remaining there. Afterwards, it is only necessary to rinse.
Another use of shea on the hair is to prevent split ends. To do this, the product is massaged into this end of the hair, reaching the mid-lengths and avoiding the root area.
Natural cosmetics with shea butter
The best way to care for your health is by choosing natural products. Eliminating chemicals from our daily routines reduces the risk of endocrine problems, weakened immune systems and even some cancers.
Recent dermatological studies have shown that the skin can allow toxins to enter the bloodstream. Therefore, it is not enough to take care of our habits and diet, we must also pay attention to our beauty routines and the products we include in them.
Shea butter can be found in a variety of face and hair products, sometimes combined with other natural ingredients to boost its properties.
How to boost the benefits of shea butter and its properties
For example, combined with aloe vera, shea butter becomes the ideal solution to protect, soften and moisturise the skin. This combination allows it to be free from damage and raises its overall quality, improving its health. In addition, the sum of these ingredients benefits the skin through their anti-inflammatory, soothing and moisturising properties. These elements benefit the skin by increasing its overall moisture, leaving an effect that lasts for several hours.
When the antioxidant power of shea butter is combined with that of silicon, the result is a rejuvenating power that is immediately noticeable. Inflammation is reduced and skin tone is more even, thanks to increased hydration and homogeneity. With rosehip, shea butter forms a powerful combo that also boosts the reduction of wrinkles and fine lines, as well as cell regeneration.
It’s up to you whether you want to incorporate them into your rituals in the form of supplements, essential oils or creams. Don’t you want to feel like Cleopatra?