Shea butter is a popular beauty ingredient that is derived from the seed of the fruit of the Shea (Karite) tree; a native of Africa predominantly in the Central and West Africa. It has long been known for its popular beauty benefits among them being the moisturizing properties but there is more to this oil than just hydration. Loaded with Vitamin A, E, Oleic, Linoleic and Stearic Acid, Shea butter exhibits several health benefits particularly on skin and hair in fact, the legendary Egyptian queen Nefertiti owned her beauty secrets to Shea butter. Raw or unrefined Shea butter is the purest form of Shea butter and since it is extracted manually, it is able to retain its most potent vitamins and minerals. Here are some of the beauty benefits of using this oil.
- Deeply Moisturizing
This is undoubtedly the most common reason why most people grab Shea butter. The concentration of natural vitamins and fatty acids in this oil makes it incredibly moisturizing and is often used to repair and restore dry skin. Beyond using it as a face and body moisturizer, the hydrating properties of this oil can help fight eczema and rashes.
- Sun Protection
Because Shea butter is packed with Vitamins A, E and F, it offers a natural means of UV protection and promotes collagen production. Although the protection level is very low it is still effective when applied under your sunscreen or as an after-sun care.
- Promotes Anti-Aging
Shea butter contains high antioxidant content which helps promote youthful skin. It is considered one of the best anti-ageing and moisturizing agents. It stimulates the production of collagen and the vitamins A and E found in the butter help to keep the skin nourished and supple preventing premature wrinkles and fine lines. More collagen equals fewer fine lines and wrinkles.
- Hair benefits
There are numerous beauty benefits of using Shea butter on your hair; for those with dry sensitive scalps, Shea butter can be used to ease flakiness without leaving your hair greasy. You can add the butter in your shampoo or conditioner as it will help with repairing split ends as well. Shea butter can also be used to protect and soften your hair. This butter can help protect your hair from the harmful free radicals in the air and water or during extreme weather conditions. This is largely due to the fact that once absorbed, Shea butter coats the hair shaft protecting the hair from damage. This is also part of the reason it is used by naturalistas’ for the LOC method to help restore and lock in moisture. Massaging the hair with generous amounts of Shea butter can help to give you soft and silky tresses; Due to its non-greasy nature, it helps to soften and revitalize damaged, brittle hair.
Other beauty benefits include the fact that it is a natural cuticle cream, improves skin elasticity and offers anti-inflammatory properties.