Shea butter is a natural substance with emollient, nourishing and moisturizing properties: a real panacea for dry and damaged skin and hair. This precious butter is also good for soothing burns, hydrating scars, protecting lips from chapping and more. But let's find out more!
Benefits and Natural Remedies – Antioxidants – Cosmetics
Shea butter is obtained from the seeds of the Vitellaria paradoxa (or Butyrospermum parkii), a plant belonging to the Sapotaceae family and widespread in Africa. The shea plant is a tree about 15 meters tall from the very large trunk; from its walnuts is obtained a buttery substance of ivory color tending to yellowish, and sweetish smell, rich in fatty acids, phytosterols, vitamin A and vitamin E, all substances that give this butter emollient, nourishing, moisturizing, cicatrizing, soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. In Africa shea butter is used as a condiment, whereas we use it mainly in cosmetics, especially for the treatment of dry and damaged skin and hair, and also to protect from the cold, in case of cracked skin or lips, but it is also an excellent soothing cream in case of sunburn. But let’s discover its properties and how to use it.
Properties of shea butter
Shea butter has emollient, moisturizing and nourishing properties that make it very good for skin care of the face and more: African women have always used it to have a soft and young skin. Thanks to its antioxidant properties, shea butter protects the skin from the damaging action of free radicals, slowing down skin aging: this is mainly due to the presence of vitamin E. Shea butter also protects the skin and the lips from external agents such as wind, cold, sun that could cause crackings; it seems to carry out a protective action even against UVA rays, thanks to its filtering properties. This precious butter proves to be an excellent remedy even against small burns, bruises, small wounds, joint and muscle pain, psoriasis and insect bites, it possesses in fact soothing and healing properties: it is therefore an excellent natural remedy that you must have in your own beauty case.
How to use shea butter on skin and hair
Pure shea butter can have different uses, it is a very versatile natural product to use on the face, lips, body and hair. You can use it as an anti-wrinkle cream: apply it in the evening on the entire face, including the eye contour and lip contour and massage gently until absorbed. The skin will be so toned, elastic and moisturized for a long time. You can also use pure shea butter as a moisturizing mask: spread on the face a nut of the product, in order to cover the face well, and leave it on for 20 minutes. Then remove with hot water. Thanks to its soothing and calming properties, shea butter can also be used on the skin of the body to soothe the pain after a burn: apply it immediately after the shower, or use it after waxing, to calm the post-epilation annoyances. Shea butter is also perfect as aftershave to soothe the irritations caused by shaving. Shea butter also promotes the production of collagen, therefore useful in cases of stretch marks or small scars: just apply a small amount every day on the area to be treated, even on the pregnant belly. It is also excellent as a substitute for cocoa butter to protect lips from the cold and the sun. You can also use shea butter to protect your hands from the cold, avoiding cracks, or to soften the heels, apply it every evening and massage until absorbed. Given its delicacy, shea butter is also effective on the skin of newborns, especially to soothe the irritations caused by the diaper.
Shea butter can also be used on the hair: apply it on the ends before shampooing to make them soft, helping to prevent split ends. In case of damaged hair or with dandruff you can prepare a compress: apply a shea nut of shea butter on the hair and leave it for 30 minutes, wrapping the hair in a warm cloth, then wash it with a mild shampoo. If you suffer from dandruff, concentrate more on roots and scalp. You can also use shea butter as a substitute for wax or hair gel, also excellent for defining the curls: apply a small amount to damp hair and dry with the hair dryer at an average temperature.