You may be wondering why I love shea butter so much, and the easy answer is that there are so many benefits of shea butter for your skin. It’s why I use it in all of my products. Shea butter has a rich history, no pun intended, and its use goes back centuries. There are even records that during Cleopatra’s reign, she had caravans of clay pots filled with shea butter brought to Egypt for her use. From then to today, shea butter continues to be a popular and versatile ingredient in beauty products worldwide.
What is shea butter?
So, what exactly is shea butter? Shea butter is a fat extracted from the nuts of the shea tree. The shea tree is a tree that is native to West Africa. The shea tree produces a fruit with a nut inside. This nut is separated from the fruit and then boiled. The butter (fatty substance) floats to the surface, and you have shea butter.
Not only has shea butter been used for centuries, but it is also known as “women’s gold.” This is because it provides women in African villages with a source of income. The making of shea butter is something that gets passed down through generations.
There are four different forms of shea butter: raw, unrefined, refined, and ultra-refined. Most people are more familiar with refined and unrefined shea butter. The main difference between the two is in the nut itself. Refined shea butter uses fresh shea nuts, while unrefined shea butter uses dried shea nuts. Processing unrefined shea butter is not as harsh as processing refined butter, and it helps lock in more of the most beneficial components. When shea butter is refined, it loses some of those benefits. In my products, I use unrefined shea butter, not only because it allows the skin to reap more of the benefits but also because it prolongs its shelf life.
Why use shea butter for your skin?
Shea butter has a unique composition, and the fatty acids are the most significant. Shea butter contains 5 fatty acids: palmitic, stearic, oleic, and linoleic. For our purposes here, the most considerable acids are stearic and oleic acids. These two usually make up the majority of shea butter’s composition.
The most notable of these two acids is the high amount of oleic acid in shea butter. Oleic acid can help calm, balance, and repair the skin. In addition, shea butter has the most unsaponified compounds, meaning it contains many vitamins and minerals.
Also necessary to point out is that shea butter is high in Vitamins A and E and antioxidants. Below, I’ll explain how this unique composition provides amazing benefits for your skin.
What are the Amazing Benefits of Shea Butter for Your Skin?
The benefits of shea butter for your skin are amazing. In fact, this article from Healthline lists 22 of them. What Is Shea Butter? 22 Benefits, Uses, and Products to Try (healthline.com) Below are what I feel are the most noteworthy of Shea Butter’s benefits.
- Deep moisturization and hydration. Remember those fatty acids. They play a role here by helping your skin quickly absorb the butter and create a barrier. This barrier locks in your skin’s hydration and prevents your skin from drying out.
- Helps with inflammation. Shea butter contains anti-inflammatory compounds to help relieve skin irritation and itching. Some say it can help with skin conditions like eczema.
- Promotes collagen production and helps with premature aging. Along with the fatty acids and vitamins, shea butter has chemical compounds known for boosting collagen production and assisting with new cell generation. Shea butter can also help premature aging with that new cell generation by reducing unwanted wrinkles and fine lines.
- Sun protection. The high amount of Vitamin E in shea butter helps it protect your skin from the sun. In fact, it has a natural SPF of 3-4. Although shea butter gives your skin additional protection from the sun, it should not be used as your only sunscreen.
By now, I hope you see all the amazing benefits shea butter offers for your skin and why I put it in all my products. Its unique fatty acids and vitamins composition lays the foundation for more moisturized skin and healthier skin. Shea butter is too good for your skin to not incorporate it into your skincare routine in some way. So, go ahead and shea it up with either my handcrafted artisan soap, body polish, or body butter. If it was good for Cleopatra, it is good for you too.