Shea butter is edible but world knows it best as main cosmetic ingredients and not something usually found in the kitchen, well unless you are in Africa. For thousands of years, shea butter has been used as healing and skin care properties. History has stated that during Cleopatra’s era in Ancient Egypt, shea butter was considered valuable ingredients to protect skin and hair from Africa’s fierce sun and hot dry winds.
What Is Shea Butter?
Shea butter comes from the fruit of the African Shea tree which has scientific name Vitellaria paradoxa and also well known as Karite tree. The texture of shea butter is not like the texture of butter you know which is soft and silky; instead the texture is a bit lumpy like hard ice cream. As solid fatty oil, shea butter could melt as well, so it could be absorbed by skin. The buttery pure of shea butter is derived from the nut of Shea fruit. For the shea butter, the nut will be crushed, boiled and processed.
When it comes to the word of ‘butter’, the first thing that crosses your mind is probably something that you usually spread in your bread. Well, shea butter, though it is edible and sometimes used as cooking oil, this kind of butter cannot be used as the substitute of butter made from animal fat or margarine made from oil palm because the taste is not as good as butter or even margarine and beside that the production cost is higher than oil palm.
Right now there are a lot of brands you could look for shea butter but if you are depending on the local health store there are two types of shea butter you could find there:
- Raw/Unrefined Shea Butter
Raw or unrefined shea butter means the butter is organic and unbleached. However, even the grade A unrefined shea butter is not free from some small particles, the remains of the shea nut. So, you need to do some modifications first to separate those trace particles by heating them up and then filtering them.
- Refined Shea Butter
Well, refined shea butter means the butter is ready to use for whatever reasons you buy it in the first place. The refined shea butter has been processed to be free from trace particles, odor free and bleached so the color will be sparkling white instead of light caramel. However, because of those processes, the refined shea butter is likely losing some beneficial properties.
Which one is better? Of course the unrefined shea butter but still you need to make sure that you are getting them from trustworthy supplier only. To be in the safe side, instead of wondering which one is better between unrefined and refined shea butter, right now there are a lot of cosmetic products from lotion, skin moisturizers, lip gloss and many more that are using shea butter as ingredients that you could consider to buy. Fortunately, there is no beauty product from any brands that could beat the power of homemade skin lotion and moisturizer made from high quality shea butter.
Speaking of the nutritional value of shea butter, this kind of butter is packed with some healing properties that are great for skin and hair.
|Shea Butter: Unrefined|
Serving Size: 100 g
|Total Fat||99 g|
|– Saturated Fat||46 g|
|– Polyunsaturated Fat||5 g|
|– Monounsaturated Fat||44 g|
|Octanoid Acid||0.2 g|
|Decanoic Acid||0.2 g|
|Dodecanoic Acid||1.3 g|
|Tetradecanoic Acid||0.1 g|
|Hexadecanoic Acid||4.4 g|
|Octadecanoic Acid||38.8 g|
|Palmitoleic Acid||0.1 g|
|Omega 9 Fatty Acid||43.5 g|
|Omega 6 Fatty Acid||4.9 g|
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Shea Butter for Skin Care Benefits
The usage of shea butter for skin care could be traced back to as far as ancient Egypt even in the place where the early King of Egypt was burried, crafted the shea tree. Furthermore, the deserts in Egypt and Africa could kill you and shea butter is a great sun block to protect skin.
- Natural Moisturizer for Skin
The fatty acids contained in shea butter are the reasons why shea butter is so moisturizing for skin. It makes shea butter a perfect natural lotion for skin besides it will be easily melted and absorbed by skin in body temperature.
- Peeling Your Skin with Shea Butter
The texture of shea butter, especially raw or unrefined shea butter is perfect peeling for your skin. It is not to rough but has its own soft texture which will be melted away to be absorbed by your skin.
- Effective Skin Sun Block
There are a lot of sun block products out there which are packed with chemical ingredients which are dangerous for your skin. Shea butter is effective natural sun block solution. However, with current UV A and UV B, it is not safe for you to only depending on shea butter which only has SPF 6 to protect your skin but for daily usage inside buildings, shea butter is perfect sun block.
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- Treats Dry Skin Naturally
It is not easy to get rid of dry skin in your knees and elbows, especially those who spend of their time inside air conditioned rooms. Just keep a jar of shea butter to be apply regularly could treat dry skin naturally and effectively.
- Greats for Chapped Lips
You could say good bye to lips gloss for the rest of your life because whenever you have chapped lips, you have shea butter to get rid of it.
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- Solution to Stretch Mark
After pregnancy the horror most women should face is stretch mark. Some said, it is impossible to get rid of but shea butter has been proven to be effective in eliminating the stretch mark completely.
- Good Bye to Dark Spots
There are some factors that could cause dark spots in your skin. They are not harmful but could look really ugly, especially when the dark spots are accumulating in one area. Shea butter contains vitamin A and vitamin E that great to get rid of dark spots.
- Treats Rough Skin
One of the main factors why your skin is getting rough is when the dead cells are not completely eliminated from your skin surface. Shea butter has textures that could act as skin peeling and at the same time moisturizing your skin to treat the rough skin.
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- Protects Skin Natural Oil
One of the reasons why your skin is getting dried because factors like water and wrong body soap could endanger the stock of natural oil in your skin. If you are applying shea butter to your skin regularly, it will provide protection to the skin’s natural oil as well.
- Effective to Treat Acnes
You must be thinking that the fatty oil contained in shea butter could cause acnes instead of cure them. Well, most cosmetic products contained oil as well but they are different. Oil from cosmetic cannot be absorbed and instead stay in your pores that lead to acnes; oil in shea butter will leave nothing in your pores.
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- Wrinkles Reduction
Everyone will have wrinkles because everyone will be aging. However, premature aging is the problem whereas you could have wrinkles in the wrong age. Shea butter could help you dealing with this condition effectively.
- No More Eye-bag
With all the works you have, some meetings you should attend, it seems 24 hours is not enough. Whenever you wake up in the morning with eye-bag, just apply shea butter and it will work like magic.
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Shea Butter for Hair Treatments
Do you know that Cleopatra is so famous with her shiny black hair? Well, now you know what her secret was; it is shea butter. Shea butter is not only providing a great protection but also a great solution to keep healthy hair and makes them shiner.
- Natural Solution to Itchy Scalp
Itchy sclap could occur when the scalp is dry caused by wrong shampoo. Well, you could get rid the itchy sclap by applying shea butter to your scalp, the textures will eliminate whatever residue of chemicals from the shampoo that fill the pores.
- Treats Dandruff Effectively
Some people are just simply forgetting that treating their scalp is no different that treating their skin. Scalp has pores and could suffer dryness as well as excessive oil. That excessive oil in the scalp could attract dandruff. Applying shea butter to your scalp will assist in eliminating the dandruff and at the same time giving back the natural oil of your scalp.
- Mends Split Ends
Flat ironing your hair could lead to dry hair. Well, just applying shea butter regularly could help you mending the split ends effectively.
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- Excellent Moisturizer for Hair
From now on you could save your time and money for hair spa because for healthy and shiny hair what you need is just shea butter to keep your hair moisturized all the time.
- Natural Hair Conditioner
You could say goodbye to your current conditioner product because after you wash your hair, just applying shea butter to your hair and to your scalp thoroughly, do a little massage in your scalp and then rinse them.
- Hair Protection from UV-Ray
One important thing to note is not only your skin that is needed protection from the UV Ray but also your hair. Applying shea butter to your hair regularly will provide one more layer of protection to your hair and your scalp.
- Reduces the Effect of Salt and Chlorine during Swimming
It is so annoying when you get your hair dry and a bit stiff because of the chlorine or salt after swimming isn’t it? Well, to reduce the effect, you could apply shea butter to your hair before you jump to the water.
- Natural Hair Softener
For those who have curly hair must face a lot of hell when it comes to softening their hair. However, shea butter could assist in taming curly hair in much more effective way than any hair products you could find in marketplace.
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- Solutions to Dry Hair
The only solution to deal with dry hair is moisturizing your hair. There are a lot of products you could find but the chemical compounds could give you more harmful effect especially in a long run. That’s why natural moisturizer like shea butter could come in handy.
Other Benefits and Usages of Shea Butter
The benefit of shea butter is not only for skin or hair. Many centuries have proven that shea butter has a lot of healing properties that beneficial for human health as well.
- Curing Skin Rashes
There are a lot of factors that could cause skin rashes and before you find the root of the problem, you could use shea butter to deal with it.
- Relieving Muscle Fatigue
The best thing to relieve muscle fatigue is by rubbing and massaging the stiff muscle with shea butter. The fatty contained in shea butter will assist in relieving the fatigue.
- Treats Insect Bites
Insect bites could give you more than just rashes but sometime it comes with poison that will make your skin swollen and look ugly. As anti-inflammatory, shea butter could help you treating the insect bites naturally in much effective way.
- Smooths Skin Allergies
Though, shea butter is not going to cure the allergies but at least it could sooth the symptoms of allergies until you find the right medicines to deal with it completely.
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- Contains Antioxidants Qualities
Antioxidants found in shea butter could give your skin one more layer of protection from free radicals.
- Shea Butter Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties
As mentioned above that shea butter could help you getting rid the ugly swollen skin caused by insect bites because shea butter has effective anti-inflammatory properties.
- Gives You Anti-Aging Benefits
One thing to remember that applying shea butter to your skin is not going to stop you getting aging. However, some studies have proven that shea butter could help you slowing down the degeneration of skin cells and at the same time accelerating the degeneration of new cells.
- Prevents Premature Wrinkles
Premature wrinkles have nothing to do with age. Chemicals from cosmetic, wrong diet, free radicals and pollutions are only some factors that accelerating the aging process. Shea butter which has anti-aging benefits will prevent you from premature wrinkles.
- Stimulates the Production of Collagen
You must be surprised that to promote the production of collagen is not only from the inside but contents from shea butter that absorbed by skin could stimulate the production of collagen as well.
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- Restores Skin Elasticity
The older you are, your skill will slowly lose its elasticity. However, you could slow down the process by making sure your skin has enough stock of collagen. Shea butter is just the answer for it.
- Ideal for Baby Care
Why shea butter is perfect for baby care? It is because shea butter contains zero chemicals that could be harmful for baby’s skin.
- Greats for Body Massage
With all the nutrients and health benefits of shea butter, surely you could throw away all massage products you have at home and replace them with the one and only, shea butter.
- Could be Applied as Make Up Foundation
Excessive make up could make your skin dry. However, sometimes it is just impossible for you to avoid make up, especially for women. To keep your skin healthy and moisturized, just apply shea butter as foundation before you apply the make up.
- Used as Cuticle Cream
Well, shea butter is not only great for your skin and your hair but great for your nail as well. Just apply shea butter as cuticle cream for healthy nail and beautiful hands.
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- Keeps Your Eye Shadow Last Longer
The worst thing that could happen to you at the end of the day is when your eye shadows are smearing all over your eyes like someone just punched you in the eye. Applying shea butter to your eyelid could keep the eye shadow last longer.
- Solutions for Skin Detox
Not only your body, sometimes your skin needs to be detoxified as well. What you need to do is giving your skin some times to rest from cosmetic and other products that contained chemical. However, still you need to keep your skin moisturized and protected from sun. That’s when your skin needs shea butter the most.
Cautions of Shea Butter
Shea butter is a great solution for those who are looking for natural solution for the health of their skin and hair, though shea butter for those purposes are not supposed to be consumed. That’s why the cautions of shea butter is almost none unless you have some special skin conditions
- One of the skin conditions that likely occur after applying shea butter is like allergic to certain fatty acid because shea butter contains great amount of fatty acid.
- If you are using shea butter for baby care, just make sure that your baby care is not super sensitive to certain fatty acid.
- Though shea butter contains SPF but the level is very low, only around SPF 6. So, it is great for skin care but if you are having plan to sun bath under the sun in pretty long hour, is better to provide your skin protection for potent sun block products with minimum SPF 30.
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Some of you might be considering to change all of your cosmetic products with those with shea butter based ingredients, however using the unrefined one is the best option, even the refined one is still much better than cosmetic products that claimed they use shea butter as main ingredients because still there are more chemicals than shea butter contained in those products. So, it is better to always considering the natural one solution.