Shea butter is a skin superfood that comes from the seeds of the fruit of the Shea (Karite) tree and that is naturally rich in vitamins A, E and F. It offers UV protection (SPF 6) and provides the skin with essential fatty acids and the nutrients necessary for collagen production.
Shea butter has been used in Africa and many other countries for years to improve the skin and hair. It also has a long history of medicinal use, such as in wound care and even treating leprosy. It’s also not uncommon in that part of the world to eat shea butter as well, much as we use palm oil in products.
Shea Butter Benefits
- Moisturizing: The concentration of natural vitamins and fatty acids in shea butter makes it incredibly nourishing and moisturizing for skin. It is often used to remedy dry skin and to help protect the skin’s natural oils.
- Reduces Inflammation: A 2010 study found that due to its cinnamic acid and other natural properties, shea butter was anti-inflammatory. One compound, in particular, lupeol cinnamate, was found to reduce skin inflammation and even potentially help avoid skin mutations. This also makes it beneficial for some people with acne.
- Skin Smoothing: Shea butter aids in the skin’s natural collagen production and contains oleic, stearic, palmitic, and linolenic acids that protect and nourish the skin to prevent drying. With long-term use, many people report skin softening and strengthening as well as wrinkle reduction.