The benefits of shea butter have been understood in Africa for centuries, used as a healing skin ointment and a protective balm against the fierce sun. In a skincare industry always on the lookout for the next miracle treatment, shea butter is fast becoming a magical moisturising skin superstar.
Why Shea Butter Benefits Skin
Shea butter is a triglyceride fat rich in vitamins A & E. Shea butter is highly effective as an emollient because it contains essential fatty acids that mimic the oils released by our sebaceous glands. Vitamin A plays an important role in boosting the immune system and helping the skin to repel bacteria and viruses, while vitamin E possesses anti-free radical and anti-ageing properties.
With all this natural goodness packed into a rich nourishing butter, shea butter’s healing properties can help sooth a variety of skin ailments from sunburn to stretchmarks. It is important to note that shea butter should not be used to treat the underlying cause of medical conditions, but it can be applied as a safe and natural remedy to help relieve many skin condition symptoms.
Moisturising Skin Care Benefits Of Shea Butter
Pure shea butter is solid at room temperature but melts at body temperature, making it ideal for use as an all-purpose skin moisturiser. Shea butter also forms an ideal base for mixing with other beneficial ingredients such as essential oils, to increase the potential for healing. The moisturising qualities of shea butter make it perfect for use in the following products:
1. Body Creams And Lotions – Apply raw as a 100% natural moisturiser or apply as a whipped creamy lotion. Lock in luxurious moisture after a bath, shower or swim for silky smooth skin.
2. Lip Balm – Traditionally used in Africa to protect against drying wind and sun, shea butter creates a soothing barrier for pout perfect lips. Remember to use food grade shea butter if you’re creating your own lip balm.
3. Face Cream – Maintain hydration levels and balance skin tone. Shea butter’s anti-ageing properties are also used to reduce the appearance of fine line and wrinkles.
4. Hair Care – Massage into the scalp and hair prior to washing to relieve a dry flaky scalp and to balance oily roots and dry ends.
Healing Skin Care Benefits of Shea Butter
For thousands of years shea butter has been used as a healing ointment on minor skin wounds; acting as a soothing barrier against bacteria, while helping to prevent scarring. The antioxidant rich butter is also believed to have anti-inflammatory properties and promote cell regeneration to speed recovery. These healing properties make shea butter beneficial for supporting a wide range of skin treatments, including:
5. Eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis – Shea butter is gentle on sensitive skins, helping to reduce redness and dryness. Shea butter can also help to alleviate itchiness, to help prevent further damage or infection caused by scratching.
6. Acne and rashes – Deliver antioxidants and moisture to trouble zones, to promote faster healing with reduced scarring or blemishes.
7. Stretch marks – Natural unrefined shea butter is safe to use during pregnancy to help prevent stretchmarks and to keep skin supple. Shea butter can also help to improve the appearance of existing stretch marks, by enriching the skin with moisture.
8. Insect bites – Help to relieve itching and prevent infection. In Africa shea butter is applied as an insect repellent against mosquitoes.
9. Cracked skin – Apply to cracked heels or to chapped and calloused hands. Shea butter can be used as a barrier cream to soothe hard working hands, providing protection from cold dry conditions.
10. Muscle fatigue, tension and rheumatism – The anti-inflammatory properties of shea butter can help relieve aches and pains. Massage directly onto sore muscles or apply after a warm bath to feel the benefits
Shea Butter From Akoma Skincare
With so many benefits for your skin, it’s easy to see why shea butter is a multi-billion pounds global industry. However, shea trees grow in some of the poorest regions of West Africa, where disease, malnutrition and illiteracy are everyday challenges for the women who hand produce the shea butter. Fairtrade cooperatives in Ghana, like the Akoma Cooperative Multipurpose Society, work with communities to provide fair prices for shea products, good working conditions, healthcare and opportunities for a sustainable future.
By making a positive choice to only purchase shea butter bearing the certified Fairtrade mark, you can enjoy the benefits of natural shea butter and help to promote fair and ethical trade to the communities that share this rich, magical product.