Shea butter, a natural skin superfood found in the fruit of the Shea tree, has been used in Africa as a skin moisturizer and wrinkle reducer for centuries. There are so many amazing benefits of this natural powerhouse, which is why it’s one of MANDA Organic Sun Paste’s key ingredients. We wouldn’t dream of leaving this ingredient out of our skincare routine, so we’re breaking down the top 5 benefits of Shea butter to help you get your skin regimen right.
Natural UV Protection
A little-known fact about Shea butter is that it provides natural protection from UV rays. It is estimated to register at an SPF 6, so while it shouldn’t be used alone, it’s a great backup if you’re in a pinch, and helps give MANDA its SPF 50 rating.
The concentration of natural vitamins (A and E) and fatty acids (oleic, stearic, palmitic and linolenic) in Shea butter makes it incredibly nourishing and moisturizing for the skin. Because of these properties, it makes sense that Shea butter is one of the most effective remedies for dry skin and scalp, chapped lips, and cracked heels, elbows, and knees.
The American Shea Butter Institute states that people suffering from dry skin can be remedied in about three days just from applying Shea butter to the affected areas. According to The Wellness Mama, Shea butter is truly unique because its natural moisturizers are the same as those produced by the sebaceous glands in your skin, so it provides your body with exactly what it needs.
Shea butter has also been found to be an anti-inflammatory agent because of its naturally occurring cinnamic acid. This property makes Shea butter an extremely versatile remedy, especially for those troubled with acne. This also means that Shea butter can relieve irritation from sunburn, rashes, frostbite and insect bites.
Fights Effects of Aging
Shea butter actually assists the skin in producing collagen, providing firmer, softer skin. Its unique combination of essential fatty acids and vitamins help the skin maintain its elasticity. In a clinical study, Shea butter was definitively shown to rebuild and rejuvenate collagen among participants. After applying Shea butter to the skin for four to eight months, participants had clearer skin with fewer wrinkles and sun damage.
Soothes Skin Conditions
The Vitamin A found in Shea butter lends it the ability to improve numerous skin conditions, including blemishes, skin allergies, eczema, and dermatitis. Shea butter has also been shown to accelerate minor wound healing and work as a soothing and effective nasal decongestant.
When purchasing Shea butter, it’s important to make sure it’s organic, Grade A, raw and unrefined, as refining processes will remove some of the amazing benefits outlined above. What’s your favorite use for Shea butter? Let us know in the comments below and check out our Shea Butter Pinterest board for inspiration!
Photo: Erik Hersman