Shea is everywhere nowadays – it’s used in a lot of skincare products and constantly advertised for its positive effects on our skin. Companies such as The Body Shop have made an absolute fortune on their shea butter ranges, whilst others have made sure to add this ingredient into pretty much every single beauty product.
But what cosmetic benefits does this product actually yield? Shea butter is a fat that is extracted from shea tree nuts that are often found in West Africa. It’s rich in nutrients and fatty acids, which gives it a lot of important properties. Here are the top 5 health benefits of shea, explained.
1. Anti-ageing properties
Shea has an incredible healing property that a lot of women often look for in skincare products – namely, anti-ageing. Its high levels of oleic and other acids help it prevent the negative effects that environmental toxins have on our skin. As a result, our skin is able to produce healthy new cells that lead to tighter and more even skin. The vitamin E contained in shea butter also protects our face from harmful UV light. Despite this, shea shouldn’t be used as a substitute for sunscreens but rather in conjunction with them.
2. Healing and anti-inflammatory properties
There are many ways in which we can damage our skin, which is why shea butter is exceptionally important and should be made use of on a routine basis. It has been proven to possess anti-inflammatory properties that help our skin regenerate and grow healthier. This means that you can apply shea butter to an irritated face to soothe and recover the skin without having to resort to actual medication. Shea butter is rich in vitamin K and fatty acids that are responsible for these incredible healing benefits.
3. Moisturising properties
One of the most important health benefits of shea is that it is able to keep your skin moisturised without you having to use ludicrous amounts of skincare products. The rich oils contained in the shea butter can absorb into your skin at room temperature and create a soft barrier that locks in all of the moisture. Considering that shea is a natural product, it is definitely a much better alternative to generic beauty store moisturises. What’s even better is that the moisturising effect can last for a long time, meaning that your skin will feel more nourished.
4. Hair regeneration properties
Shea butter isn’t just used for the skin – it also has a lot of important health benefits relating to haircare. Frequent use of shea on your hair helps prevent breakage and reduce the number of split ends. The fatty oils that make up the majority of the shea butter are able to easily penetrate into the hair and help strengthen it from within. Using shea on your hair can also make it shinier and help you combat that irritating frizz, as well as reduce scalp irritation. This makes shea the go-to solution for any haircare problem!
5. Healing benefits
Shea isn’t simply an anti-inflammatory substance; it also possesses actual healing properties. Research has demonstrated that shea butter can be used to effectively treat eczema. It acts by reducing irritation and hydrating the skin, which helps it to heal faster. A certain component contained in shea has also been shown to combat acne. Excessive secretion of oil by the skin can often result in the formation of acne that can be treated with the use of lupeol, which is one of the most important substances that makes up shea butter.