It seems that almost everything that you buy nowadays for your hair or your skin has Shea butter in them. And for good reason! Shea butter was even used by Queen Cleopatra herself!
Shea Butter is an ivory colored butter that is extracted from the fat from the nut of the African Shea tree. Shea Butter is not only used in a wide array of cosmetics but it is also edible and used in some foods in Africa. Some even use it in place of cocoa in chocolate. Although it tastes much much different. Shea butter extract is a complex fat that also has the following fatty acids:
- Oleic Acid (40-60%)
- Stearic Acid (20-50%)
- Linolenic Acid (<1%)
- Arachidic Acid (<1%)
But enough of the technical mumbo jumbo, I know you want to hear about the benefits.
So, Shea butter absorbs really quickly into the skin, making it great for skin care products. Remember when I said that Cleopatra even used it? She used it to protect her hair and skin in the hot, dry climate of the dessert.
Shea butter is sometimes even used in medicinal ointments because it is reported to have anti-inflammatory, emollient and humectant properties.
Shea butter is also pretty good in sunblock as it has between 6-10 spf. It also has lots of Vitamin A. Vitamin A? Well, Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant and it plays a critical role in maintaining healthy vision, neurological function, healthy skin and more. Vitamin A also reduces inflammation by fighting free radical damage from the climate etc. Vitamin A is also responsible for maintaining healthy clear skin.
Another Vitamin Shea has plenty of? Vitamin E, which is also very beneficial to your skin and helps your circulation which in turn helps cells regenerate and encourages healthy radiant skin.