6 Ways You Can Use Shea Butter To Transform Your Skin
by Hannah Do
Shea butter is a common ingredient you can find in a lot skin care products. It’s in face creams, lotions and even in healing salves. Despite its popularity, however, not all people are aware of how great this butter is, particularly in solving some of the most common issues we experience on our skin.
If you’re wondering about the exact benefits of shea butter, here are some ideas to inspire you to use it to boost your skin’s health.
1. Treat Minor Skin Injuries
Shea butter has anti-inflammatory and healing properties with its fatty acid and plant sterol contents. It has the ability to penetrate your skin’s deeper layers to heal your wounds faster than it could heal on its own.
You can use it in treating rashes, burns and even insect bites. It can also alleviate the itching associated with dermatitis and eczema.
Although you have the option to use shea butter on its own, it’s a better idea if you can mix it with vanilla and lavender oil. Both of these ingredients can help hasten wound healing while preventing further damage.
2. Prevent Wrinkles
Wrinkles, fine lines and saggy skin are never flattering. To combat these signs of skin aging, you can apply an ample amount of shea butter on your skin. Make sure the layer you apply is just enough to ensure quick absorption.
This super ingredient possesses high amounts of antioxidants, vitamins A and E. The combination of these components enable shea butter to protect your skin against the environmental causes of premature skin aging.
Aside from that, it is also rich in phytosterols that work well against UV Damage.
3. Heal Acne
Most people aren’t aware, but shea butter is actually great to use in treating acne. It has cinnamic acid derivatives that can tone down your skin’s inflammation and redness.
Before application, however, it’s essential that you cleanse your face properly. You can use a gentle face wash or do the oil cleansing method to thoroughly get rid of dirt and makeup residue.
Shea butter has also been found effective in augmenting the effect of salicylic acid, which is a popular ingredient in a lot of anti-acne products. If you are treating your skin with the said ingredient, you can follow it up with a good layer of shea butter to enhance its effect.
4. Moisturize Your Skin
Shea butter isn’t comedogenic, which means it can’t clog your pores. This makes it a perfect moisturizer for skin that’s oily and acne-prone.
It even works wonders on dry and cracked skin. Since shea butter can provide almost the same type of moisture as what your sebaceous glands produce, it can effectively restore your skin’s level of hydration.
You have to keep in mind, however, that shea butter can make you feel greasy at first. Despite this, it gets absorbed relatively fast so it won’t make you feel sticky or tacky after.
To experience its benefits, simply rub the butter into your skin using circular motions. The best time to apply it is at night, but for best results, you can try using it twice a day.
In case you decide to use it before your bedtime, allow it to completely dry first to prevent staining your sheets and pillows.
5. Remedy stretch marks
One of the most popular uses of shea butter is in fading away stretch marks. These are the streaks of scars you can get from being overweight or getting pregnant.
Shea butter contains certain fatty acids that trigger your body’s normal collagen production. When you have more collagen, your skin becomes tighter and more supple. Aside from this benefit, this butter also has healing properties.
Shea butter isn’t only great for getting rid of stretch marks. It works well in preventing them, too.
If you are currently pregnant, you can apply a thin layer of the butter on areas that are prone to scarring, such as the back of your knees, your belly, neck and thighs. Only apply enough butter to make sure it gets absorbed fast.
6. Soothe sunburns
With its moisturizing and healing properties, shea butter can soothe your sunburn by easing the pain and peeling. It works by decreasing the inflammation, lowering the temperature and protecting the affected part against free radical damage.
Shea butter is also good to use as a remedy in case you have accidentally burned your hand while curling your hair or during cooking. It offers protection against the sun’s harmful rays, too.
Unfortunately, however, shea butter can’t provide extreme protection against UV rays. In fact, it’s only able to provide an SPF of 6 to 10, which is low if you’ll be under the sun for a long period of time.
However, you can use the butter for protection if you know that you’re going to have minimal sun exposure or just to augment the effect of your favorite sunscreen.
Although it offers tons of benefits for your skin, you still shouldn’t settle for just about any shea butter. For your skin, it’s great if you can get your hands on pure, organic and unrefined shea butter. You can find this in a lot of health food stores and online shops.
One thing to keep in mind about unrefined shea butter is its nut shell particles. Since it hasn’t been processed, it’s possible for you to find abrasive particles in it once the butter melts.
This makes it important that you strain it first before rubbing it into your skin, particularly if you’re going to use the butter on your face. Nutshell particles are too harsh and can cause minute damages to your skin.
Shea butter can cause sensitivity reactions in people with tree-nut allergies, too. If you have a history of it or if you are in doubt if you’re sensitive to the butter, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor first so that he can perform an allergy test.