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Beauty Benefits Of Shea Butter Revealed

How many of us have found ourselves buying a beauty product due to a magical ingredient we’re sure will make us gorgeous? If we were honest, we’d have to admit that we usually have absolutely no idea what that ingredient even does.

Shea butter just may be one of those healthy and trendy substances.

Sure, we know it moisturizes our skin fabulously, but what else can this soothing butter do for our bodies? The truth is the health and beauty benefits of shea butter are plentiful.

What Is Shea Butter?

Shea butter comes from the shea tree, which is native to Africa. Throughout history women have often harvested the nuts of the shea tree, crushed them, and boiled them into the substance we know today as shea butter. The benefits this butter offers to the body are countless, but here are the few of the most valuable:

1. Moisturizes Deeply

Undoubtedly, the most common reason people grab Shea butter is for its natural ability to moisturize. Bessie McIntosh, Co-Founder and “Buzz Director” of Aseda, a company that sells high quality Shea butter, calls Shea butter the “perfect substance to hydrate the largest organ in the human body, the skin.”

Beyond using Shea butter as a daily moisturizer on body or face, the hydrating Shea butter provides can help with the following:

  • Eczema
  • Dry, Itchy Scalp
  • Chapped Lips
  • Razor Burn
  • Diaper Rash
  • And more

2. Offers Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Many times people will make ungrounded claims that their product is anti-inflammatory. Shea butter, however, has the science to back up its anti-inflammatory powers. A study performed in 2010 showed that not only does Shea butter offer a “significant source” of anti-inflammatory properties, but it also has “anti-tumor promoting compounds.”

As a wonderful anti-inflammatory, Shea butter can aid in muscle aches and muscle recovery. This means tossing a tub of Shea butter into your gym bag is a nifty idea.

3. Promotes Anti-Aging

Shea butter contains a high antioxidant content, which helps promote youthful skin. Beyond those nutrients, Shea butter helps stimulate collagen production, the building block to skin’s elasticity. More collagen equals fewer fine lines and wrinkles.

As McIntosh shares, “My personal interest came from meeting one of our Ghanaian Advisers’ father. He was well into his 90s and looked younger than his 56-year-old son. There was not one crease on his face. I asked him how this was possible? He shared with me the ancient secret. Shea butter, head to toe, everyday, since he was a baby.”

4. Provides Sun Protection

Another reason Shea butter is considered an anti-aging wonder is its sun protection properties. Boasting a “natural SPF factor” as McIntosh describes it, Shea butter is actually considered between an SPF 3 and SPF 6, and has the ability to protect the skin from UV rays.

Shea butter is not only helpful before the sun, but also after sun exposure. Its nourishing antioxidants help soothe and actively heal sunburned skin. What’s more, you can also use Shea butter in your hair to add a wonderful extra layer of protection during a sunny day.

5. Helps Prevent Stretch Marks

While it might be impossible to never again find yourself without a stretch mark, there are certainly ways to keep them to a minimum. Modern Mom blog recommends using Shea butter to help “restore elasticity” and make the stretch marks “less noticeable.”

The blog post also recommends massaging the shea butter into the stretch-marked skin daily, for at least 10 to 20 minutes. Since we already know that shea butter has anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants, we can be sure this won’t not be a pointless activity!

6. Soothes Insect Bites And Allergic Reactions

There are few things more annoying and troublesome than insect bites. Once again, it’s shea butter’s anti-inflammatory power that offers wonderful relief to insect bites. Rubbing some shea butter on the itchy bite, throughout the day, brings relief and speedier healing.

You can also turn to Shea butter for soothing relief from poisonous plants or any other substance you get a red and itchy allergic reaction to.

7. Gives Safe Baby Care

It is a wonderful thing whenever the same product you use on yourself can be used on your baby or little one. Pure Shea butter is a gentle substance that is safe enough to grace your baby’s gentle skin.

Use Shea butter as a diaper rash cream or a gentle, yet highly effective, moisturizer after bath time. Since Aseda Shea butter is safe to eat, you will not have to worry about your little one’s fingers going in their mouths after you have moisturized them.

Does Brand Matter?

Like any other health and beauty product, not every Shea butter is created equally. Bessie McIntosh explains, “there are three different grades of Shea and different processes used to create Shea butter from the nuts.” Her brand, Aseda, for instance is grade A Ivory Shea, the top rating. It is entirely pure with no added fillers. “We offer our Shea butter raw,” she explains, “the way nature intended it.”

Taylor DuVallTaylor DuVall is a freelance writer, editor, and blogger. As a digital nomad, Taylor runs her business while traveling the world, reading endless books, strumming her guitar, and practicing yoga.

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