Shea butter or karite butter is a solid fatty oil derived from the nuts of the karite trees of west and central Africa. When karite nuts are harvested, they are crushed and boiled to extract the shea butter within. Shea butter is edible and used in food preparation, but it is better known in the United States as an ingredient in several beauty products. A growing number of shampoos, conditioners, lotions and cosmetics are using shea butter as a key ingredient, and many people have taken to using pure shea butter to treat a number of skin conditions and to accelerate the healing of minor cuts and burns.
Shea Butter and Your Skin
Shea butter is perhaps best known for its moisturizing and healing properties, both of which greatly benefit the skin. Shea butter contains several fatty acids that help the skin retain moisture and elasticity, which is why it is so common in moisturizers, lotions and soap. Many people also use pure shea butter as a moisturizer since it melts upon contact with the skin and is so easy to apply.
Shea butter also has plenty of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This means that not only is it great for healing sun damage and smoothing out scars and fine lines, but it is also great for treating skin rashes, burns and insect bites. Some research has even shown that the lupeol cinnamate found in shea butter may prevent the development of tumors.
Many people also use pure shea butter as a moisturizer since it melts upon contact with the skin and is so easy to apply
Shea Butter and Your Hair
In addition to skincare products, shea butter has also become a key ingredient in shampoos, conditioners and other hair care products. Once again, this is largely due to shea butter’s moisturizing and healing properties. It has proven to be effective in treating a dry or irritated scalp and reducing dandruff, and it can strengthen hair thanks to its high vitamin A and vitamin E content. It also softens hair and protects it from free radicals in the air and water. Finally, shea butter naturally has a low amount of SPF and gives your hair and skin some protection from the sun.
Whether it is used in its raw form (the way we like it) or as an ingredient in beauty and healthcare products, there is no denying how beneficial shea butter can be. It makes a great moisturizer and healing agent when applied to the skin, and it can both strengthen and soften hair while relieving a dry scalp. By now, shea butter is a common ingredient in many health and beauty products, but we prefer going straight to the source and applying Simply Shea Butter – our raw ivory butter – directly to the skin, scalp, and hair.