What is Shea Butter and How Does it Work?

What is Shea Butter and How Does it Work?

You have probably seen the ingredient shea butter in various hair care and skin care products. Shea butter derives from the shea nut tree, which grows in the western and central parts of Africa. In order to produce the nuts used to make shea butter, trees usually grow in about 18-25 years. But, just what is shea butter and how exactly does it work?

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First of all, shea butter isn’t actually a butter. In fact, it is a solid fatty oil that derives from the Karite trees, found in Africa. The nuts from the trees are harvested, crushed, boiled and made into shea butter. When shea butter is in a raw form, it resembles maple ice cream with lumps. While shea butter is edible, it is rarely used in cooking or baking and instead, mainly used for beauty and medicinal uses.

She butter works well when it comes to soothing, hydrating and balancing the skin. Because of this, it is often used on elbows, knees and heels of the skin as well as chapped lips, dry skin and as a hair treatment for dry scalp. It is important to use raw shea butter when moisturizing since in this form, shea butter keeps all its therapeutic qualities.

Shea butter also works as an anti-inflammatory, healing burns and cuts, easing muscle pain, taking the sting out of bug bites and relieving rashes. The Journal of Oleo Science published a study in 2010 that was done by Toshihiro Akihisa and team. This study indicated that shea fat actually has a great deal of anti-inflammatory properties.

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Shea butter also has anti-aging properties. Shea butter has been used for many, many years to reduce skin wrinkles. This is due to the fact that it contains Vitamin A, Vitamin E and essential fatty acids, important for maintaining the suppleness and elasticity of the skin.

  1. Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says

    I used this on my pregnancy stretch marks. It worked really well.

  2. Gingermommy says

    I love it and use it often. Smells great and make my skin silky smooth

  3. Amanda Ripsam says

    I have found she butter works great on dry cracked feet and elbows. I find it to thick of a lotion for the rest of me. I didn’t use it on my stretch marks I wish I had though.

  4. Rachelle says

    Oh I love my Shea butter. I use it on the bottoms of my feet when they get dry in the winter!

  5. Catheine S says

    I didn’t know shea butter had so many benefits. Maybe this will help with my dry skin.

  6. Aimee fauci says

    I never knew this fact about Shea butter. I think I need to get some because I get serious dry skin in he winter.

  7. Marielle Altenor says

    My sister works in a beauty supplies store and she always bring home shea butter. This stuff is amazing especially for my dry skin in the winter.

  8. Lady Lilith says

    I am a huge fan. Shea Butter is a wonderful moistureizer.

  9. Pam says

    I have always heard that shea butter has great healing powers for inflammation and does wonders on stretch marks. I need to give it a try for my dry skin.

  10. Amber NElson says

    I never really knew in detail about it. I just knew that I liked it on my skin.

  11. Theresa says

    I love shea butter! I use it in my homemade beauty crafts all the time!

  12. Carlee C says

    Hey I actually learned something today. I actually had no idea where Shea Butter originated from.

  13. Sarah Bailey says

    This is so interesting, I have to admit I adore Shea Butter, but I actually didn’t know much about it and how it worked so thank you.

  14. Ann Bacciaglia says

    I love using shea butter on my skin. I did not know much about it. Thanks for the great information.

  15. Paula Schuck says

    I did not know shea butter came from a nut. It is amazing on my dry skin. I have been using it for years. It makes a great gift.

  16. Fariha N. says

    Shea butter is one of those things that once you try it, you never stop using it. It makes my skin so soft, and is very soothing on irritated skin.

  17. Toughcookiemommy says

    I love skin care products that contain shea butter. It smells great and makes my skin so soft.

  18. Veronica says

    I hear people rave about shea butter. I so need to try it for my dry skin

  19. Mina Slater says

    I absolutely love shea butter for my skin and hair! Especially for skin because we have hard water in my current home and shea butter helps keep our skin in good condition.

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