Shea butter is a natural vegetable fat that’s extracted from the nuts of the shea tree. It’s acquired by crushing and boiling the shea tree’s ripe nut or fruit. The inside of the nut is yellow-colored, buttery, and is a solid substance at room temperature. Read on to know more about some of its health benefits for better hair and skin.
Moisturizes Dry Skin
Shea butter is primarily used for its moisturizing abilities. The high-fat content is responsible for its nourishing and humectant properties that lock in healthy fats and oils and keep the skin hydrated for long hours. Being an emollient helps trap the moisture, preventing the skin from becoming rough or scaly. It conditions your skin, making your hands and feet supple without clogging the pores. The linoleic acid found in the butter makes it a good anti-inflammatory agent that also boosts hydration properties.
Reduces Skin Inflammation
If you want quick relief from irritated skin, apply shea butter on the affected area. It slows down the production of inflammatory cells and has a calming effect on your skin. Shea butter consists of certain bioactive ingredients like cinnamic acid from which it gets its anti-inflammatory properties.
On application, shea triggers cytokines and other inflammatory cells to delay their production, reducing the irritation caused by environmental factors (for eg- dry weather). Studies have found that shea butter can also treat mild-to-moderate eczema. It also relieves you from other skin conditions like dermatitis, rosacea, or psoriasis.
Reduces Stretch Marks
It is said that shea butter minimizes the appearance of stretch marks and scars on the skin. This natural emollient when massaged daily on the affected area can lighten stretch marks to a great extent. This body butter has often been used as a base in creams that are sold commercially to treat stretch marks.
This is only because it efficiently reduces stretch marks formed during pregnancy or due to rapid weight loss. Stretch marks occur when the skin gets stretched beyond its elastic capacity. The application of the butter builds up the natural elasticity of the skin and improves collagen production. It can also soften scar tissue and help your skin heal by stopping scar tissues from reproducing (keloid fibroblasts).
Shea butter is regarded as one of the best anti-ageing agents for the skin due to significant levels of vitamins A and E being present in the butter. They promote strong antioxidant activity and stimulate the production of collagen, the scaffolding protein in the skin that gives the skin a youthful appearance. Antioxidants protect your skin from free radicals that can lead to early ageing and lifeless-looking skin.
They promote cell renewal and increase blood flow to the skin. The vitamins also keep the skin supple, well-hydrated, and radiant. These vitamins, alongside catechins, nourish and supply your skin with an antioxidant effect against free radicals damaging to the skin. The butter helps prevent premature facial lines and works effectively against wrinkles when used regularly.
Shea butter is enriched with varied types of fatty acids and sterols. Such an ace combination clears your skin of excess oil (sebum), the key reason for the development of acne. Shea butter gets its healing properties from several fatty acids and plant sterols such as oleic, palmitic, and linolenic acids. Its antibacterial properties restore the natural balance of oils in your skin and avoid skin eruptions like acne. Apart from acne, raw and unprocessed shea butter effectively cures skin rashes, scars, frostbites, athletes’ feet, and insect bites.
Treats Split Ends And Hairfall
Shea butter caters to the moisturizing and regenerative needs of your hair and scalp. It makes your hair shinier, strong, and significantly more resistant to breakage. The butter is rich in vitamins A and E, which soothes dry hair and repairs split ends, and helps you manage frizzy hair. It helps treat dandruff by restoring the moisture in your dry scalp thereby reducing dandruff flakes. It makes your hair follicles stronger and also prevents hair loss due to its anti-inflammatory attributes.
Nasal Inflammation And Congestion
It may sound weird but shea butter may help alleviate nasal congestion. The anti-inflammatory substances present in shea butter reduce the inflammation in the nasal passages and help clear your nostrils. Shea butter helps you get rid of mucosal damage that leads to nasal congestion, within minutes. The next time you get nasal congestion, apply some shea butter in your nostrils using just your fingers. Besides these effects, it also helps deal with the common cold, seasonal allergies, or sinusitis.