Shea Butter is extracted from Shea nuts of the Shea plant. The process entails sun drying the Shea nuts, cracking the shell and extracting the butter found in the nuts. Raw Shea butter contains mainly fatty acids; palmitic, margaric, stearic, oleic, linoleic, arachidic and eicosenoic acids. Shea butter is commonly used in the cosmetics industry for hair and skin care. Raw Shea butter can be used by infants as well as the aged.
The high fatty acids composition of Shea butter makes it an excellent emollient used in moisturizing the skin. When applied on the skin surface, Shea butter forms a protective barrier on the skin, protecting the epidermis layer from excessive moisture loss and from microbes also. It is among the most preferred emollients used in combating eczema and stubborn stretch marks.
USES OF SHEA BUTTER.
Eczema is a skin condition that manifests itself in a dry, rough itchy skin. Skin infected by eczema is highly irritable and easily breaks. This makes eczema victims susceptible to bacteria attacks. Pure raw natural Shea butter has become one of the best ointments for managing eczema on both infants and adults. Shea butter’s high fatty acid content seals moisture on the skin, soothes the irritation and with time, smoothens out the skin. Shea butter also possess some antimicrobial properties, which makes it capable of preventing bacteria attacks on open eczema wounds.
For extreme eczema cases, Shea butter can be mixed with pure Moringa oil to improve results. Moringa oil has higher antimicrobial activity and is good on sensitive allergic skin. These two properties makes Moringa oil a good booster of Shea butter in Eczema management.
Stretch marks form on the dermis layer of the skin, when the skin is stretched rapidly beyond its elastic limit. When the stretch happens, collagen fibers rapture and the resultant scar is the stretch mark. Clearing stretch marks can be quite challenging, especially when they are numerous. However, applying Shea butter constantly as body lotion, improves skin elasticity hence minimizing stretch marks formation. This is one of the reasons why Shea butter is a good body butter for expectant women, since they are more susceptible to stretch marks.
When dealing with already formed stretch marks, it is advisable to use a mixture of Shea butter and sesame oil. Sesame oil repairs broken collagen fibers as well as improves wound healing abilities of the skin. In doing so, it fades away scars from the skin.
People with extremely dry skin use Shea butter to moisturize their face. High antioxidant and anti-inflammatory abilities of Shea butter makes it ideal for wound healing and reducing pimples on dry skin. According to research, Shea butter has abilities to protect the skin from harmful ultra violet rays. It can either absorb or reflect some of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation reaching the skin exposed to sunlight and thus helps protect against sunburn, preventing erythema and reducing further risk of sun-induced skin-cancer. Shea butter has antiaging properties also. Studies show that it helps tissue cell regeneration and softening of the skin. As the skin ages, it becomes thin and loses more water. Applying Shea butter, reduces this moisture loss that comes as a result of age advancement. Shea butter is also ideal for people with sensitive skin, since it reduces skin irritations caused by allergens.
Shea butter is also a good moisturizer for dry flakey scalp. People whith high porosity hair, should use shea butter in moisturizing their scalp. It is heavier than most hair oils so it is retained for longer periods on the scalp. Since it has anti-allergy properties, it is used in reducing scalp irritation and redness by providing healing effects without clogging the pores. Some people actually use Shea butter while styling their hair. They use it while making knots and curls on hair strands.
Shea butter is used on infants to reinforce their natural skin barrier. For babies with diaper rashes, can use shea butter to soothe the rash and fasten the healing process. It is a good choice moisturizer for babies with sensitive skin. It reduces chances of microbial attacks on infants, ensuring good skin health.