Want to know the hottest Hollywood Beauty Secret? Beverly Hills beauty experts and celebrity clients agree, their secret to maintaining a youthful radiant glow is luxurious shea butter! Extracted from the fruit of the shea tree, shea butter has amazing restorative and moisturizing properties that heal and beautify your skin.
In fact, The American Academy of dermatology lists Shea butter as one of the most effective moisturizers in combating dry skin. It's both sensitive and a thicker oil-based cream than lotions, which not only locks moisture in but has been shown to be effective for up to 8 hours and longer.
Over the last few years, plant oils and butters have become immensely popular with regards to healing and beautifying the skin. As cosmetics manufacturers perfect ways to integrate these natural ingredients in everyday products, health-conscious individuals are running out of reasons to use petroleum-based and synthetic moisturizers.
What is Shea Butter?
Shea butter is a luxurious ivory colored butter that is obtained from the nuts of the African Shea tree. Rich in Vitamins A, E, and F, shea butter is one of the most beneficial skin superfoods available today. It protects the skin from the sun's UV rays, and nourishes it with essential nutrients and fatty acids for optimal collagen production. It has been used in West Africa over thousands of years for both cosmetic and medicinal applications.
Origin of Shea Butter
The origins of Shea Butter go as far back as Cleopatra's Egypt, where it was carried in massive clay jars and used for cosmetic purposes. Not long after, the medicinal/healing benefits of Shea Butter were discovered in West Africa, making it a major trade item in the coastal regions — primarily exported to European markets and other parts of Africa. As global trade in Shea Butter increased over the years, its uses diversified into things like nasal decongestants and soaps. Today, it is one of the most valued ingredient used in skin care products.
Why is Shea Butter So Great?
One of the reasons behind Shea Butter popularity is its consistency. Solid at room temperature, it melts at body temperature and rapidly absorbs into the skin without that dreaded greasy feeling. Shea Butter doesn't clog your pores, or leave behind any messy residue.
Stretch Marks and Scars
When Victoria's Secret and Sports Illustrated model Marissa Miller became pregnant in 2013, she posed near-nude on a magazine cover, revealing a stretch mark-free bump and skin. She was quoted as saying that she used ultra-hydrating and moisture-locking ingredients, including shea butter, throughout her pregnancy to help prevent stretch marks from developing.
Other celebrities who were reported to have effectively kept off stretch marks with the help of Shea butter include Supermodel Molly Sims, and celebrity wife Hilaria Baldwin (wife of Actor Alec Baldwin). Actresses Alicia Silverstone and Taraji Henson also regularly user shea butter as a skin moisturizer.
The fact that Shea Butter has proven medicinal properties has helped make it one of the most sought-after natural plant oil ever. It has powerful emollient (soothing) and anti-inflammatory properties, and can be combined with essential oils to create a variety of healing ointments. It's no wonder that Shea Butter is one of the main ingredients in many of the products used to treat eczema, scars, wrinkles, psoriasis and other skin problems today.
Major Uses/Applications of Shea Butter
- Protects the skin from drying out ‘ when solid Shea Butter is applied on the skin, it melts at the skin's temperature and seals in the moisture. If applied before a long swim, Shea Butter will keep your skin soft and hydrated.
- Protects your skin from the sun ‘ while Shea Butter will not serve as a replacement to your sunscreen, it offers some protection (SPF-6) against exposure to UV rays. Great to use in the place of sunscreen before going for a quick trip outdoors.
- Baby skin care ‘ since Shea Butter is gentle and non-toxic, it is often used to care for a baby's skin. If you add a spoonful of Shea Butter to a baby's bath water, it'll help form a protective barrier on the skin to keep off moisture and environmental pollutants.
- Smooth-out wrinkled skin ‘ loss of the skin's structural protein (collagen) either due to sun exposure or aging is the main reason people have wrinkles. Shea Butter supports the production of collagen which helps get rid of wrinkles by keeping the skin moisturized and nourished.
- Reduce or prevent pregnancy-related stretch marks ‘ the intensity of stretch marks from pregnancy or weight gain/loss is determined by various factors (heredity, weight gain, size of the baby, etc.). However, by keeping your skin moisturized using Shea Butter, you can reduce (if not prevent) stretch marks.
- Reduce skin inflammation ‘ due to its anti-inflammatory properties, Shea Butter is used to normalize the skin. It is commonly used to eliminate eye bags, remove dark circles, and make the area around the eyes soft and smooth.
- Hair softening ‘ for centuries, native Africans have used Shea Butter to soften frizzy hair to make it more manageable. Shea Butter prevents the hair from drying out and turning brittle, which often happens in areas with hot, windy conditions.
Let us know why you love Shea Butter, and how you have used it to improve your skin and hair!