Medically reviewed by Minimalist Health Specialist - Written by Aheli Sen (Fashion & Beauty Expert) on 06th Jan 2021
How Using Shea Butter Can Transform Your Skin
As the winters roll in and the dryness is at its peak, people with dry skin are out and about in search of that perfect body wash, lotion, soap bar, cream, yogurt, body butter, shampoo, conditioner, hair mask, face mask and more that will help their skin from peeling. Everyone is searching for something that will keep their skin smooth and moisturized for an entire day.
This is where the glorified product of dry skin, shea butter, comes in, which is often classified as one of those famous ingredients for helping dry skin. And it took the western world by a storm before its fame spread globally.
Shea butter is sourced from the shea tree, known as the "Tree of Life" or the karite tree, and the butter sourced from it often termed as "Mother Nature's Conditioner." The scientific name for the shea tree is Vitellaria paradoxa. It is mostly found in West Africa.
Shea butter has the quality to nourish and moisturize the skin as it is concentrated with fatty acids and vitamins. It also helps heal and soothe inflamed skin. It has the best consistency that makes it easy to apply as it is extremely easy to spread and soaks into the skin easily.
The main components of shea butter are as follows:
- Linoleic acid helps build ceramides on the skin; the element that helps skin retain its moisture levels. It is also an element that helps prevent the skin from breaking out.
- Oleic acid helps restore oil levels in the skin without forming the bacteria mesh with dead skin cells that cause acne. It is also the best for treating aged skin that is extremely dry and helps replenish the skin's hydration levels, making the skin plump and smooths out fine lines and wrinkles.
- Stearic acid – This is the shea butter element that gives it the smooth easy to spread texture. It is also the element that helps remove dirt, bacteria, and other harmful substances that explain how shea butter could prevent acne formation.
- Palmitic acid – Palmitic acid has low surface tension allowing it to wash away both grease and dirt when combined with water. It is extremely useful in making any form of washes, body, or hair, and thus the fact that shea butter is loaded with this fantastic element makes it a great moisturizing cleanser.
- Vitamin A – It helps the skin hydrate better by helping it heal and giving it an illuminating effect. It also helps heal and prevent the formation of breakouts. This is the third element present in shea butter that prevents the skin from breaking out.
- Vitamin E – It is an extremely powerful antioxidant. It helps fight free radicals, making skin look more radiant than before. It also is an extremely moisturizing element for the skin that also nourishes the skin from deep within.
- Vitamin F – It helps reduce inflammation. It also helps the skin have a healthy cell function by ensuring that the skin does not lose excess water. It helps heal and build the skin's barrier, and much like linoleic acid, it helps the skin retain its hydration levels, keeping it soft and supple.
- Tryglicerides – It helps repair the skin's barrier from losing moisture content, locking moisture in.
All of the ingredients mentioned above have an important functioning to contribute to the nourishment that shea butter provides.
The Benefits of Shea Butter for Skin:
- Moisturizer extraordinaire - well, we are all here for this property. The nourishing vitamins and the barrier making elements like triglycerides make shea butter an excellent moisturizer. It helps the skin look, feel, and actually get really nourished and well moisturized. It also makes sure that it helps the skin heal and repair and create new barriers to help the skin maintain the moisture levels it has just provided it with. It locks the moisture in place, making sure that there is no loss of either the hydration or the skin's oil levels.
- Anti-ageing properties – what happens when an ingredient of your product imparts extreme hydration? It plumps up the skin, which smoothens the fine lines, crow lines, and wrinkles on the skin, making the skin look and feel younger. It also helps the skin from premature aging by keeping dry skin hydrated and not letting it crease from the lack of or loss of its moisture levels.
- Antioxidant – the free radicals create a negative effect on the skin. It damages the skin that paves the way to the formation of hyperpigmentation, line, and wrinkles. Free radicals are formed from many things like the polluted environment around us, constant smoking or drinking habits, etc. All these factors damage the skin and dry it out, resulting in sunspots, age spots, and aging lines. Shea butter contains vitamins that fight these radicals and ensure that the skin isn't damaged as badly as it would be without it under the sun or in a polluted environment.
- Reduces and prevents breakouts – shea butter is known for its healing properties. The presence of fatty acids like linoleic acid, oleic acid, stearic acid, and palmitic acid means that it can mix with water to flush out both excess oil or grease and dirt as has been explained before. Why does this happen? When mixed with water, this happens because these acids start showing soap-like qualities that help the skin keep its slate clean, which prevents the skin from breaking out. How does that happen again? Well, when there is no excess oil on the skin and the skin is well exfoliated, there is no excess oil to bind dead skin cells or dead skin cells to bind itself with the excess oil and let it turn it into a breeding ground for bacteria to manifest the cause of skin breaking out into lesions.
- All skin types – shea butter is cool to use even for sensitive skin and other skin types. With its healing properties and soothing and calming capacities, shea butter makes for an excellent moisturizer for all. It does not make the skin feel extremely oily for oily skin and helps combat breakouts by controlling excess oil levels. It also helps people with dry skin get nourished and moisturized while locking in this moisture by repairing the skin's natural barrier and making a ceramide to help retain moisture content. This tells us that it is perfect for all skin types as it has something to offer all.
- Radiance – shea butter helps the skin regain its cell turnover. When we are younger, the skin can exfoliate on its own to bring out new skin and dispose of the old dead skin cells. As we grow older, our skin had no more ability to do just this. This is when we need external exfoliating agents to help the skin regenerate. Shea butter helps the skin trigger this regeneration technique and helps the new skin to the surface. New skin always looks fresh and illuminated. This is how shea butter helps give the skin its natural radiance.
- Soothing – shea butter, being an excellent soothing agent, can be used to treat skin if it gets damaged from the sun or other environmental conditions like pollution and skin diseases like psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis, etc.
The Last Word
As can be easily made out, shea butter, even though it is beneficial for its moisturizing capacity, is extremely good at healing, soothing, calming, exfoliating, creating a barrier, and nourishing the skin that no one is breaking into hives or breaking out. From the above article, it can be figured out that shea butter is an all-rounder and is great overall for the skin.