8 Benefits of Shea Butter for Healthy Skin and Hair
Shea butter is a natural fat extracted from the shea tree nuts that grow widely in African savannah. The nutrients contained therein are good for skin and hair health. Shea butter can be used as a sunscreen for the treatment of dandruff.
To become shea butter, seeds from shea tree nuts will be processed into powder by drying, baking, and grinding. Next, the powder is boiled to produce oil.
The oil that appears on the surface of the water is then separated and cooled until it becomes solid like cream or butter. This butter can be used for cooking or processed into beauty products, such as soap, shampoo, conditioner, to skin moisturizers.
Ingredients and Benefits of Shea Butter for Skin and Hair
What makes shea butter one of the prima donna in skin and hair care products is the nutritional content in it. Shea butter contains anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antioxidant properties that protect the skin from free radicals, and is believed to be able to overcome a number of skin disorders.
The nutrients contained in shea butter include:
Vitamins A and E. These vitamins can increase circulation and growth of skin cells, and make skin healthier.
Essential fatty acids consist of linoleic, palmitic, stearic and oleic acids, to balance the oil content in the skin.
Triterpenes, tocopherols, phenols, and sterols, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Triglyceride fats, to maintain skin health.
Cetyl ester, which helps maintain skin moisture
Another advantage is that shea butter does not contain substances that have the potential to make skin dry and irritated, but also does not make oily skin, making it safe to use on all skin types.
The following are some of the benefits that can be obtained from using shea butter:
1. As a moisturizer and sunscreen
Shea butter can work as an emollient that can soften and moisturize dry skin. In addition, shea butter contains SPF (sun protection factor), so it can be used as an additional sunscreen to protect skin from sun exposure. But to increase protection against sunlight, you still have to use sunscreen.
2. Overcoming minor burns
The anti-inflammatory component of shea butter is believed to reduce redness and swelling. Its fatty acid component can also soothe minor burns, such as sunburn, by keeping the skin moist during the healing process.
3. Delay premature aging
The appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on the skin is a sign of premature aging. Shea butter can prevent premature aging because the content of triterpenes in it can maintain and increase collagen production which is important for skin elasticity. Meanwhile, vitamins A and E in shea butter can help the process of skin regeneration by stimulating the formation of new skin cells.
This combination of nutrients can prevent premature aging, and reduce fine lines and wrinkles on the skin, so the skin looks youthful.
4. Prevent and reduce stretch marks and keloids
The content of vitamins A and E in shea butter is known to moisturize and restore skin elasticity, so it can help prevent and reduce stretch marks. A study also showed that the content of essential fatty acids in shea butter can moisturize the skin while reducing keloid growth.
5. Prevent acne
Shea butter is rich in various types of essential fatty acids that can control excess oil production and restore and maintain skin moisture, so the skin is not dry and not oily. Balance the oil levels in the skin can prevent acne.
6. Treat skin infections
The nutritional content of shea butter is believed to be able to fight skin infections due to fungi, such as ringworm and water fleas. Shea butter is also often used to treat skin infections due to mites, such as scabies.
7. Overcoming inflammation in the skin
The anti-inflammatory component of shea butter is known to calm the skin and reduce the itching caused by eczema, atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. The results showed that shea butter can be used together with creams to treat eczema.
8. Treating dandruff
One way to treat dandruff is to restore moisture to the dry and irritated scalp. Now, a study shows that the combination of shea butter with other moisturizers can help reduce dandruff and risk of scaly skin.
There are 2 types of shea butter, namely refined and unrefined shea butter. Refined shea butter is shea butter that undergoes many screening processes, while unrefined shea butter is pure shea butter which does not undergo much filtering.
Keep in mind that the screening process can make shea butter lose some of its nutrients. So if you want to feel the maximum benefits, you should choose an unrefined shea butter product because the nutrients are still awake.
Even though it is considered safe for all skin types, you can still experience the risk of irritation or allergy to shea butter. So if a complaint appears on the skin or hair after using shea butter, stop using it immediately and consult a doctor.