If shea butter sounds familiar to you, it’s probably because you’ve seen this incredible-smelling ingredient in your fav body lotions and creams. Although you may have heard the phrase, you likely don’t know what this miracle butter is derived from. The answer to that is the karite tree, otherwise known as the shea tree, which is native to West Africa. More specifically, shea butter comes from shea tree nuts. The exterior of the nut is brown, but crack one open and the dark outer layer quickly gives way to a creamy, off-white centre. It is this spreadable interior that is
incorporated into various skincare products in order to give your skin a major boost of moisture.
To learn more about the specific benefits that shea butter can have on your skin, keep reading!
Learning where shea butter comes from is one thing, but learning how it’s made is something else entirely. As mentioned above, shea butter is extracted from the nuts of the shea tree. At room temperature, the fatty oil that lives inside each nut exists as a solid. To create shea butter, the nuts are crushed and boiled to produce a pale fat. This smoother, softer state makes the ingredient much easier to apply to your skin. But rest assured, all of its amazing properties are fully retained during this process!
Now for the good part, AKA what exactly shea butter can do for your skin! First off, shea butter is proven to have extremely powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Thus, if you suffer from skin conditions like rosacea or dermatitis, you have to try shea butter. With continued use, products with this ingredient should have serious calming effects on the skin, reducing redness and puffiness in one fell swoop. It can even help calm redness or swelling that is caused by sunburns, scrapes, or rashes. Secondly, shea butter moisturises your skin like it’s nobody’s business. Its high fat content makes it a top-notch emollient and humectant, locking in moisture
and helping your skin stay hydrated for long periods of time. The fatty oil also works wonders when it comes to softening skin. It is able to penetrate the skin easily without clogging pores, which is why it is so effective as a treatment for dry, cracked, or scaly skin. Last but certainly not least, shea butter has anti-aging properties! That’s right, it’s an anti-inflammatory, natural moisturiser, and an anti-aging agent - what can’t shea butter do? How it works is the application
of shea butter on the skin stimulates the production of collagen and decreases the breakdown of collagen already present. In essence, it helps promote skin cell regeneration. The result is reducing the appearance of wrinkles and preventing future wrinkles or fine lines. How can you work this exotic ingredient into your skincare routine? Look for moisturisers, creams, lip balms, and body lotions, as these are the most common products containing shea butter.
Guess what? You can enjoy the triple threat that is shea butter without having to worry about the side effects! That’s because shea butter is incredibly low risk (in fact, allergic reactions to the ingredient are extremely rare). Even those with severe nut allergies find that they have no issues with shea butter. But as with all new ingredients, do a patch test or consult your dermatologist before moving to regular use.