Shea butter is one of those superpower ingredients that you see pretty much everywhere—it’s even used to enrich toilet paper! Shampoos, conditioners, body butters, lotions and soaps often contain the solid fatty oil as both an emollient and super-moisturizer. It plays well with other ingredients, setting the stage for skin and body care that’s incredibly effective. But why is it such a top-notch base for some of your favorite products (including our Nourish Night Balm and our Organic Body Butters)? For these five reasons.
1. Shea butter is nourishing.
Because its composition is very similar to the natural oils our skin produces on its own, shea butter can be more easily absorbed, and can help moisturize more effectively than other types of butters. It can actually help to open cells, drawing moisture in. That means it’s helpful in supporting dry skin, and can help dehydrated skin rebalance itself more easily, making it a cold-weather ingredient staple.
2. Shea butter can help reduce inflammation.
You know that red, itchy skin that can result from too much dry heat or a drop in the temperature? Shea butter can help skin recover due to the fact that it’s rich in the compound lupeol cinnamate, which has been found to help reduce inflammation. Topically, that translates to calmer, smoother skin—and also makes shea butter a tool in soothing blemishes and irritation like rashes, razor burn and chaffing. It can even be used as part of a regime to help treat symptoms of skin conditions like eczema.
3. Shea butter protects skin.
Shea butter is high in plant antioxidants that can help prevent free radical damage to skin, which can make dull, dry and lackluster skin appear more plump. Vitamins A and E, as well as catechin, a compound abundant in shea, tea and berries, can help combat both environmental damage (like sun exposure) and help protect skin from ultraviolet radiation. Natural, unrefined shea butter even contains its own natural SPF!
4. Shea butter promotes well aging.
As we have the privilege of getting older, the composition of our skin changes because our hormones shift. Part of that process includes the slowing down of the production of natural collagen, the component that keeps skin looking plump and bouncy. Shea butter contains oleic, stearic, palmitic and linolenic acids that can help nourish and balance skin to prevent drying. When our skin is hydrated, it appears brighter—hydrated skin is the true key to a coveted glow. Shea butter can help boost that glow, and soften and strengthen skin’s natural process, resulting in a plumper smoother appearance.
5. Shea butter can help reduce pain.
Shea is more than just a powerful moisturizing agent. It’s been used in African countries, where the nut it comes from originates, for topical pain relief. It’s believed to reduce muscle aches and rheumatism by stimulating the elimination of toxins from muscles. Translation? It’s a perfect conduit for at-home massage or post-workout application to help calm sore muscles.
With its skin repairing and nourishing properties, shea butter should be a staple in your regime. Try it in our Nourish Face Balm for a skin-soothing ritual, or use it all over with our Body Butters, which use shea butter as their base. Your skin will thank you for it!