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Shea Butter the Moisturizer

Updated on November 23, 2014
Shea butter is found in products ranging from lotions to lip balm to wipes.
Shea butter is found in products ranging from lotions to lip balm to wipes. | Source

Shea Butter has gained a great deal of popularity in recent years, particularly for its wondrous effects on skin and hair.

Derived from the nut of the West African Karite tree, shea butter (Butyrospermum Parkii Seed Butter) has been used for centuries by Africans for its natural abilities to moisturize skin and soften hair. The Karite tree typically doesn’t produce its first fruit until it is about 25 years old. The fruits of the Shea Butter tree resemble large plums, measuring approximately 3-6 cm.

It is estimated that Africa produces 1.7 million tons of raw shea nuts per year while harvesting and processing 600,000 tons for exports as shea butter or nuts.

Shea butter is a skin protectant and revitalizer.
Shea butter is a skin protectant and revitalizer. | Source

Shea Butter Use on Skin

Many Africans use shea butter for their skin as it functions as both a protectant and revitalizing agent. When applied to the skin, shea butter actually creates a membrane over the skin's surface, protecting it from environmental effects like climate that can lead to dryness while maintaining moisture levels in the skin. Shea butter may offer some protection from weather related effects on skin such as UV rays from the sun as well as frostbite related to extreme cold.

Packed with vitamin A and vitamin E, this substance has the ability to restore elasticity and tone. Studies have shown that shea butter is good for the following conditions:

  • Burns

  • Eczema

  • Wrinkles

  • Psoriasis

  • Skin discolorations

This powerful butter may also help expedite wound healing.

Shea butter is highly effective on hair that is dry and brittle.
Shea butter is highly effective on hair that is dry and brittle. | Source

Shea Butter Use for Hair

Shea butter is a natural conditioner for hair but is also now a common ingredient in shampoos and conditioners. It has been reported to be highly effective for dry scalp and can be beneficial to hair that is dry and brittle. Shea butter has properties that help to aid in detangling hair while acting as a moisturizer. It has the ability to soften ends while strengthening hair.

© 2014 Mahogany Speaks

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