Raw Shea Butter: Benefits and Ways to Use It
There is a load of beauty products that claim wonders on the skin that it is challenging to find one that actually works. Moreover, it is difficult to find one product that does everything for the skin. Save yourself from the trouble and use raw shea butter instead. Here is what there is to know about this wonder product and how to use it as well.
What Is Shea Butter?
Shea butter originates from the produce of the Karite (Shea) tree, particularly its seeds. It is creamy and ivory or off-white. This superfood for the skin is packed with vitamins such as F, E, and A. It is also rich in fatty acids and nutrients vital in the production of collagen. Moreover, it contains UV protection and anti-inflammatory properties.
This product has a long history of use in Africa for improving hair and skin. As for its use in medicine, it is utilized as a treatment for leprosy and care for wounds.
Benefits of Shea Butter
Moisturizes the Skin
Due to its high concentration of fatty acids and vitamins, this product is perfect for moisturizing and nourishing the skin. It is also an excellent tonic for dehydrated skin and helps protect the natural oils present on the skin.
Cinnamic acid found in this product is said to be anti-inflammatory. Moreover, another compound present in shea butter is lupeol cinnamate. This helps reduce inflammation and avoids mutations of the skin.
Smoothens Skin and Fights Wrinkles
The linoleic, palmitic, stearic, and oleic acids in this product help in protecting and nourishing the skin. It also helps in collagen production. The long-term use of shea butter leads to smoothening and softening of the skin. Moreover, it dramatically reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
Fades Stretch Marks
Laser treatments are a proven way to reduce stretch marks. However, users claim that this product helps fade the appearance of stretch marks. This is no surprise given the number of nutrients contained in the product.
Boost Antioxidants in Skin
This product is rich in vitamins E and A. Also, it is rich in catechins, and plant antioxidants that fight the effects of unstable molecules also called free radicals. Furthermore, the cinnamic acid esters present in the product help prevent skin damage caused by ultraviolet rays.
Clears Nasal Congestion
According to a study by the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, this product is effective in treating nasal congestion. It is better than nasal drops.
Despite it being a low-risk topical ingredient, this product may cause an allergic reaction, though rare. Shea nuts where the product is extracted may trigger an allergy for people allergic to tree nuts.
Moreover, the creamy and thick consistency of this product may be comedogenic for some. It may clog pores and lead to an exacerbation of acne, especially for those who have sensitive or acne-prone skin.
How to Use It
While a lot of other do-it-yourself recipes claim melting it before use, here are a few other ways to use it in your regimen.
On Its Own
There is no need to melt or warm the product since it dissolves at body temp. The skin quickly absorbs the product leaving it looking radiant and supple. To use it on its own, grab a pea-sized portion, blend it with your fingers, and massage it onto the face. Always start applying the product on the cheeks and work your way upwards and outwards.
Warm or Melt It
At low heat, this product will quickly melt. The warmed product should be applied as soon as possible on the skin, especially if you wish to utilize its anti-inflammatory properties. It works best on itchy skin. A warmed product also helps in exfoliating dry skin by softening the dead skin on the surface.
You can melt the product in two ways: one, use a microwave; two, place the product in a bowl or glass jar and put it in a pan with hot water. As for warming the product, there are also two ways to do it. One is to place it in an area with direct sunlight. Another is to leave the product in a bowl and put it in hot water.
When a product is left at room temperature, it goes back to its solid-state. If you want it that way, then leaving it as is should be fine. However, if you want it to stay in its liquid form and use it as a serum, then a carrier or base oil should be added. Grapeseed or safflower oil should do. Mix the carrier oil with the product, and it will stay in its liquid form.
For an anti-aging serum made with shea butter, two tablespoons and a tablespoon of the base oil is mixed. Two to five drops of essential oil that are anti-aging is added. Store the mixture in a dropper bottle. Massage three to five drops on the face every night.
For the hard and large chunks of the product, mashing it with a fork should help. If you wish to use it as a hair treatment, then mix the mashed product with a base oil. One tablespoon of coconut or argan oil should do. A large amount requires a big chunk of the product. So, if you are up for the workout, then this method should do.
Blend or Whip It
You will need a blender or an electric mixer with this method. The end product should be fluffy in consistency. Blended or whipped shea butter is excellent for body butter, lotions, and facial creams. Just add a base oil such as aloe vera or coconut oil. It is vital that you warm or melt the product before blending or whipping it.
Shopping for Raw Shea Butter
Grade A or unrefined is most preferred. This means that it has few additives. As for its consistency, unrefined is greasier and harder. It will only soften when it is warmed. The color ranges from yellow to off-white. If it is white, then it has most likely been refined.