Shea butter (Butyrospermum Parkii) is the fat extracted from the nut of Africa Shea tree (Vitellaria Paradoxa). It is often used in cooking and believed to help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
The Skin Benefits of Shea Butter
Widely used in cosmetic and skincare products, shea butter is an excellent moisturiser especially for dry, sensitive and ageing skin. Numerous studies highlighted the benefits of shea butter for skin such as:
Shea butter helps protect your skin against sun damage
It contains a substance called cinnamic acidin, which helps protect your skin against uv damage. It has been reported that the uv protection level of shea butter is between SPF 3 and 4.
Shea butter strengthens your skin's barrier function
Rich in fatty acids, shea butter has an excellent moisturising properties. A study showed that it is superior to mineral oil at preventing transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Another study reported that shea butter is better than vaseline for the treatment of dry skin.
Shea butter helps protect your skin from environmental stress and irritation
Shea butter contains vitamin E and other antioxidants that help soothe and protect your skin from environmental stress and irritation. A study showed that it is beneficial for eczema sufferers too.
Due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, shea butter helps slow down the appearance of signs of ageing. Several studies highlighted the skin regenerating and softening effects of shea butter.
Cosmetic uses of Shea Butter
I like to use shea butter as one of the moisturising ingredients especially for dry or ageing skin. It is one of the main ingredients in 24k Gold & Rosehip Rejuvenating Cream. If you have dry sensitive skin which is prone to premature ageing, you will love this fragrance-free rich moisturiser. This luxurious cream helps my skin to stay supple, smooth and radiant throughout the winter. It also contains 24-karat nano particle gold, rice bran and rosehip oil to help protect your skin from environmental stress and ageing.
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Sources: Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2018 Jan: 19(1): 70; Influence of climate on the tocopherol content of shea butter, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2004 May 19: 52(10): 2934-7.