Discover all the shea butter benefits for your skin and hair and how best to use it to enhance your beauty…
Shea butter has quickly become one of the favorite natural moisturizers around the world. Its light, creamy texture (when melted for a lotion or whipped into a body butter), faint nutty scent and superb skincare qualities made it popular amongst women of all ages and skin types. Shea butter is gentle enough for sensitive baby skin, nourishing and rejuvenating for aging skin, deeply moisturizing, healing and soothing.
Shea or karite butter is derived from the nut of the African Shea tree. Raw shea butter is yellowish. It is solid at room temperature, but melts at body temperature, which helps the skin to easily absorb it. Shea butter benefits are known and appreciated worldwide and today this butter is the main part of many cosmetic products, both commercial and homemade.
Shea butter benefits the skin in many ways. You can find down below all the amazing benefits you can get from it, why it is so good for you and how to make some of the best DIY products using Shea butter.
How Shea Butter Benefits Your Skin and Hair
Shea Butter benefits come from its high content of fatty acids. It contains oleic, stearic, linoleic and palmitic acid in pretty high concentrations. It is also packed with vitamins A, E and F.
Shea butter is widely used for treating a number of skin and hair conditions, and with a good reason. Here are 15 ways shea butter benefits your skin and hair:
Shea Butter Benefits for Skin:
- Shea butter is an amazing moisturizer. It easily penetrates the skin, providing even deeper layers with moisture and nutrients.
- Shea butter contains phenolic compounds, which act as antioxidants and protect your skin from free radicals. This prevents premature aging signs.
- This butter also treats wrinkles and fine lines. It encourages collagen production and improves the skin’s elasticity.
- The fact that it improves collagen production and the skin’s elasticity, its deep-moisturizing properties, as well as the fact it is very gentle and suitable for sensitive skin, make it perfect for preventing and treating pregnancy stretch marks.
- Shea butter benefits include mild sun protection and soothing and replenishing the skin after sun exposure.
- Raw, unrefined shea butter has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that can help with acne and acne scars.
- Its anti-inflammatory and healing properties help in soothing insect bites, sunburns or post-shaving bumps.
- In addition to being very gentle to the skin, shea butter has very powerful calming and moisturizing properties. It can even be used to soothe dermatitis and eczema.
- Shea butter is suitable for all skin types, including very sensitive skin.
- Regular application of shea butter can give you soft, smooth, well-moisturized skin, firm and supple and youthfully radiant.
Shea Butter Benefits for Hair:
- First and foremost, shea butter benefits the hair by moisturizing and soothing the scalp. It helps in treating and preventing dry, itchy scalp, scalp psoriasis and dandruff.
- By conditioning the scalp, shea butter also makes the hair follicles stronger. That way, it reduces hair loss and gives you thick, healthy hair.
- Shea butter is a great natural hair conditioner that moisturizes and nourishes your hair and makes it shiny and beautiful.
- It regenerates the hair, deals with split ends and prevents breakage.
- Shea butter repairs damaged hair, restores it and protects it from future damages.
Want to try out all these shea butter benefits on your own skin? Here are the best shea butter products you can make at home:
1. Shea Butter, Aloe Vera and Honey Face Mask
- 1 tablespoon shea butter
- 2 teaspoons aloe vera gel
- 1 teaspoon of honey
This is one of the most nourishing face masks out there. The combination of honey, aloe vera gel and shea butter benefits your skin in more than one way. Their hydrating, moisturizing, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties make this mask capable to pamper and soothe even the driest skin.
Put the shea butter and honey into a small bowl. Keep it in a warm place (like near a hot stove) for a while; it will soften pretty fast and then it will be easier to mix everything. When it softens, add the aloe vera gel and mix it all well.
Apply the mask to a clean face, preferably after a scrub. Leave the mask on for 20 – 30 minutes, then rinse it off and apply a moisturizer.
2. Shea Butter Body Scrub
- ½ cup shea butter
- 1 tablespoon castor or sweet almond oil
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 5 – 8 drops jasmine essential oil
Whip the shea butter and castor or sweet almond oil to get a fluffy consistency. (If you put it in a warm place for a while, it will be easier to whip it.) Add both white and brown sugar and the essential oil and mix it all well.
Transfer your shea butter body scrub to a clean, dry glass container and keep it in a cool, dry place. Use it twice a week during your shower. Gently exfoliate your whole body with it, especially the dry parts. Then wash it off using a mild shower gel and apply a moisturizer while your skin is still damp. That way, you’ll lock the moisture in and your moisturizer will sink into the skin much better.
3. Nourishing Shea Butter Hand Cream
Shea butter benefits your nails, cuticles and hands as much as it benefits the rest of your skin. This amazing, nourishing hand cream can treat dry, irritated, even cracked hands, hands that are often exposed to cleaning products and mild to moderate dermatitis.
- 2/3 cup shea butter
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 2 – 3 tablespoons honey
- 15 – 20 drops lavender essential oil
- 5 – 10 drops tea tree essential oil
In a double boiler, melt the shea butter, coconut oil and honey. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the essential oils. Stir occasionally until the mixture cools down a bit. When it starts to thicken but is still runny and soft, whip it until you get your preferred consistency (the more you whip it, the fluffier it gets). Transfer the mixture to an airtight glass container. Use it like you would any other hand cream.
4. Homemade Lotion for Dry Body Skin
If you’ve never made a DIY body lotion before, this is exactly where you should start. The recipe for it you can find here. It is a luxurious lotion, suitable for all skin types and super easy to make.
The recipe combines shea butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil and sweet almond oil – all very moisturizing and soothing, full of quality fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants. All in all – a real treat for your skin.
5. Whipped DIY Body Butter
Whipped body butters have gained a huge popularity due to their creamy, fluffy consistency and amazing moisturizing capacities. They are light and soft, gorgeous smelling and completely customizable.
Here’s where you can find the recipe for this amazing Whipped DIY Body Butter. It combines citrusy sweet orange essential oil with the sweetness of vanilla, which makes a warm, comforting and kind of exotic scent. (Of course, you can just use your favorite combination.) A huge advantage of this whipped body butter is that you don’t have to melt anything, so all the qualities of the ingredients are maximally preserved.
6. Shea Butter Lip Balm
Did you know that shea butter benefits your lips as well? This DIY lip balm is all you need to heal cracked lips, moisturize them, protect them from harsh weather and make them incredibly soft and smooth. Once you try it out, you’ll never buy a lip balm again.
- 2 teaspoons shea butter
- 1 teaspoon jojoba oil
- ½ – 1 teaspoon beeswax
- 5 – 8 drops tangerine essential oil
Melt the shea butter and beeswax in a double boiler. When it’s all melted, add the jojoba oil and remove from the heat. Add the essential oil, mix well and pour the mixture into a small jar. Leave it to cool down. Use your shea butter lip balm as often as you can.
7. Shea Butter Hair Pack
This hair pack is especially suitable for dry, damaged hair. It repairs the hair from root to tips, deep-moisturizes it, makes it healthy, shiny and vibrant and promotes the hair growth.
- 2 tablespoons shea butter
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 2 – 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
You may have to adjust the ingredients’ amounts, depending on the length of your hair.
Melt the shea butter on a low heat. Add the olive and avocado oil, stir well and remove from the heat. Let it cool down a little bit, then add the Greek yogurt and mix it in. Use it the same way you use any other hair pack.