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Shea butter is derived from the Karite tree which predominantly grows in Central Africa. The nuts inside the fruits of the Karite tree contain shea butter. These nuts need to be boiled and crushed in order to extract the fat, which is popularly called shea butter. Since the ingredient is edible, it has been commonly used in food preparations for ages. Over the years, it also gained popularity as a skin care ingredient because of the vast benefits that it has to offer to the skin. The use of shea butter for skin care was glamorized by the Egyptian Queen Nefertiti, who believed that its wonders were the main reason behind her flawless and glowing look. As science evolved, shea butter also found a place in modern-day shampoos, cosmetics, skin care products, lotions and moisturizers. Vine Vera examines how shea butter manages to keep your skin soft and moisturized.
The main components found in shea butter include stearic acid, oleic acid and linoleic acid. Shea butter can also be used in a refined or unrefined state on the skin. Unrefined shea butter is considered to be the purest form of the ingredient because of its least processed and most natural state. Moreover, since the ingredient is extracted manually, it manages to retain most of its minerals, vitamins and nutrients. This ensures that the ingredient gets quickly absorbed into the skin and works its wonders from within.
The main reason why shea butter is revered in the world of skin care is its ability to hydrate, balance and soothe the skin. It can easily be used as a moisturizer to treat skin conditions such as eczema and also suits people with dry skin or sensitive skin. It helps in healing chapped and cracked heels, lips, knees and elbows as well.
According to the American Shea Butter Institute, it is essential to ensure that raw and unrefined shea butter is used in the ingredient formulation. Raw shea butter manages to retain its therapeutic qualities and this ensures that the skin stays supple, soft and moist. On the other hand, processed shea butter loses most of its healing properties. This is why you need to ensure that you choose products that are manufactured by the top skin care brands and use natural ingredients in their product formulations.
Shea butter is also famous as an anti-aging ingredient. People have used this ingredient to treat lines and wrinkles for centuries. Since the ingredient is rich in vitamins A and E as well as essential fatty acids, it manages to boost the suppleness and elasticity of your skin. According to a study that was conducted by Frank Renard, shea butter displayed excellent anti-aging properties which helped in rejuvenating and rebuilding collagen. The participants of this study were asked to use the ingredient as a balm and massage it on their skin for 4 – 8 months. The results confirmed that the ingredient could bring about brighter and less wrinkled skin.
Other benefits of adding shea butter into your skin care regimen include reducing acne breakouts, fading out of scars, healing sunburns, soothing skin allergies and reducing conditions such as psoriasis and dermatitis.