If you walk down the aisles of your local beauty store or superstore, you’ll likely notice a number of products that use shea butter as a main ingredient. Shea butter is especially popular in hair care products, and for good reason! It provides hair with a range of benefits, including hydration.
Shea butter is also increasing in popularity as an ingredient in skincare. With creams, lotions, and serums using shea butter in their formulas, there’s never been a better time to find the right shea butter product for you!
Before jumping into it, let’s break down all the benefits of shea butter for your skin and how you can use it to nourish and promote skin health.
What Is Shea Butter?
Do you experience dry skin that flakes? Do you experience skin redness from dryness or have signs of aging like wrinkles and fine lines? Does your skin need more moisture? If so, you might benefit from using shea butter in your skincare routine.
Shea butter is a butter derived from shea tree nuts. It’s fatty and is processed into a cream-like textured spread that can be directly applied to the skin or included in products. Shea tree nuts are native to desert-like regions in West Africa and can withstand extreme heat and dry climates. This butter is rich in lipids and energy and can be consumed for nutrients as well.
Shea butter is rich in fatty acids, vitamins A and E, and soothing properties that help make skin soft, moisturized, and soothed. Many skincare experts also believe raw shea butter has benefits for toning, conditioning, and improving the appearance of the skin on your face, as well as reducing the appearance of pores.
The Skincare Benefits of Shea Butter
While shea butter has a range of benefits from hair care to physical health and nutrition, here are some of the most popular shea butter benefits when included in a skincare routine.
If you deal with skin irritation, redness, swelling, sensitivity, and other skin discomfort, shea butter can help calm these symptoms thanks to its soothing properties. Shea butter helps soothe a variety of irritating conditions to promote comfort and relief.
Reduces Signs of Aging
While this benefit needs more research to be fully understood, shea butter is known for helping to reduce signs of aging. Shea butter can help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots associated with aging.
Some experts believe that shea butter’s benefits come from its ability to support the firmer, more supple-looking skin, with an overall more youthful looking complexion.
This helps strengthen skin and promote overall skin health.
Shea butter contains a high amount of lipids, making it an excellent emollient. An emollient is simply a product that hydrates skin and supports the moisture barrier. In other words, shea butter helps seal in moisture and keep dryness out.
If you experience dry skin, you know how frustrating it can be. You might experience redness, flaky skin, irritation, or increased sensitivity. You may even experience dry skin that causes pain. While some products promise hydration, they often contain ingredients that aren’t powerful enough to reduce some of the damage from severe dryness.
This is where shea butter comes in! Shea butter has powerful properties that offer deep hydration for dry skin and help soothe irritation and sensitivity. Whether you have dry skin on your face, your elbows, your knees, or in another area, shea butter can be used to offer deep relief and long-lasting moisture.
Research shows that shea butter contains powerful UV-B absorbers. These can serve to add sun protection to your skincare routine while also offering the vast range of other shea butter benefits for your skin!
Shea butter’s mild sun-protecting abilities are due to the vitamins that can be found in the fat. Vitamins A and Vitamins E are in Shea tree nuts and are able to protect skin against sun damage and help improve skin elasticity. Of course, it’s still important to wear regular sunscreen while using shea butter!
Another way shea butter protects the skin is by combating oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is the damage caused by free radicals. Our bodies encounter free radicals via pollution, chemicals, smoke, some foods, and other toxins we encounter on a daily basis. When these free radicals are consumed in excess, this leads to oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress can lead to a variety of negative health benefits, including increased aging and damage to the skin. Shea butter contains antioxidants that help combat free radicals and undo the effects of oxidative stress in the body and on the skin! Whether you want to protect your skin from the sun or from free radicals, shea butter is a great tool to have in your skincare arsenal.
Can Help Reduce Blemishes
Another benefit of shea butter is that it can help treat acne and heal pimples, blemishes, and acne scars. Blemishes can be caused by a variety of factors. Shea butter contains many fatty acids such as oleic, palmitic, stearic, and linolenic acids that are oil-soluble and help reduce blemish-prone skin.
Reduces Razor Bumps
Shea butter is also known to reduce razor bumps when shaving. Due to clogged or ingrown hair follicles, improper exfoliation, or even dull razors, razor bumps can occur and leave your skin feeling irritated after shaving. Shea butter is smooth and moisturizes skin while also making hair smoother and easier to shave.
Simply use shea butter before shaving or in the place of shaving cream to make shaving easier and smoother, so you’ll experience fewer razor bumps and irritation at the end.
Reduces the Appearance of Stretch Marks
Your body does a lot. On top of keeping you healthy, your body helps regulate thousands of processes, hormones, and functions. We hope you’ve come to appreciate all that your body does for you. Sometimes stretch marks are a result of your body taking care of you, and that’s okay!
However, if you’re looking for a way to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, shea butter is a great option! It supports firmer, more supple-looking skin, hydrates skin, and helps heal skin.
ALSO with Shea Butter
Now that we’ve gone over the benefits of shea butter for skin, you’re probably wondering where to start. It can be overwhelming to look for a new skincare product, especially if you’ve never used shea butter before.
Luckily, at Journ, we packed our ALSO moisturizer with all the goodness of Shea Butter, Hibiscus, and Jojoba. These ingredients offer deep hydration from vitamins A and E, protection for the moisture barrier of the skin, alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) that promote skin cell turnover, relief for dry skin, soothing properties that nourish skin and help reduce chapped skin and hands.
It not only moisturizes, but it also sanitizes to the CDC’s guidelines. Simply rub a pea-sized amount on your hands until dry and repeat as often as desired.
Are There Any Side Effects to Shea Butter?
When using a new skincare product, it’s important to ask whether or not there are any side effects. Even if the side effects are small, being prepared and knowing the signs can make a big difference. Many wonder if shea butter may produce allergic reactions when used on the face.
Most experts conclude that allergic reactions to shea butter are highly unlikely as even those allergic to tree nuts have a low risk of reacting to shea butter used on the face. However, it’s important to be careful when using products with shea butter if you have a known tree nut allergy or suspect one. Simply keep an eye on your skin after using shea butter and monitor how your skin reacts. You can even do a patch test if you’re concerned about a severe reaction!
Sweeten Up Your Routine With Shea Butter
Using shea butter in your skin routine is a simple way to ensure your skin is hydrated, protected, nourished, and soothed from irritation and dryness. If you’re not sure what kind of shea butter you want to use or which skincare products are right for you to begin with, don’t panic!
If you’re looking to include shea butter in your routine along with your ALSO Daily Moisturizer and Santizer, we’ve got a few suggestions. Check out The Body Shop’s Shea Body Butter or the Bliss Naked Body Butter to truly treat your skin. These products will work together to give you the soft, moisturized skin that you’ve always wanted.
At Journ, we understand how important it is to take care of your skin, which is why we use ingredients like shea butter.
Shea Nut | ECHO Community
Effects of Topical and Dietary Use of Shea Butter on Animals | Science Publishing Group