Best Shea Butter Hand Creams: What are they?
Shea butter is one of the most popular ingredients used in beauty products. It is obtained from the sap of the plant known as shea butyralde (Sebum vulgare). It comes from a tree native to Africa and Asia. Its name derives from its resemblance to a soft white soap. It is used in many types of cosmetics, shampoos, conditioners and other skin care products.
The main ingredient of shea butter is the fatty acid lanolin which makes it a good moisturizer. Other ingredients include vitamins A, E and B5; calcium sulfate; sodium hyaluronate; vitamin C; potassium hydroxide; aloe vera extract and others.
The amount of these ingredients varies depending on the product type. Some of them have anti-inflammatory properties.
In addition to its use in cosmetic products, it is also used as a food additive. It is often added to foods such as cheese, yogurt and ice cream.
It helps keep the dairy products firm and prevents rancidity. When used in cosmetics, it helps prevent breakage and keeps the product fresh longer. It also acts as a preservative since it inhibits bacterial growth.
How do they work? How does it protect my skin?
Shea butter is a natural and non-toxic substance which is why it is used in many skin care products. It helps prevent and treat dry skin, psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema, wrinkles and other signs of aging. It has high oxidative and rich emollient properties and doesn’t absorb into the skin easily.
It helps keep the skin hydrated and nourished by trapping water from the air or surrounding environment. It retains the natural moisture of the skin and keeps it supple.
This prevents dryness and keeps the skin flexible. It is also a good protective barrier against air pollution, especially in cold conditions.
Shea butter has been used for centuries in Africa for skin and hair care, as well as healing many types of wounds and cuts. It is used to soften leather, polish wood, prevent rust on metal objects and other household purposes.
What are the different types?
Shea butter is made by grinding the fruit of the shea tree and boiling it for several hours. It is then left to ferment and put in cloth bags where it is pressed to separate the butter from the oil. The final product is a yellow or ivory-colored substance with a distinct smell.
There are two main types of shea butter: raw and refined. The refined version has the smell and some of the natural nutrients removed.
It has a long shelf life and no color or odor. It is easier to work with since it is softer and has a more pliable texture.
Refined shea butter still has many benefits to the skin. It still retains all of its moisturizing properties which is why it is often used in cosmetics.
The raw shea butter has a shorter shelf life, is hard in consistency and has an odor. It is used in some natural skin care products since it has more of the nutrients and beneficial ingredients.
Uses of shea butter
Shea butter is used to relieve the symptoms of eczema, dermatitis, bruises, dry skin and other conditions. It helps protect the skin from the sun and prevents moisture loss.
It also helps relieve the symptoms of rosacea, boils and other skin irritations.
When used on the face, it can prevent wrinkles and keep the skin elastic. It is often used in hair care products to prevent dryness and brittleness.
It is used on the elbows, knees and ankles to soften the skin. Since it is an emollient, it prevents chaffing and rashes that come with exercise or weather conditions.
It also helps with the healing process of scars, wounds and stretch marks. It is often used in reducing friction in sports where the skin is prone to chaffing, such as running, cycling or long-distance walking
Shea butter is an edible product that has been used for cooking and medicinal purposes for hundreds of years. It is often used in lotions, creams, body butters, massage oils, candles and other cosmetic products.
It is a multipurpose product that can be used in the hair, face, body and skin. It has many health benefits such as treating skin problems, reducing signs of aging and promoting healthy looking skin.
It is absorbed into the dermis layer of the skin and doesn’t stain clothes or fabric.
It is a natural remedy that has been used for centuries without any recorded side effects.
Sources & references used in this article:
Shea butter: the nourishing properties of Africa’s best-kept natural beauty secret by WG Goreja – 2004 – books.google.com
Patient acceptability, efficacy, and skin biophysiology of a cream and cleanser containing lipid complex with shea butter extract versus a ceramide product for … by KL Hon, YC Tsang, NH Pong, VW Lee, NM Luk… – Hong Kong Med J, 2015 – hkmj.org
Sourcing shea butter in 2010: a sustainability check by PN Lovett – Global ingredients & formulations guide, 2010 – researchgate.net
Shea butter: Properties and processing for use in food by PN Lovett – Specialty Oils and Fats in Food and Nutrition, 2015 – Elsevier
Effects of topical and dietary use of shea butter on animals by MO Israel – Am J Life Sci, 2014 – researchgate.net
The contribution of shea butter (Vitellaria paradoxa CF Gaertner) to local livelihoods in Benin by K Schreckenberg – … , livelihoods and conservation. Case studies of …, 2004 – researchgate.net
Shea butter republic: State power, global markets, and the making of an indigenous commodity by B Chalfin – 2004 – books.google.com
Quality characteristics of West African shea butter (Vitellaria paradoxa) and approaches to extend shelf-life by HS Nahm – 2011 – rucore.libraries.rutgers.edu