Just how good is Shea butter for wrinkles?
Shea butter is very effective in diminishing facial lines due to its moisturizing properties, but it has other uses too.
Before we learn about its beauty uses and skin care recipes let's find out more about this excellent natural ingredient.
What exactly is Shea butter?
Shea Butter has been Africa’s answer to problems relating to the skin and the scalp for several centuries now.
It is a result of extraction of the Shea nuts, which is a product of the Karite tree which grows wild in abundance on the west coast of African countries like Ghana, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso and Chad.
The tree itself grows to a great height and takes 40 to 50 years to mature to bear the tiny almond-shaped fruit.
Most African countries have banned the destruction of the Shea tree for the economic and health benefits it gives.
This substance is an important element in the manufacture of hair balm, moisturizers and after shave lotions and skin creams.
Many Africans regard Shea butter as sacred.
In the normal course, it is extracted by boiling the nut in water and the butter, finally turns out in colors ranging from white to yellow depending on the method of processing.
Almost all its processing is left to African women and is mainly restricted to the months of May to August, when it rains in those countries.
The process of the Shea nut becoming Shea butter has to undergo careful methods of picking gathering drying, pounding and kneading.
It is produced either by crushing or extraction by solvent using hexane.
Shea butter, being organic has a reasonably good life span of 12 to 15 months, but its healing properties are said to decline with age.
Thereafter, it takes on the avatar of an excellent moisturizer if stored in dark cool places.
It is a well-known fact that Shea butter is a 15 to 20 percentage substitute for coco butter used in the chocolate industry, for purposes of cost reduction, mainly in Europe, and for this purpose they use only Shea butter obtained in the chemical process.
It is said that the American Chocolate industry has not yet been accorded permission by the FDA to use it as a substitute, though the discussions are raging on.
It is interesting to note that the Shea butter used in this industry is extracted through the crushing process which, though not as efficient in terms of output of Shea butter, as the chemical solvent process, still delivers a purer and more natural form, which is ideal for cosmetic formulation.
Technically speaking Shea butter takes on the role of a fatten agent in the manufacture of cosmetics products. It is supposed to contain a high percentage unsaponifiables (you cannot make soaps with this butter) that provide a very soft and smooth feeling when applied on the face, hands or body.
They are also recommended for use in lipsticks, shampoos, conditioners and sun screen lotions because of its anti-inflammatory features.
Shea butter on its own does not get rid of wrinkles, however, it helps to smooth them out.
It is an important ingredient in so many of the wrinkle treatment creams, where its moisturizing properties are much appreciated.
Shea butter has vitamins A and E and helps maintain the moisture level of the skin.
For that reason it has many uses on skin and hair care.
1. It can help to minimize stretch marks due to pregnancy
2. It is used to smooth out dry and chapped lips
3. It is recommended to moisturize dry skin
4. Gives shine to the hair and combats dry, frizzy hair
5. Great to moisturize hands and the whole body
6. Alleviates sunburn
7. It can help to relieve some skin conditions like dermatitis and eczema
8. Moisturizes dry cuticles
9. Diminishes scars
10. Combats dry scalp
11. Reduces age spots
12. Minimizes eye bags and dark circles
13. Relieves itchy skin
14. Reconditions cracked heels
15. Soothes skin irritations
1. This Shea butter soap recipe has the consistency of a very smooth cream:
2. Prolong your tan with these homemade cream:
3. For dry hair use this mask:
4. Good for stretch marks:
5. Facial mask for dry, rough or itchy skin:
If you don't have time to make your own recipes and want to buy a good cream containing Shea Butter try this healing cream by Bee by the Sea. Besides Shea butter it has Sea Buckthorn, honey & coconut oil.