Nourishing and elasticizing: the indispensable ally for dry, chapped skin.
Shea butter is an edible substance extracted from the seeds of the shea tree or Vitellaria Paradoxa, a tree that grows in the savannas of West Africa. This plant is up to 15 meters tall and the trunk, which can reach a diameter of one meter, is covered with thick bark to protect the plant from the high temperatures of the savanna. This ingredient is made from the seeds of the Vitellaria Paradoxa fruit. In the traditional process, the seed is sun-dried, fragmented and ground into a yellow-white paste. In industry, on the other hand, shea butter is obtained by cold pressing or solvent extraction.
Shea butter is composed mainly of fatty acids and, in particular stearic acid and oleic acid but their ratio can vary, even significantly, depending on geographic and climatic factors.
What properties shea butter has?
Shea butter in Africa is used as a nutrient but mainly for its cosmetic properties. It is normally used as an emollient, skin nutrient and texture factor in formulations. It can be used on eczema and very sensitive or inflamed skin. It is perfect for diaper rash. It has an action that promotes cell renewal and increases blood circulation. What makes it so skin-friendly is its high content in fatty acids essential for skin hydration and elasticity. In addition, it is naturally rich in vitamins A, E and F, vitamins essential for good skin balance. It is a moisturizer, which makes the skin elastic, does not occlude pores and has an effective anti-free radical action due to its richness in vitamins, so it is an excellent anti-wrinkle agent. In addition, it can be used to remove make-up. Used in hair preparations or as a conditioner, it is great for healing damaged hair and helps with dandruff.
- Lin TK at al Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 70.
- Jari A Shea butter with improved moisturisation properties 2009.
- Hon KL et al Patient acceptability, efficacy, and skin biophysiology of a cream and cleanser containing lipid complex with shea butter extract versus a ceramide product for eczema Hong Kong Med J ;21:417-2015.