Perhaps you've heard some of them.
Prevents stretch marks and scarring, heals cracked heels and elbow, protects from the sun. How does shea actually do all of this. What makes it different from all the other natural butters out there? There are 3 key properties that are responsible. Keep reading to learn a break down of the 3 main benefits of unrefined shea butter and how they correspond to some of the more widely known shea butter claims.
What are the main benefits of unrefined shea butter?
1. Moisturizing and ConditioningUnrefined shea butter is one of nature's best moisturizers. It has the ability to penetrate into your the deeper layers of your skin. This prevents moisture loss and helps promote the delivery of other active antioxidants. Also because it's absorbed and doesn't sit on the outer layer of your skin, shea won't leave your skin greasy or clog your pores. It really is great for all skin types.
As a conditioning agent, shea contains allantoin, a natural skin softener responsible for soothing the outer layers of your skin. This acts as a lubricant and slows the loss of water from the skin by providing a protective barrier.
In short the moisturizing and conditioning properties of shea butter means it feels good on your skin and keeps it from drying out. It then softens, lubricates and protects it from external forces like the wind and cold which can make your skin feel dry, cracked and irritated.
2. Anti-aging and Antioxidant RichThere are two causes of aging. Intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic aging is genetic, but extrinsic aging is affected by our environment. The sun, the foods we eat, how much sleep we get, how much stress we have and pollution are all factors that contribute to extrinsic aging. Shea butter is considered anti-aging because it can help with the some of the extrinsic causes.
Shea butter has a naturally high content of antioxidants and phytosterols that literally help to nourish and feed your skin. Vitamins A and E are both antioxidants that fight free radicals by preventing the cellular rusting that's caused by environmental factors. Vitamin A can also help to reduce wrinkles and boost collagen production. Phytosterols act as a UV protectors and help to ward off damage from sun exposure.
3. Anti-inflammatory and Anti-bacterialWhen you hear reports that shea butter can heal wounds and treat acne, these claims are due to its anti-inflammatory benefits. Phytosterols and cinnamic acid present contribute to this by reducing redness, irritation and help skin recover from wounds faster. It can be used to naturally soothe insect bites, rashes and sun burns and has been historically used to soothe eczema.
Shea also has catechins, a polyphenol also found in green tea which has some anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties which may help prevent blemishes when used as a part of a healthy skin care routine.
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