Shea butter moisturizes and helps provide an anti-aging effect for your skin.
Shea butter has extensive beneficial properties for skin and skincare and is found in the seed fat from shea trees. Shea butter has a long legacy of use as a cosmetic ingredient, as it’s been used for centuries. The high concentration of vitamins and fatty acids that it includes makes for a fantastic product for the skin by smoothing, soothing, and conditioning it.
Shea trees are found in tropical climates in East and West Africa. The seeds of shea trees contain oily kernels that the shea butter is derived from. After the kernels are removed, they are ground into a powder and boiled in water. The butter rises to the top and then becomes a solid ideal for topical use in cosmetic products.
Shea butter’s chemical makeup is what makes it so beneficial. So, what exactly does it contain?
Shea butter is typically used for its moisturizing effects. These benefits are tied to shea’s fatty acid content, including linoleic, oleic, stearic, and palmitic acids. This makes it an excellent ingredient for soothing dry skin.
By topically applying shea, its oils are absorbed into your skin. The oils work by “re-fatting” the skin, rapidly creating moisture and restoring lipids. Shea works by creating a barrier between your skin and the outside environment, locking in moisture and reducing dryness and flaky skin.
The high levels of linoleic acid and oleic acid balance one another out, meaning that they are easy for your skin to absorb and reduce the risk of your skin appearing oily after application.
The triterpenes in shea butter (which are naturally occurring chemical compounds) help to minimize the appearance of fine lines and result in plumper, smoother skin.