The Benefits And Uses Of Unrefined Shea Butter
Shea Butter from L’Occitane
Unrefined shea butter has many uses, particularly within the holistic medicine community. The substance is valued for its healing properties and used to treat a variety of ailments. These afflictions include acne, athlete’s foot, arthritis, burns, dermatitis, dry skin, eczema, fungal infections, inflammations, psoriasis, rashes, rosacea, scars, shingles, skin damage from the sun and wrinkles. When rubbed into the hands, it melts into a smooth liquid that is applied topically to the skin. It is then easily absorbed under the surface.
Not only is unrefined shea butter used to treat such ailments of the skin, it is also used to protect the skin from natural elements such as hot and dry air, salt water and the wind as well as the sun (although it is not a sunscreen as such) . It conditions and moisturizes the skin so it helps minimize the natural effects of aging.
Shea Butter Benefits for hair and skin
Many people use it as an organic face cream without anything else. Furthermore, many massage therapists use it in their practice because it helps relax the muscles and treats sprains and wounds in addition to relieving dry skin.
Sometimes it is used as a hair dressing because it not only moisturizes a dry scalp but it also encourages hair growth. Unrefined shea butter helps hold the hair in place and can lightly relax curly hair. One can use it as a hair treatment to revitalize the hair and get rid of dandruff as well as dry hair. It is especially effective for natural hair styles such as locks and protects hair from chlorine and salt while swimming.
As one can see, there are many uses for the hair, face, body, hands and feet. One can prevent and treat blemishes, blisters, bumps, chaffing, chapped or dry lips, cracked heels, cuticles, dark spots, dull or flaky skin, minor scars, premature facial lines and stretch marks. Those who need to treat rough skin and tougher areas such as the knees and elbows will also find the substance beneficial. However, with all the benefits of shea butter, it should not be expected to be a cure all.
There are many places to find unrefined shea butter. It is typically available in holistic and health outlets on the web as well as in bricks and mortar stores. You can get organic shea butter as well as original African Shea butter from a fairly wide variety of stores. Outlets specializing in organic products will also usually carry it. It is also available at other familiar outlets such as Amazon. However, it is always important to check the ingredients before buying a product to be sure one is getting the real thing in order to enjoy the full benefits.
Skin Success with Organic Shea Butter
Organic Shea butter is a vegetable fat obtained from the fruit tree called karite (shea), also known as the mangifolia tree. This tree grows in the semi-arid, North African savannah. The karite tree needs about 40-50 years to reach maturity and in many parts of Africa, destruction of these trees is forbidden because of their economical and medical benefits.
Shea Butter – “Women’s Gold”
Shea, or karite, butter is also known as “women’s gold” because extracting the butter from Shea nuts is a source of income for thousands of rural African women. Therefore, it not only brings nutritional benefits to people who use it, but also economical benefits for native people of Africa. The advantages of organic shea butter are widely known, which is why it has been used for thousands of years by African medicine men who in turn, teach cosmetic and soap manufacturers from around the world how to use this natural cosmetic product.
Vitamins A, E, and F
Organic Shea butter nourishes the skin with vitamins A, E and F. Vitamins A and E are essential in maintaining healthy skin and are especially helpful to skin that suffers from sun damage; they also have high levels of cinnamic acid, a natural defense against the sun, and they prevent premature wrinkles. Vitamin F acts as a protective barrier for the skin and helps it rejuvenate, transforming dry, rough, and cracked skin into a smooth, soft, and supple skin.
Organic Shea butter is very rich in vegetable fats that make it unique in treating the aforementioned afflictions in addition to being easily absorbed into the skin without blocking or closing the pores. Shea butter is also anti-inflammatory and is helpful in treating rheumatism and other connected illnesses. You can use it to treat eczema, psoriasis, and tingling caused by an over exposure to sunlight
Other Skin and Muscle Benefits
The butter is traditionally used in treating dry skin, red spots, skin with white spots (discolored skin), scars, and wrinkles. Lately, scientists have also discovered other benefits such as relaxing stiff muscles, relieving arthritis pain and accompanying swelling, and protecting skin from the sun. In fact, many people consider it to be one of the best all round organic skin care ingredients around.
What makes this Butter so great for the skin is its high concentration of fatty acids, namely stearic acid and oleic acid. These nutrients are essential for skin, helping it to maintain an optimal level of hydration; this gives the skin a desirable elasticity. Shea butter also helps restore skin’s natural lipid balance by stabilizing the lipid content of skin cells. Due to the high content of fat, it is an important ingredient in many soap products.
Shea butter is used for making shampoo, creams, and treatments for healthier hair. If you have damaged hair, it will prove more effective than the cocoa butter and jojoba oil. Shea butter can be used unprocessed, which is its natural state. It is said that organic shea butter activates capillary circulation, thus helping to give more oxygen to hair, reducing the hair loss, and eliminating toxins resulting from metabolism.
What is Shea Butter?
If you are not quite sure what African Shea Butter is, it comes from a tree called Shea, found in the region of West Africa, with extracts from its seed being used to produce the butter. Known to be one of the most sought after skin emollients in the world, it has gained in popularity for its unsurpassed properties for moisturizing and therapeutic purposes in the past years. The Shea tree however takes almost twenty years to mature but can be used only after it reaches forty five years in age.
Its uses and healing properties are so much that everything cannot be listed here. In order to give an idea of this amazing extract, given below are a few of its more popular and common uses:
Apart from being one of the greatest moisturizers, Shea butter also provides protection from the sun, is used as a skin firming agent and helps to fill out wrinkles, wipes out skin discolorations and age spots, fights dandruff, protects and conditions hair and is known to reduce scars and is famous for its treatment for acne. Medical conditions such as eczema, dermatitis and rashes as well as burns are treated with Shea butter and it is also used to soothe pain in those suffering from arthritis and rheumatism.
Shea butter is produced in different ways such as refined and unrefined and although both types are pure Shea butter, it is the different ways of production that gives the names. While the unrefined Shea butter is natural with nothing done to it, the refined butter is without fragrance and color. Research has shown that the unrefined organic butter is much more effective than the refined version.
Although many products available in the market are called pure Shea butter, it is actually not so because pure Shea butter is very expensive and cannot be used on its own. In the manufacture of cosmetics, many other ingredients are mixed with pure Shea butter to bring down the costs. If at all possible to buy the pure kind, it would be well worth it, because pure Shea butter is very effective in the treatment of scars and also to keep the skin supple in the case of older women.
Unrefined Shea butter has also been found to be very effective in the treatment of brittle and damaged hair due to its revitalizing properties that help prevent further breakage. With its claims to anti inflammatory properties, Shea butter is said to be ideal for psoriasis and skin rashes and is also used for conditioning leather and wood.
Although the price of the unrefined organic pure butter is more than that of the refined kind, it is always in high demand because the supply is less due to the time it takes for the trees to grow and mature and thereafter extract the cream. Furthermore, organic products take much longer to be processed and produced which is not the case with the refined products. The price therefore relies on the demand and supply in the market even though one can be sure that African Shea Butter is one product that will always be in high demand but less in supply due to its growth conditions.