If you have dry skin, you probably know that shea butter is one of the top moisturizing ingredients to use. That's one reason why shea (pronounced shay) butter is frequently used in skin and hair care products. As an ingredient for skincare, especially in its natural and pure form, it has multiple benefits from reducing premature facial lines and wrinkles to soothing skin conditions like eczema. Below you'll find more information on shea butter's many benefits, as well as several homemade beauty recipes you can make using the miracle ingredient.
Shea butter comes from the shea nut tree or karite tree that grows in west and central Africa. Shea butter’s polyphenols (antioxidants) have anti-aging benefits and properties similar to green tea. Shea butter contains five essential fatty acids (a major amount coming from stearic and oleic acids) that includes phytosterols, vitamins E and D, allantoin (good for healing skin irritations), and vitamin A. This combination of ingredients helps neutralize free radical damage, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, and fading age spots, as well as stimulating collagen production.
Shea butter’s healing skincare benefits are numerous. It helps fade acne and other scars, plus it heals sunburned, cracked, and peeling skin. It also soothes skin allergies like poison ivy and insect bites as well as skin conditions like contact dermatitis and psoriasis. It is believed to reduce muscle aches and rheumatism by stimulating the elimination of toxins from muscles.
Moisturizing Shea Butter Balm
- 1/4 cup grated shea butter
- 2 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon grated beeswax or soy wax
Combine the ingredients in a microwave-safe glass container or measuring cup. Microwave to gently heat up the shea butter and beeswax. Pour into a 4 to 5-ounce glass jar and let cool. Stir again. Use on dry areas. It's great for the knees, elbows, and can even be used to treat and prevent chapped lips.
Moisturizing Hand Cream
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon almond oil
- 1 teaspoon cocoa butter
- 1 teaspoon shea butter
Heat ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl or container on low. About 2 - 3 seconds, until ingredients are melted, but not boiling. Stir. Massage into hands. This is a great moisturizing hand treatment to use during the winter months.
Baby Bump Moisturizer
- Oil from 3 vitamin E capsules
- 2 tablespoons cocoa butter
- 1 tablespoon shea butter
Pour vitamin E oil into a bowl and mix in the cocoa butter and shea butter. Gently massage onto the stomach area daily to help prevent stretch marks.
- 3 teaspoons grated beeswax
- 3 teaspoons castor oil
- 6 - 10 drops peppermint essential oil (or any other essential oil of choice)
- 1 teaspoon honey (optional, for flavor)
Melt the ingredients in a microwave or double boiler. Stir and remove from heat. Add the honey and essential oil. If you want to add a little color, shave off a little of your favorite lipstick into the mixture. Pour into lip balm tins, a small glass cosmetic jar, or into lipstick tubes. Let cool uncovered for about 20 minutes.