Learn What Makes This Multi-Tasking Natural Skincare Ingredient So Popular
Does it seem like nearly every bottle of skin lotion or jar of skin cream touts shea butter as a key ingredient? There’s a very good reason. If you’ve ever used a shea butter hand lotion, you’ve probably noted its moisturizing properties. And if you’re going to be applying it to your face and body, it’s a good idea to know what it is and why it’s so popular.
What Exactly is Shea Butter?
Shea Butter is the ivory-colored, creamy fat extracted from the nut of the African shea tree. Its botanical name is butyrospermum parkii, though that has recently evolved to vitellaria paradoxa, for reasons we’ve yet to confirm. Either way, shea butter has been used for hundreds of years both in edible applications (even chocolate) as well as natural skincare products and on hair. It has a creamy consistency that makes it easy to spread on your skin, which apparently was something Cleopatra did.
With high concentrations of fatty acids, including oleic, stearic, linoleic and palmitic acids, shea butter is an ideal organic skincare ingredient for softening skin. It easily absorbs as it melts at body temperature, and isn’t greasy, making it ideal for skin lotions and moisturizers. It also contains Vitamins A and F (both offer anti-aging benefits) and Vitamin E (tocopherol) and catechins, which act as antioxidants. And as more of us look for vegan skincare, shea butter is a great option.
Shea Butter Benefits for Skincare
With all of that, it’s no surprise that shea butter offers numerous benefits for your skin and face.
- Hydration. All those moisturizing properties hydrate and helps plump the skin. It’s also calming and helps protect the skin from extreme temperatures.
- Nourishes and soothes. Shea butter is calming and softens the skin. That's one reason you'll find it in lip balms.
- Prevents the signs of aging. All those antioxidants fight against free radicals that damage the skin. Plus, it contains lupeol, which inhibits the enzymes that degrade the skin's supportive proteins.
- Reduces inflammation. The triterpene alcohols found in shea butter have anti-inflammatory properties, which has been shown to help with chronic skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Some say it helps with allergic reactions too.
- Antimicrobial properties. Shea butter has been used for centuries as a natural remedy to treat wounds and other ailments.
- Healing properties. Shea butter can calm redness and swelling.
- UV protection. The cinnamic acid esters in shea butter have been shown to absorb a limited amount of UV rays. Unrefined shea butter has the equivalent of an SPF between 3 or 4.
And, it’s so safe that the FDA has designated shea butter as “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS).
Now imagine combining shea butter with broad spectrum hemp CBD to create luxury skincare products. With the growing recognition of the soothing and anti-inflammatory benefits of CBD skincare, it’s a powerful way to stack the deck to benefit your skin. That’s exactly what we were thinking when we custom formulated Hälsa Botanicals skincare. You’ll find shea butter in our Dream CBD Enchanted Night Creme, Smile Refresh CBD Eye Creme and Breathe CBD Arctic Kelp Facial Masque. Here’s to clean beauty products and very happy skin.