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Shea butter - beurre de karité

AFRICAN BEAUTY SECRETS YOU SHOULD KNOW : SHEA BUTTER

Every country, every region has its own traditional rituals waiting to be discovered. These rituals hold beauty secrets that have been shared from generation to generation. In this series of articles we will take a closer look at beauty rituals that originate in the “cradle of humankind”, Africa.

We couldn't do this series without talking about Shea known as the women's gold.

What is Shea?

Shea is a nut tree in Africa. Its nuts contain an almond that once transformed will give the famous shea butter known for its numerous benefits. Legend has it that shea butter was the beauty secret of Queen Nefertiti. It is also said that Cleopatra had caravans of shea butter delivered to her home in order to slather it on her body.

So let's take a closer look at the benefits of this natural african beauty product on the skin.

What are the benefits of shea butter for the skin?

Shea has many cosmetic and medicinal properties. We 'll only focus on a small list of the benefits of shea butter for the skin.  Shea butter is :

- A natural moisturizer and healing agent

Shea butter is best known as a natural moisturizer. Indeed, its content of fatty acids and vitamins A, D, E and F which enables it to regulate skin hydration levels, nourish and protect the skin barrier. It is ideal for deep moisturizing of all skin types.
The vitamin D and the vegetable fats contained in Shea butter also give it healing virtues. It helps to soothe chapped skin and make cracks disappear while gradually eliminating scars. It also helps to repair lips when they are dry and chapped.

- A powerful skin protector

Shea butter contributes to the protection of the skin against the effects of ageing, the sun and skin stiffness.  Indeed, vitamin E in shea butter, enables it to have an antioxidant action, thus slowing down skin aging.  Shea butter also contains vitamin F and latex which help the skin remain soft and maintain its elasticity. Beacause of this Shea butter prevents the appearance of stretch marks.  Latex  also protects the skin against sun allergy and reduces the effects of sunburn. However, it does not protect the skin against UV rays.

- A healing balm

Shea butter helps in healing certain skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Shea butter has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties that give it a disinfectant action while soothing the skin, thanks to the plant lipids it contains and to vitamin E. 

How to introduce shea butter into your beauty routine?

Raw shea butter can easily be incorporated into a beauty routine as a moisturizing balm for the skin or hair. This product has always been handmade by women in  regions where the Shea tree grows. It is vegan and without additives. It should be heated in your hands before applying it to your skin. It has a nutty smell and leaves your skin moisturized and protected. If you want to discover, for yourself the virtues of pure shea butter, the Ivory Shea Butter made by Liha beauty is ideal for you.

Wondering where you can find raw shea butter? Do not worry, we have you covered right here.

Here is a little video tutorial on how to apply raw shea butter.

 


Shea butter can also be used as one of the main ingredients of a moisturizing cream. This is the case with the Forte Retinol Lustre Moisturiser from Freya + Bailey.

 

Another moisturiser which uses shea butter as an ingredient for silky skin is the Epara Moisturising Face cream.

Shea butter or shea oil can also be found in other skin care products which aim to clean or treat the skin without drying it out.  To know if a product contains shea butter, you just have to check if the list of ingredients contains it. The scientific name is Butyrospermum. Skin Gourmet's  and Liha Beauty Ose Gidi black soap uses shea butter in its ingredients to clean the skin without drying it.

 

 
    African black Soap-Skin  Gourmet

            Ose Gidi Soap-Liha beauty 

 

We have not discussed in this article the benefits of shea butter for hair but feel free to leave us a message in the comments if you want us to address this topic in a future article. Find all the product mentioned in this article here. Let's keep discovering african cosmetics together !

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