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What is Shea butter?
Shea butter is fat that’s extracted from the nuts of the shea tree. It’s solid at warm temperatures and has an off-white or ivory color. Shea trees are native to West Africa, and most shea butter still comes from that region.
Shea butter has been used as a cosmetic ingredient for centuries. Its high concentration of vitamins and fatty acids — combined with its easy-to-spread consistency — make it a great product for smoothing, soothing, and conditioning your skin. Shea butter is technically a tree nut product. But unlike most tree nut products, it’s very low in the proteins that can trigger allergies. In fact, there’s no medical literature documenting an allergy to topical shea butter. Shea butter doesn’t contain chemical irritants known to dry out skin, and it doesn’t clog pores. It’s appropriate for nearly any skin type.
Shea butter restores the barrier between your skin and the outside environment, holding moisture in and reducing your risk of dryness.
Is it anti-inflammatory?
The plant esters of shea butter have been found to have anti-inflammatory properties.
When applied to the skin, shea triggers cytokines and other inflammatory cells to slow their production. This may help minimize irritation caused by environmental factors, such as dry weather, as well as inflammatory skin conditions, such as eczema. (Source:
Most common uses for shea butter. (Source:
By itself for face and body as a natural moisturizer
After sun or beach exposure to replenish skin
Alone or in a pregnancy salve to ward off stretch marks
As a natural cuticle cream
As the best under-eye wrinkle remover and bag-reducer
As a massage butter (body, feet, sore muscles)
​On sore/raw noses during a cold or flu
​On scars to naturally help collagen production
​By itself for low-grade sun protection
​By itself on the lips or in homemade lip balms
​On the eyelids before applying makeup to make it last longer
To improve skin elasticity (some even say it helps with cellulite)
On the hair or scalp (in mixture with other natural ingredients)
In homemade liquid creme foundation and makeup
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