The Shea tree has naturally inhabited West Africa for centuries, stretching from Senegal to Sudan and up to the foothills of Ethiopia. African history mentions jars of a rich butter used for skin and hair care being transported during Cleopatra’s reign. Even the Queen of Sheba is said to have used it!
The tree was used to make coffins for the early kings in Africa, and the butter extracted from the nuts was used for its healing and skin care properties. The tree is also considered sacred by many tribes in Africa. It is still extensively used in Africa to protect the skin and hair from the harsh sun and dry winds.
Thanks to some other special properties, Shea butter does more than just moisturize … it delivers key anti-inflammatory and anti-aging components that are absorbed right into the skin.
Shea butter is known for its healing properties, which can be attributed to the presence of several fatty acids and plant sterols such as oleic, palmitic, stearic, and linolenic acids.
Shea butter is effective in reducing skin rashes, skin peeling after tanning, scars, stretch marks, frost bites, burns, athletes foot, insect bites and stings, and acne.
It offers UV protection (it is SPF 6) and provides the skin with essential fatty acids and the nutrients necessary for collagen production.
Due to its cinnamic acid and other natural properties, Shea butter is an anti-inflammatory. One compound in particular, lupeol cinnamate, has been found to reduce skin inflammation and even potentially help avoid skin mutations.
Shea butter aids in the skin’s natural collagen production. With long-term use, many people report skin softening and strengthening as well as wrinkle reduction.
The anti-inflammatory properties make it beneficial in reducing arthritis. The anti-inflammatory aspects of it also make it a powerful moisturizer, anti-ager, protector and healer for the skin.
Its anti-aging properties can also be attributed to its ability to increase circulation to the skin and promote cell renewal.
The non-saponifiable matter and vitamin F in this butter are vital ingredients for maintaining the skin’s elasticity.