Shea butter is fat that’s been extracted from shea tree nuts. Most shea butter comes from shea trees in West Africa. This amazing butter has been used in cosmetic, medicinal and culinary applications in Africa for centuries.
The Shea tree species can grow up to 50 feet, and it can take anywhere from 40 to 50 years to mature and start producing shea nuts.The tree grows naturally in the wild in the dry savannah belt of West Africa from Senegal in the west to Sudan in the east, and onto the foothills of the Ethiopian highlands.
Shea butter is suitable for moisturising all skin types as it will not make skin look greasy. The linoleic acid and oleic fatty acids present in shea butter balance each other out, resulting in a smooth, dewy application, not an oily one. It also absorbs into the skin easily, restoring lipids and rapidly creating moisture. It also has good water-binding properties. Cetyl esters, the waxy part of the shea nut butter lock in moisture, ensuring hydrated skin. They won’t create a strong barrier on your skin like petroleum or petrolatum though. Triglycerides, the fatty part of the shea nut nourish and condition skin.
Shea butter is incredibly healing and nourishing, treating everything including eczema, burns, fungal infections, sunburns, inflamed, irritated skin and more! How does it do all this? The plant esters of shea butter have been found to have incredible anti-inflammatory properties that help minimize irritation caused by environmental factors and certain skin conditions. It can even prevent sun damage, to a certain extent, because of its SPF value.
As if all that weren’t enough, this magical creamy butter has anti-aging properties as well! This is thanks to its impressive vitamin A and E content, giving this butter unbelievable antioxidant properties. Antioxidants protect your skin cells from free radicals that can lead to premature aging and dull-looking skin. Shea butter also contains triterpenes which help boost collagen production, resulting in plump skin and reduced fine lines.