The benefits of shea butter cosmetics are virtually endless. When applied to the skin, it can transform the look and feel of it within just a few weeks.
For thousands of years women in the savannah of Africa have passed on from one generation to the next the methods and traditions of harvesting and processing Shea nuts into Shea butter. Shea is a wild growing tree which is left for women in desperate need to harvest for an income to provide for their families.
Shea butter is a natural moisturiser which melts on contact and is readily absorbed into the skin, without leaving a greasy residue.
The traditional use of the butter is to reduce the appearance of fine lines, scars and stretch marks, and to ease a variety of skin irritations, such as psoriasis, eczema and sunburn.
The benefits of Shea butter are still being explored and discovered by scientists, but here's a few:
According to the United Nations Development Program: Shea Butter Scoping Paper, the healing qualities of Shea butter are due to the presence of several fatty acids and Plant sterols. These oil-soluble components are greater in shea butter than in other nut oil and they remain intact when shea is made into soap, which means shea butter has greater healing potential for the skin.
In May 2010 Toshihiro Akihisa in the "Journal of Oleo Science," published the results of using Shea butter on tissue swelling. The scientists reported that Shea butter not only demonstrated anti-inflammatory benefits, but one compound found in shea butter also prevented tumour development in a carcinogenesis test, (a procedure in which cancer cells are grown in a culture dish).
Shea butter contains vitamins A and E, as well as plant antioxidants also found in green tea. In June 2009, the "Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology" reported that while it is unclear how well vitamins A and E in raw Shea butter are absorbed, there is evidence to suggest that Shea butter helps to prevent skin damage from ultraviolet radiation.