10 Best Surprising Shea Butter Benefits for Skin

A magic oil that comes from the beautiful shea tree (Karite tree1) brings numerous benefits to your hair, skin, and body. Shea butter benefits are generally obtained because of its extremely high fat content. Shea butter is highly renowned these days, as it is included in many cosmetics (or beauty products).

Many folks use shea butter as a very good source of adding moisturizer for dry skin. Shea butter is not only restricted to lotions or cosmetics but is used in many shampoos and conditioners. Shea butter is a versatile ingredient that would be great for your skin health.

What Is Shea Butter?

A fatty oil that is only available in the nuts of the shea tree. This oil is extracted particularly from the nuts of the Vitellaria paradoxa 2(shea tree).

This oil is generally found in solid form and not in oil consistency. You will find fruits of Karite tree that would be of much importance. These fruits have some nuts inside them, and these nuts are used to extract shea butter.

These nuts are then crushed properly and boiled for some time. After that, they are further manipulated to get that shea butter out of it. Shea butter is generally very light in color and solid form (at room temperature). The components of shea butter are the following:

  • Stearic acid
  • Oleic acid
  • Linoleic acid

Many other components of shea butter would boost your overall health.

How Is Shea Butter Good for You?

Shea butter is a boon for all the men and women out there. People can always claim the shea butter benefits for the skin and body.

The essential nutrients, mainly fatty acids present in shea butter, are extremely good for your outer skin and prevent your outer skin from dryness. Pure shea butter is always a good choice to avoid allergies that may come from topical shea butter allergies.3

The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of shea butter would be very impressive for people with skin problems. If you want to add some vitamins to your skin along with fatty acids, then shea butter would be a wise choice.

Shea butter is a big source add a good amount of vitamin E and vitamin A. Not only this but shea butter is also known to act as a shield for your skin and to protect your skin from many harmful rays.

Shea butter is a great moisturizer that would promote skin elasticity for sure. Many people get the aging process very early due to the lost elasticity of the skin.

According to many sayings, skin aging could be completely stopped if you start using shea butter daily. People also find shea butter a great moisturizer during the winter days, as it is comprised of many nutrients that promote glowing and moisturized skin.

Now, another huge concern for many folks before buying shea butter is the types of shea butter. Finding the right type of shea butter is vital, but before that, you must learn the difference between the different types of shea butter. 4We will discuss the types of shea butter along with their properties.

Refined and Unrefined Shea Butter: The Main Differences

Before making a proper comparison between refined and unrefined shea butter, you must learn about the characteristics of these two. You will always find shea butter in two different forms, and these are:

  • Refined Shea butter
  • Unrefined Shea butter

Refined shea butter is prepared by following various processes and is hence called processed shea butter. Refined shea butter is not the purest form, as some qualities of shea butter get eliminated from it due to its processing.

Refined shea butter has a good fragrance (added fragrance) as it goes through some deodorizing processes. The deodorizing process 5makes the shea butter smell extremely different and good, as it takes away the natural scent of shea butter.

Refined shea butter is also whiter in color due to the bleaching process. Yes, you read it correctly; shea butter turns more white due to the bleach application (process).

Some preservatives are added to shea butter to make it last long (long shelf life). Many chemicals are used in the process to make refined shea butter more attractive in appearance.

You will find that refined shea butter would be more shiny and smooth as compared to normal unrefined butter. The fact is true that refined shea butter is curated and prepared the way they appear. Refined shea butter is not always appropriate to use, as it contains many chemicals that degrade the nutritional value of shea butter.

Refined shea butter can also go through many more refined processes (after one refining process). The more you refine the shea butter, the smoother it gets. Make a note that the more you refine the shea butter, the more value (nutritional) would be lost, which could cause trouble.

In the case of unrefined shea butter, it is unique and different from refined shea butter. Unrefined shea butter has more nutritional value as compared to refined shea butter. It is an extremely pure form with good minerals and vitamin content. It is more on the natural side with very less processing done to it.

The filtration process takes place in the case of unrefined shea butter. The filtration process takes place using clays and cheesecloth (as filter paper). This method can somehow affect or bring change to the color and smell of the unrefined shea butter.

Unrefined shea butter is molded into different forms, but all the forms are either sticks or bars. Shea butter contains many nutrients that would make your skin better in texture and appearance.

Shea butter has a very good amount of tocopherols and cinnamic acid (UV-B absorbing triterpene esters). Besides, shea butter contains many other nutrients such as:

1. Fatty Acids

It has a package of fatty acids (5 fatty acids) that helps your skin in many ways. These fatty acids are the following:

  • Palmitic
  • Oleic
  • Stearic
  • Linoleic
  • Arachidic Acids

The percentage of oleic acid and stearic acid constitute the majority part of fatty acids. Stearic acid is responsible for the solid consistency of any shea butter, but oleic acid decides the shea butter’s hard or soft texture.

2. Phenolics

Some amazing antioxidants are found in shea butter, and these are called phenolics. Shea butter mostly consists of around ten phenolic compounds. Catechins are also a part of phenolic compounds that are found in phenolics.

Some people believe that the shea butter traditionally extracted was higher in phenolics content than those extracted nowadays (with hexane).

3. Vitamin E

Another beautiful and effective vitamin is found in shea butter, and this vitamin is extremely good for your skin health. You can’t predict what version of vitamin E would be found in shea butter. The versions of vitamin E6 vary depending on the climatic condition and the processing methods of the shea butter extraction.

4. Vitamin A

Vitamin A is used for treating many skin problems such as dermatitis and eczema. Vitamin F is also found in shea butter which would contribute to your anti-aging process. Vitamin F is equally beneficial for helping many skin problems and improving your skin conditions.

A mixture of many beneficial components (non-saponifiable) with fatty acids and essential vitamins make shea butter a smart, effective choice for your health. The presence of many acids (fatty acids), provitamin, and phytosterols in shea butter protect your skin health both internally and externally.

Shea Butter Benefits for Skin

Shea butter works in a very effective and positive manner for your skin in various ways. From protecting your skin from the aging process to giving it a beautiful texture, applying shea butter on your skin would keep your skin (cells) healthy.

1. For Moisturization

Shea butter naturally moisturizes your skin internally and externally. The percentage of fats present in the shea butter is good to keep dryness away from your skin. The emollient properties of shea butter are due to the high percentage of fats present in the shea butter extract.

You will also see humectant characteristics (or properties) of shea butter, and it would help in locking the moisture of your skin cells. Dryness is a very difficult phase for your skin conditions. Dryness calls for cracks in your skin, as due to dehydration, your skin becomes rough.

Shea butter can bring moisture back to your skin by filling the skin with some amazing moisturizing ingredients. Some parts of our body are not easy to moisturize, such as hands and feet. Shea butter benefits in making your hands and feet smooth by bringing moisture to it.

Shea butter is also great as it won’t get stuck in your pores. Shea butter penetrates your skin without any obstacles or troubles. Shea butter is also a good moisturizer to avoid clogged pores issues.

2. For Acne and Blemishes

Plant sterols are found in shea butter that brings the effectiveness of shea butter to grapple against blemishes and face acne problems.

The presence of a bundle of fatty acids makes it another great agent to fight acne and face blemishes. Shea butter would also show some contribution to increasing your healing process.

According to many sayings, shea butter benefits in showing non-saponifiable characteristics that make it a good healing agent for many skin problems. Sometimes, after acne, the effects are quite painful and non-bearable. You can also use shea butter after your acne is gone for vanishing the blemishes and healing the pain.

Make sure to use unrefined shea butter for better effectiveness against skin problems. Unrefined shea butter shows good results for skin peeling (after tanning), stretch marks, scars, and burns. Overall, shea butter is good medicine and a remedy for your skin condition, especially acne and scar removal.

shea butter benefits
Photo by ShotPot/ Pexels.com

3. For Skin Inflammation

Shea butter eases inflammation. It would have some good positive effects in helping and reducing the inflammation problems of your skin. The benefits of shea butter can be noted for reducing the swelling or inflammation of skin cells.

Skin inflammation can happen for many reasons, and sometimes, the inflammation can lead to various health issues. The butter extracts from shea nuts could be extremely good for treating dermatitis and rosacea, as these skin problems invite cause of inflammation in many folks.

Sunburns and scrapes can also become noticeable causes of inflammation. You can add shea butter benefits to your skin for helping with those issues.

Many people notice inflamed skin cells after getting minor or major cuts, and these can also be treated by applying shea butter to your skin. Always try to use unrefined shea butter, as it would be more appropriate for people with sensitive skin.

4. For Anti-Aging

Shea butter is another beautiful agent for helping you with youthful skin for a long time. Aging can hit your way at a very early age, and sometimes, it’s quite difficult for you to face aging signs.

Shea butter benefits not only in soothing skin allergies but would aid collagen production. Collagen production is extremely great for controlling the aging process as collagen is a very good protein that your skin needs for surviving wrinkles and fine lines.

Shea butter is useful for keeping your skin smooth, radiant, and youthful due to the presence of some great vitamins.

People also use shea butter for maintaining circulation and promoting healthy skin cells. If you start applying shea butter and simultaneously massaging your skin with it, then it will give you an awesome skin texture.

The free radicals present in sun rays can host many skin problems, which are not easy to treat. Aging can also come from free radical damage to your skin, which can be treated well by using shea butter daily.

The presence of cinnamic acid makes shea butter better for people with free radicals damage treatment.

5. Provides Relief to Skin

Your skin goes through many skin problems that may cause irritation and pain. Itching skin is a huge problem for people looking for good skin. You can control the itchiness and pain in your skin by taking the help of shea butter.

The antioxidant properties of shea butter are very beneficial for helping the itching skin. Shea butter is also a good moisturizing agent that your skin needs to avoid itchy skin. Dryness can cause you many problems like a skin peel-off and the formation of cracks on it.

By applying shea butter, you will hydrate your skin with a good amount of moisture and prevent all these skin problems caused due to dryness.

You can always apply shea butter to help your irritated skin, but make sure it is unrefined shea butter (for avoiding chemical contact).

6. For Restoring Elasticity

Your skin elasticity decides how youthful and healthy your skin can be. If you start losing skin elasticity at an early age, it would be really difficult to avoid aging. Maintaining your skin elasticity is very important for good healthy skin and to look young at and old age.

Lose skin problems can be cured by regularly massaging your skin with shea butter and using it as a moisturizer. Vitamin F is a very important ingredient present in shea butter that promotes skin elasticity. It would help to hold the elasticity of your skin and would keep your skin free from wrinkles.

Collagen production is another big factor to hold the elasticity back of your skin. Collagen production adds protein to your skin, resulting in plumpy skin with no loose skin hanging around.

7. Reduce Bumps

Sometimes, after applying a razor to your face, you will start observing some bumps on your skin. You may also feel skin irritation after a fresh shave. These problems can be tackled well by the shea butter application. Shea butter benefits in recovering the bumps left post-shaving and would also help heal the skin’s irritation.

People can also use shea butter for treating the spots left behind after shaving or because of cuts. Also, if you start applying shea butter as a post-shaving cream, it would help keep your skin smooth and plumpy.

8. For Lip Care

Lip care is vital for your face, as lips serve as a very prominent part of your face. Chapped lips are a common problem for people with dry lips. Dry lips are another cause that causes your lip to crack and sometimes to bleed. Shea butter can be converted into a good lip balm for dry and chapped lips.

You can also use shea butter as a moisture mask for your lips. Put it on your lips overnight and wake up with moisturized lips! Also, shea butter can help lock the moisture of your lips by putting a barrier on your outer lips.

9. For Soothing Skin

Shea butter is a blessing for skin conditions and health. Shea butter is very helpful in soothing your skin and making it look healthy. Sometimes, outer treatment for the skin is not sufficient, and you need to provide internal treatment for your skin to maintain the smoothness of your skin.

Shea butter application is enough for making your skin fight irritation and making your skin softer. Shea butter is also beneficial for starting rashes in the case of babies. You may see babies facing skin rashes due to the use of diapers. These rashes can disturb the soothing feeling of your skin condition.

The use of shea butter would reduce the irritation caused by rashes and would promote healthy skin by increasing skin health.

10. For Glowing Skin

Glowing skin comes from good fatty acids and vitamins. Shea butter has a good source of vitamins with amazing fatty acid bundles. Shea butter benefits will also be seen in promoting collagen levels that will make your skin more healthy and bring the inner glow. Shea butter benefits in preventing the problem of skin dryness that brings many issues to your skin.

You can use shea butter in many ways, as it is a very versatile product to be used. Shea butter also does the job of sunscreen lotion due to the presence of sun protection characteristics. Sun protection characteristics of shea butter would promote skin glow.

Other Benefits

Shea butter serves as a great alternative to coconut oil, olive oil, and butter (cooking butter). Shea butter is a good oil with the best antioxidants found in it. Shea butter benefits can also be seen in contributing to your body as good anti-inflammatory oil. All these properties, with the presence of good fats, make your body healthy.

These properties make shea butter a better choice than any other oil. You can use shea butter for cooking your favorite dishes if you can adjust the taste. It may take some days or weeks to get into the taste of shea butter, but this would be delicious and healthy.

You can see shea butter benefits for your normal cooking recipes or add some to your morning breakfast meals. Shea butter is a very nice cooking oil that will improve your body’s health by adding good fats, vitamins, and many other compounds.

As you already know, unrefined shea butter is always beneficial and will not cause any trouble to your body. Therefore, unrefined shea butter should be chosen for your cooking purpose.

Shea Butter Benefits

Shea butter benefits are many and would be satisfying for your skin health. The shea butter benefits can be extremely important for your face, lips, and overall body. You can try it for your external and internal skin health.

Go ahead and try out all these shea butter benefits for beautiful skin.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can Shea Butter Be Used on The Face?

Shea butter may condition, tone, and soothe your skin when applied to your body, particularly your face. Shea butter also contains healing and anti-inflammatory effects.

2. Shea Butter: Does It Brighten Skin?

Because Vitamin E is present, it has a strong skin-lightening effect. It lightens the skin and gives it a smooth, bright appearance by reducing the skin’s irritation and soreness.

3. Can Shea Butter Get Rid of Blotches of Color?

Shea Butter is a “skin superfood” that, when used topically, is known to nourish skin to enhance clarity and treat issues including dryness, blemishes, dark spots, stretch marks, discolorations, and wrinkles without clogging pores.

7 Naural Oils For A Healthy Skin
Icy Health

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Nwuko Ann Oluebube

Registered Nurse/Freelancer

  1. Jonsson, K., C. K. Ong, and J. C. W. Odongo. “Influence of scattered nere and karite trees on microclimate, soil fertility and millet yield in Burkina Faso.” Experimental Agriculture 35.1 (1999): 39-53. ↩︎
  2. Hall, John B., et al. “Vitellaria paradoxa: A monograph.” Vitellaria paradoxa: a monograph. (1996). ↩︎
  3. Chawla, Kanwaljit K., et al. “Shea butter contains no IgE-binding soluble proteins.” Journal of allergy and clinical immunology 127.3 (2011): 680-682. ↩︎
  4. Honfo, Fernande G., et al. “Nutritional composition of shea products and chemical properties of shea butter: a review.” Critical reviews in food science and nutrition 54.5 (2014): 673-686. ↩︎
  5. BRADSHAWE, P. “deodorizing process.” ↩︎
  6. Khadangi, Fatemeh, and Angelo Azzi. “Vitamin E–the next 100 years.” IUBMB life 71.4 (2019): 411-415. ↩︎

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