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Next to Coconut Oil, Shea Butter might be the most prominent ingredient mentioned in natural products we come across. We see it on ingredient lists, we pass it in the health food store. But what do we really know about it? To get the most out of this ingredient, lets take a deeper look into 5 benefits and properties of Shea Butter. (Warning, this post contains a lot of technical information. But stay with me guys, I provide a nice one sentence summary at the end!)

  1. Antioxidant Boost. Shea butter is high in several antioxidants such as Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and Catechin. Antioxidants are an important part in our skincare routine because they help fight causes of aging and skin damage.
  2. Anti-Inflammatory. Shea butter contains a collection of 8 triterpene esters, chemical compounds containing both an alcohol and an acid. I’m gonna be real honest with you guys here. I’m not even sure what that means (thanks for nothing 8th grade science class.) But according to a scientific study conducted in 2010, these esters have proven to reduce inflammation in several cases. Proving Shea Butter to be a useful tool in reducing inflammation in the skin.
  3. Shea Butter contains Cinnamic Acid.. In layman’s terms, Cinnamic Acid can absorb UV radiation and block melanin. This means Shea Butter provides you with some sun protection (not enough ladies, you still need your sunblock) and has the potential to fade dark spots!  
  4. Collagen Boosting. In several studies Shea butter was shown to enhance cell regeneration. When our cells regenerate we are left with brighter, glowing skin. It has also been proven to boost collagen production, which is essential to the reduction of wrinkles.
  5. Moisturizing. Shea butter is high in Oleic and Stearic Acid. What does that mean? Oleic and Stearic acids are both naturally occurring fatty acids in plants and animals. These ingredients are emollients, meaning they cover the skin, protecting it from water loss. While they are highly moisturizing, they can also trap debris and oil in your skin, possibly causing breakouts in certain skin types. So oily skin needs to exercise caution when using Shea Butter on the face.

So in summary (I promised I would!), Shea Butter is anti-inflammatory, contains UV protection, can boost collagen production and can help you retain moisture. If you have dry to normal skin, this skincare all-star should definitely be a part of your routine. But if you have combination to oily skin, Shea MAY cause a breakout so make sure to exercise caution before covering your face with it!