What is Shea Butter?
Shea butter is a skin superfood that comes from the seeds of the fruit of the Shea (Karite) tree and that is naturally rich in vitamins A, E and F. It offers UV protection (it is SPF ~6) and provides the skin with essential fatty acids and the nutrients necessary for collagen production. Shea butter has been used in Africa and other countries for years to improve skin and hair.
Shea Butter Benefits:
- Moisturizing: The concentration of natural vitamins and fatty acids in Shea butter makes it incredibly nourishing and moisturizing for skin. It is often used to remedy dry skin and to help protect the skin’s natural oils.
- Reduces Inflammation: A 2010 study found that due to its cinnamic acid and other natural properties, shea butter was anti-inflammatory. (Source) One compound in particular, lupeol cinnamate, was found to reduce skin inflammation and even potentially help avoid skin mutations. This also makes it beneficial for some people with acne.
- Skin Smoothing: Shea butter aids in the skin’s natural collagen production and contains oleic, stearic, palmitic and linolenic acids that protect and nourish the skin to prevent drying. With long term use, many people report skin softening and strengthening as well as wrinkle reduction.
Shea Butter Moisturizer:
Go traditional by simply slathering on a penny sized amount of shea butter on your face, neck and hands for that beautiful shine! Be sure to gently massage it in so that it can sink deep and nourish your skin. If the smell of raw shea butter bothers you, add in a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the shea butter, rub your hands together and then apply.
- Shea Butter – 1 cup
- Geranium Oil – 10 drops
- Lavender Essential Oil – 10 drops
- Frankincense Essential Oil – 5 drops
- Double Boiler
- Hand Mixer
- Wide Mouth Jar for Storage
- Melt 1 cup of shea butter in a double boiler over a medium-low flame.
- Once melted, put the mixture in the refrigerator to cool down and turn semi-solid in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
- Now get it out and whip it using a hand mixer into a silky & creamy consistency.
- When it gets to that state, add the essential oils then mix again.
- Pour the mixture into a wide mouth jar. Apply the butter firmly on your whole body after a shower.
Antibacterial Acne Cream:
Though shea butter is rich in natural fats and oils, it is very helpful in clearing acne prone skin. There’s only one mistake I made while using shea butter when my skin had acne breakouts and that is using a little too much which I think made my skin look a bit oilier than usual, though it was shiny and radiant. SO make sure you get less than a pea sized amount, rub it between your palms and gently smear it all over your face and neck. If you can’t stand the nutty smell, I suggest you try making and using this antibacterial shea butter acne cream:
- Shea Butter – ½ cup
- Aloe Vera Gel – 3 tbsp
- Tea Tree Essential Oil – 5 drops
- Rose Water – 3 tbsp
- Raw Honey – 2 tsp
- Hand Mixer
- Wide Mouth Jar for Storage
- Double Boiler
- Begin by melting your shea butter using the double boiler method over a medium-low heat.
- Now remove the melted shea butter off the double boiler and proceed to mix in your aloe vera gel, rose water, raw honey and tea tree oil. Give it a quick stir with a clean spoon.
- It’s time for the fun part – whipping! Transform your shea butter mix into a luxurious, easily applicable, soft and light formulation that will easily be slurped up by your pores. Get an electric whisk and begin whisking until it reaches a fluffy consistency.
- That’s it! Your homemade formulation of shea butter for acne is complete.
- Transfer to a clean jar and keep in a cool dark place away from direct sunlight.
Non-greasy Hair Lotion:
You must have noticed some shea butter hair lotions leave your hair with an oily residue and greasy roots! Grr…I’m totally not a fan of hair products that make my scalp and hair look greasy like it’s not been washed. Fortunately, this shea butter hair lotion is non-greasy and does not coat your hair with gallons of oil. Check out the ingredients:
- 4 tbsp of raw shea butter
- 1/4 cup of orange blossom water
- 3 drops of tea tree essential oil
- 3 drops of peppermint essential oil
- 3 drops of bergamot essential oil
- High speed blender or Immersion blender
- Mason jar for storage
- Use a high speed blender or immersion blender for this shea butter hair lotion recipe.
- Start by melting the raw shea butter using a double boiler then transfer it to a blender and blend on high. Or, pour it into the jar with the orange blossom water then blend till creamy with an immersion blender.
- When it gets creamy, slowly pour in the orange blossom water little by little, while the blender is blending the shea until fully incorporated. It will take about 3-5 minutes to turn into a white semi-thick liquid.
- Transfer the mixture into a glass jar. Stir in the essential oils and voila!
- To apply, just get a dime sized amount, rub it between your palms and sooth over your hair strands to keep them moisturized and glossy.
Shea butter may help your hair grow and promote its overall health. Here is a step by step technique how to apply shea butter on your health for maximum benefits:
- Apply leave in-conditioner or wet your hair by using your favorite moisturizer. By using different recipes from internet, you can make your own moisturizer too. Don’t be afraid to try out different kinds of things. Remember that the moisturizer that works for your hair may or may not work on another person’s hair.
- After you have wetted your hair, you should divide your hair into different sections, as it will make things easier for you.
- The next thing you need to do is to liquefy the butter. You can liquefy the butter by putting it in a microwave for about 30 – 60 seconds. You can also use hands for liquefying the butter. However, this needs some practice, therefore, it’s better to go with microwave.
- After applying butter, you need to tie your hair. More shea butter or coconut oil can be added during twisting.
- Until all your hair are filled with shea butter, keep on repeating these steps. After you have applied the butter, leave it for about half an hour. Then wash your hair with water and apply hair conditioner.