** Thanks to Tiffany Corkern at Sunflower Press, an excellent health information resource, for the following “vitamin-rich” info on the benefits of shea butter.**
From antiquity to the present, shea butter has been considered a highly valued commodity with many applications. We’re going behind the scenes to expose the causes of such a powerful substance. What makes it work?
Where Does It Come From?
Shea butter comes from the nut of the shea tree in Africa (vitellaria paradoxa) and is widely used as a moisturizer and even as a cooking ingredient by some. The process by which it is made is simple, yet traditional.
After being removed from the tree, the nut is removed from the pulp of the fruit and dried. The nuts are traditionally removed from their shells by female elders and young girls that break them open with rocks. The nuts are then crushed, roasted, and ground into a smooth paste created by adding water and mixing thoroughly. The oils are separated from the mixture by kneading and any water that remains is cooked out, leaving the rich, golden butter behind.
After the butter is packaged up, it’s shipped all over the world to be used mostly in skin products and rightly so, because it brings several benefits with it.
Because shea butter is naturally anti-bacterial, it helps eliminate the bacteria that can build up under your arms that can cause both odor and pimples. It is also non-comedogenic, unlike many other moisturizers, and won’t clog your pores. For these reasons, it is great at assisting with acne.
Skin that lacks vitamin A often produces keratinized and scaly skin and produces more acne than those who regularly consume a sufficient amount of it. Vitamin A is also effective as a disinfectant and at removing skin discoloration.
Vitamin K is often used to treat things such as spider veins, rosacea, stretch marks, and burns. It has also been shown to reduce the severity of bruising.
Allantoin is approved by the FDA as a safe additive that helps prevent chapped, cracked, or otherwise dry skin. But, you don’t have to worry about it being an ‘additive’ here, because it is a natural constituent of shea butter and some herbs, such as comfrey. It heals wounds and assists in cell regeneration b depositing proteins on the skin.
Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fatty acid (an omega-9 fatty acid) and has been used in the treatment of skin disorders, because it promotes smooth, youthful-looking skin. It is what gives shea butter its soft consistency. Whether you get it from the foods that you eat or by applying it to the skin, you will still get the benefits, but applying directly to the skin is best because it penetrates the outer skin layer. This means that you will experience longer-lasting and better moisturizing.
Stearic acid, which is a fatty acid, makes up around 35 to 45% of shea butter, and it is the thickener that gives it its solid texture.
If you have quality shea butter, it will have a high amount of cinnamic acid in it, which acts as an anti-inflammatory and helps shea butter be used as a natural sunscreen. It can mildly protect the skin from UV rays as a sunscreen with an SPF of up to 6. The caffeic acid also reduces the damaging effects of UVB radiation.
Make It Natural!
Always make sure your deodorant and other skin products only use shea butter that has not been chemically refined. The chemical process used to produce the refined version ends up removing most of the beneficial qualities of unrefined shea butter. The natural version may have a smoky or nutty scent to it, but it’s well worth it.
For Your Deodorant
If you’re looking for an underarm deodorant that won’t feel greasy, won’t clog up your pores, and is antimicrobial, one that contains shea butter is definitely your solution.
Shea butter is a wonderful product that should be found in everyone’s home, and you can start by just adding it to your deodorant to notice the difference that it makes. It’s a simple switch to a superior product you won’t ever regret.