Health benefits of shea butter

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Overview

Fat obtained from the nuts of an African tree called “shea” is the source of the shea butter. Traditionally, shea butter is used to reduce fine lines, scars and stretch marks, to relieve skin irritations such as those found in psoriasis, eczema and sunburn.

Cosmetic manufacturers mix this natural substance with other natural ingredients. Shea butter is ideal for topically applied cosmetic and medicinal products, because it melts in contact with skin and is easily absorbed by it, without leaving oily skin.


Contents

1. Overview
2. How can you know if shea butter is good
3. How should shea butter smell?
4. The benefits of shea butter


How can you know if shea butter is good

There are several methods, different extraction that shea butter can be made from nuts and there are many varieties of shea butter:

- Crude or unrefined – in this case the shea butter will be extracted using only water. Its color will vary depending on the type of nuts used. Its color can vary from cream to white, to gray or yellow. This is a natural formula of shea butter, which will usually have a distinct flavor taste like walnuts.

- Refined – In this case, shea butter is highly processed. Can be filtered and deodorized, but its natural components will not be affected. In some situations, natural color and flavor of shea butter may be removed.

- Highly refined or processed – in this case you should use other substances other than water, to increase the amount of butter, such as for example, solvent called hexane. The color of this product will be pure white.

The best thing would be to use only unrefined shea butter or raw, to take full advantage of its positive effects on health and particularly to avoid shea butter extracted with solvents.


How should shea butter smell?

Shea butter in its natural state has a flavor that most people consider pleasant. As is aging, its flavor will fade. Shea butter is quite stable when stored properly, otherwise it may rancid.

Shea butter should not smell moldy or rotten regardless of age. If you think that natural flavor disappears too quickly, try shea butter refined high that fot clay filtered to remove its natural flavor.


The benefits of shea butter

Healing qualities – healing qualities of shea butter are present thanks to its multiple fatty acids and sterols, namely oleic acid, stearic acid, palmitic and linoleic. These components can’t be converted into soap when placed in alkaline environment. Thanks to this quality shea butter has a pronounced action of skin healing.

Anti-inflammatory properties – Shea butter contains several derivatives of cinnamic acid, a compound frequently found in cinnamon. Shea butter has anti-inflammatory effect, and, in addition to that, one of its compounds prevent the developing of tumors.

High in antioxidants – Shea butter contains vitamins A and E, and catechins, but also antioxidants from plants found in green tea too. Although it is unclear how well vitamins A and E are absorbed into the skin in shea butter, there is evidence that cinnamic esters in shea butter help prevent skin damage by ultraviolet radiation.

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