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Ingredient Truths: Soothe Skin with Shea Butter

by kelly / February, 1 2017 01:30

Shea butter and shea butter nut

Why have dry crackly skin this winter when it can be soft and supple instead? How? Make sure you have some shea butter in your skin care products.

Shea Butter – Where It’s From and How It's Used

Shea Butter, or the official scientific name Butyrospermum Parkii Butter (this is how it will be listed on products), is an off-white or ivory-colored fat extracted from the nut of the African shea tree.

It’s actually edible and is used in food prep – for example, sometimes the chocolate industry uses shea butter with other oils as substitute for cocoa butter. I’m not sure it tastes the same as regular chocolate but you gotta give it to shea butter for being so versatile. Of course at Block Island Organics we use shea butter in skin care products, not food.

Shea Butter – Softens & Soothes Skin

Shea butter helps the skin in two ways. One is it creates a barrier on the skin’s surface which helps the skin retain moisture. The second is it decreases the appearance of rough patches and dry skin. This is why shea butter is considered a fantastic skin conditioning agent.

This little miracle ingredient has a few other benefits too. It’s known as an anti-inflammatory to soothe irritated, itchy or sunburnt skin and it is a recommended ingredient in products that reduce the appearance of stretch marks, cellulite and scarring. As an expectant mom, I’m definitely going to be using some shea butter on my belly!

Shea Butter – Prevents Skin Aging

One more great reason to use shea butter is its anti-aging benefits. This is partly because it is packed with antioxidants like vitamin E and A and antioxidants are vital in fighting free radical damage.

The American Journal of Life Sciences recently published notes on two studies that found that shea butter diminished various signs of skin aging:

“In a clinical study involving 30 volunteers, Renard [56] reported that Shea butter diminished various aging signs. In another clinical study by the same author for studying dry, delicate or aging skin, 49 volunteers applied twice a day either 15% or pure Shea Butter and discovered that Shea butter prevented photo-aging.”

Block Island Organics and Shea Butter

So now you know why we’re big fans of shea butter but what do we do with it? Well, it’s a featured ingredient in our Natural Face Moisturizer SPF 30 and Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30. We use it in these products to keep your skin moisturized (and protected) during and after a day out in the sun.

Learn More Ingredient Truths

Whew, I hope you learned a bit from this discussion. It can be a lot to take in.

Want the honest truth about other ingredients and skin care? Check out our Ingredient Truths series, Our Ingredients page and our skin care education series.

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