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Shea butter or shea nut butter (Butyrospermum Parkii), is a natural fat extracted from the seed of the shea or karite tree by crushing and boiling. The shea tree grows naturally in West Africa.

Shea butter's main use is as moisturizer in skin care preparations. But you may be surprised to hear that shea butter is also edible and can be used in food preparation where it is sometimes substituted for cocoa butter in making chocolate.

Shea Butter Uses  

Shea butter is known most for its inclusion in skin care preparations as a moisturizing ingredient, although claims have been made that it also possesses anti-inflammatory properties. Products containing shea butter are marketed as being effective in treating a range of conditions including fading scars, eczema, dry skin, blemishes, skin discolorations, stretchmarks and wrinkles. It is high in vitamins A and E and catchins (antioxidants). In addition, shea butter contains cinnamic acid, which is a natural UV filter.

One of the reasons that shea butter is so popular as a moisturizing ingredient is because it is rapidly absorbed into the skin without greasiness. It may be incorporated into soaps and body washes in small concentrations to deliver oil, which can help to seal in moisture after washing. In addition to skin care preparations, shea butter is also used in hair conditioners to to manage dry, brittle hair.

I'm a huge fan of shea butter, not only for its moisturizing ability, but also because it is a naturally derived ingredient free of chemicals. It's ideal for managing dry and hair conditions. You can find shea butter in a range of skin care preparations including:

[Link Removed] - antioxidants, essential fatty acids and shea butter provide an arsenal of ingredients to strengthen and refine mature skin.

Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti aging skin care and women's wellness. She owns and operates an online skin care store at [Link Removed].
For a limited time, Fabulously 40 members save 5% off all purchases. Code fab40 at checkout.


Pharmagirl, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Trudy S wrote Dec 7, 2009
    • I use 100% shea butter on my lips in the winter.  Really makes a difference on chapping...I don’t anymore!  I have a little metal tub of it that I can carry around easily.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kyah wrote Dec 7, 2009
    • I agree. I see the West African vendors with these huge tubs of Shea butter, scooping out the stuff into small tins for people who want to buy it. I get it through Nubian Heritage, and my favorite has lavender and wildflowers in it. You can even use it on your face without worrying about breaking out. They even have a Shea butter and black seed lotion. Black seed was something even the ancient Egyptians knew about.

      Here’s something interesting about Shea butter, the tree it comes from has to be at least 50 years old to yield high quality Shea butter!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Venus 7000 wrote Dec 10, 2009
    • I don’t know why, but shea butter causes my skin to break out.  Especially on my shoulders and back.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Pharmagirl wrote Dec 11, 2009
    • Trudy
      Yes, shea butter makes an excellent lip balm.

      Kyah

      Thanks for the interesting tidbit on shea butter - didn’t know that!

      Venus

      Everyone responds differently to skin care products and while shea butter seems to be great for many individuals, it might not be the best for your skin.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Dec 11, 2009
    • I love Shea Butter especially in the winter as I get very dry skin on my arms and legs



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Fraz764 wrote Dec 11, 2009
    • I use shea butter on everything from my hair on down!! I love it.

      Venus, it breaks my daughter out as well if she uses it too frequently.



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