As long as people have been around, there have been many natural and synthetic products used to keep the skin in peak condition, and shea butter is among many of these products that has now stuck around.
Also known as the cream-colored fat derived from the nut of the African Shea tree, shea butter is used primarily as an ingredient in both food and cosmetics. Its structure as a fatty oil allows it to be melted down, which can be easily absorbed by the skin.
While shea butter for men and women is the same thing, it has a whole host of different health benefits that make it a necessary staple for both men and women alike aside from just skin and hair care. Some of these benefits include the following:
1. Shea butter can be used as an analgesic.
Traditionally, shea butter has been used to treat rheumatism, and many studies have even shown that it has certain medical properties that allow it to alleviate the symptoms of certain conditions such as arthritis, lower cholesterol, or even diarrhea.
Pure, unscented, and organically-made shea butter can even be applied on baby skin as it is both gentle and non-toxic enough that it can be used instead of olive oil. This is because of its higher stearic acid content, which puts it at a closer composition to the fat you can find in human skin.
2. Shea butter is great as a natural remedy for various skin maladies.
When mixed with essential oils such as lavender or roman chamomile, shea butter works as an anti-inflammatory balm (muscle soreness from exercise, aching joints, insect bites, etc.) and is often used to treat various conditions that affect the skin, such as the following:
• dryness/rashes/peeling/itchy skin
• minor cuts and wounds
• stretch marks
Shea butter also has a high moisturizing value, which is what makes it a crucial ingredient in many commercial shaving products (i.e. shaving butter, aftershave) that men use every day.
However, even though shea butter is naturally hypoallergenic, you should still test it on a small surface on your skin before proceeding to use it. If you have any allergies, consider seeing a dermatologist or a doctor to know if shea butter is really the cosmetic product for you.
3. Shea butter possesses certain anti-aging properties.
Unprocessed shea butter helps the skin to regenerate on a cellular level and allows the skin to retain its elasticity and softness, which in turn reduces the onset of wrinkles that can be brought about by various factors. With the pairing of a healthy lifestyle and diet, it can even help your body boost collagen production.