Slathering On Organic Shea Butter

Organic beauty products are far more accessible in today’s market. Whilst many are still laced with silica and preservatives, the shelves are stacked with an abundance of natural-ingredient lotions and potions.

I’ve been researching into the best products that I can invest into my beauty routine. I am by no means a pillar of health. I say this with confidence as I wolf down a millionaire shortbread whilst typing. Although – when it comes to beauty products, I consider myself a champion of going green.

Shea butter is derived from the Karite tree, also known as Shea. Native to the West African region, shea butter is extracted from the fat of shea nuts. It’s laden with rich nutrients and vitamins; which makes shea the core ingredient in many skincare products. Lotions, facial cleansers, shampoos and conditioners all favour the use of shea butter for its emollient properties.

Raw, unrefined shea butter is really thick in consistency. Imagine a hybrid between vaseline and coconut oil. It’s solid in texture, but crumbles and melts with the warmth of your hands. The smell is just as rich – in fact, it’s almost like an indulgent hot chocolate. However, the anti-ageing properties is what makes shea butter most desirable.

High levels of oleic, linoleum and stearic acids help combat oxidative stress; which is the effect that the environmental toxins have on your skin cells. Vitamins E and A are also key players; which promote a healthy turnover of new cells.

Not only is shea butter amazing for your skin, but it’s a real treat for your hair, nails and even the kitchen!

Here are my favourite uses for shea butter:

  • Homemade body butter – shea butter is a core ingredient in many body butters and lotions. Rich in emollient properties, shea butter can keep skin hydrated far longer than any store-bought alternative. I have a fantastic recipe for a homemade body butter; which you can find here. Twice a week, after a full body exfoliation, I slap on a thick layer of raw shea butter all over my body to add back in the moisture.
  • Hair mask – the thick consistency of shea butter makes it a fantastic treat for your hair. The thick texture coats the hair shaft which protects your locks from harmful UV rays and moisturises better than any store-bought hair mask. Shea butter also prevents hair loss due to its anti-inflammatory properties and treats dry, itchy scalps. Slather it on from root to tip, once a week, for the best hair treat money can buy.
  • Overnight face mask – Along with vitamin E and A, shea butter contains high levels of vitamin F; which improves the elasticity of your skin. Rather than my usual facial oil, I use a thick layer of raw shea butter on my face and leave it on overnight as a ‘mask’. I preferably use it after I exfoliate to soothe and soften my skin. I awake to refreshed, replenished and super soft skin.
  • Lip mask – much like its effect on your skin, shea butter is a great alternative to lip balm. Dry and chapped lips are gone in an instant with a simple slick of this wonder balm.
  • Soothing aches and pains – swelling, joint pain and sore back/neck are all characteristics that I have unfortunately inherited. Shea butter is extensively used in Africa as a muscle relaxer due to its anti-inflammatory properties. I use shea butter as a massage balm when I’m not feeling my best.
  • Cuticle butter and hand/foot mask – every night, I slather on a layer of shea butter on my feet and hands (including cuticles) before bed. Not only does it soothe my feet after a day of heels, but it provides an intense moisturising treat. Not forgetting keeping my hands looking youthful!
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