Updated July 2022
You’ve probably heard of using shea butter to moisturize dry skin or condition your hair, but did you know it has many uses? Shea butter is an incredible substance that you can use on your skin, hair, nails and more.
Shea butter is a fat that is extracted from the seeds of the shea (or Karite) tree. The shea tree is native to the tropical climates in eastern and western Africa. Shea butter contains many beneficial vitamins and antioxidants, including Vitamin E, A and F, and the antioxidant catechins. Fatty acids like stearic and oleic acid add to shea butter’s many benefits.
Shea butter has many benefits for your skin. It has incredible moisturizing properties, especially for those with dry skin, and works as an emollient. Shea butter also helps reduce the signs of aging and combats stretch marks. It acts as an anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial substance. It even blocks UV rays with an SPF of between 3-4.
However, just because a product claims it contains shea butter, not all products are created equal. You want to ensure that you’re using raw shea butter, which is unrefined. When shea butter is refined, it loses many of its benefits.
With all of these qualities, it’s no wonder that there are so many uses for shea butter. Read on to discover how to use raw shea butter.
How To Use Raw Shea Butter
1. Moisturize Dry Skin
You can use it directly on dry skin to moisturize and quickly improve your skin’s feel. Shea butter is packed with Vitamins A, E and F and it won’t clog your pores. It’s great to keep on you while traveling because a little bit goes a long way.
2. Hydrate Your Hair
Many people reap the rewards of applying it directly to their hair for a bunch of benefits to their tresses. These include reducing scalp irritation, heat protection, softening hair, and more! Don’t be shy about using shea on your hair!
3. Boost Your Skin’s Antioxidants
Shea butter is rich in vitamins, as well as catechins and other significant plant antioxidants that help to soothe and restore damaged skin. It contains phenols which are the same antioxidants found in green tea.
4. Diminish Stretch Marks
Regularly applying it across your tummy during pregnancy can reduce the formation of stretch marks. But what if I already have stretch marks?! Don’t worry, if you already have stretch marks, applying unrefined Shea butter two to three times a day can work to significantly reduce their appearance.
5. Soothe Skin Inflammation
Containing several anti-inflammatory agents, Shea butter is effective when you apply it to sore and inflamed skin. Shea butter is traditionally used in Africa for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.
6. Repair Cuticles
Many who suffer with dry cuticles claim that raw shea butter helps. Try using some daily as a hand cream and rejuvenate your cuticles.
7. Ease Acne
Acne sufferers know the importance of getting moisture into their skin. Shea butter can be wonderful for acne because it’s readily absorbed into the skin without clogging up your pores. Having said this, there are mixed feelings about the results. If you have experience using shea butter on acne, please let us know in the comments.
8. Fade Acne Scars
Not only can Shea butter be beneficial for acne, it has also been known to help with acne scars, the lingering reminders of the acne that was. Try applying some raw shea butter directly on the scar tissue to reduce inflammation and fade its appearance.
9. Natural Eczema Relief
According to Shea Institute, “Vitamin A in Shea Butter is important for improving a number of skin conditions, including blemishes, wrinkles, eczema, and dermatitis.” Though the reviews are mixed on this, using a natural product is definitely better for the skin than using lotions with synthetic ingredients.
10. Relieve Insect Bites
After an evening outside in midsummer, you may find that you’ve been bitten up by mosquitos. Believe it or not, smoothing some raw Shea butter on the bites has been known to reduce the inflammation and skin irritation.
11. Care For Cracked Heels
Raw Shea butter’s moisturizing properties make it ideal for healing dry and cracked heels. If your heels are a little worse for wear, try some!
12. Use As A Natural Lip Balm
I have a ton of lip balm recipes because raw Shea butter is an amazing natural remedy for chapped lips!
13. Shaving Success
Can you swap out your shaving foam or cream with raw Shea butter? It depends. Some say it doesn’t lather enough for them, others say it doesn’t need the lather. The latter herald its smoothness on the skin. Either way, give it a try and see what you think!
Basically, Raw Shea Butter Rocks!
As you can see, there are many ways to use raw shea butter and this list is just the start. Whether you have skin issues like eczema or you just want to keep your skin youthful and your hair well-conditioned, shea butter offers something for just about everyone.
Better Shea Butter offers a line of shea butter products to meet all of your skincare needs. You can buy ivory or yellow Shea butter raw in block form or in a jar. If you want to stock up, or have a big project, you can buy it in bulk. You can use these products to make the perfect skincare solution for you. Discover the many benefits of shea butter today.