With its unique blend of emollients such as linoleic, oleic and palmitic and stearic acids, shea butter is not only a super moisturizer but also a healing substance that has long been used to treat a variety of skin and hair conditions.
These include: chapped skin, dehydrated hair, ring worm, skin rashes, itchy scalp, thinning and sun burned skin, among others. Only recently has it been used in other parts of the world to successfully manage psoriasis, eczema , rosacea and other inflammatory skin conditions.
What Makes Shea Butter a Good Option for Eczema Treatment?
Shea butter has a very high healing fraction that is more than any other oils including coconut oil, and it is also rich in nourishing nutrients as we such discover below:
- Vitamin A – Shea butter is so rich in vitamin A that you can call it vitamin A (retinol) cream, no kidding! Many skin products contain retinol and retinoic acid that are important for healthy skin cell production. Vitamin A is also said to stimulate the cells responsible for developing tissue, also known as fibroblasts, that keep skin supple and healthy from within the epidermis and dermis layers of the skin.
- Vitamin E – A fat-soluble antioxidant found in high amounts in raw African shea butter, vitamin E helps keep eczema skin properly lubricated and speeds up the healing process of itchy and bleeding wounds caused by excessive scratching.
- Cinnamic Acid Esters – These are anti-inflammatory agents that help reduce inflammation and redness as well as soothe irritated skin.
- Vitamin F (includes Stearic Acid, Oleic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Linoleic Acid & more) – These nourishing fats are also known as unsaponifiables that are knownto be good for skin. Shea butter has a content of 7-12% unsaponsifiables, which makes it an excellent moisturizer for dry itchy and flaky eczema. The nourishing fats also form a protective barrier over eczema skin, which keeps away skin irritating germs that can further aggravate eczema and cause flare-ups.
Reasons You Should Use Shea Butter for Eczema Treatment
✓ All-Natural – Shea butter is a natural plant butter extracted from the nuts of the African Shea tree. The raw and unrefined version is completely natural with no additives and this is the type you should use for eczema treatment. Refined shea butters are processed, which removes the natural yellow color, turning it white plus it’s also deodorized to make it smell pleasing. If your eczema is affected by strong scents, then you can use refined shea butter, however, the unrefined type is the one with all the healing nutrients intact.
✓ Safe for Even Babies – In Africa, people use shea butter on their babies from when they’re born into childhood to keep their skin protected from irritants and harsh weather. Since it’s all-natural, shea butter is totally safe to use on babies’ skin to treat eczema.
✓ Non-Comedogenic – Shea butter has a comedogenic rating of ZERO! A comedogenic rating is a scale from 0-5 that shows the pore-clogging ability of a substance. So if you have eczema on your face and you’re scared of getting breakouts and clogged pores with shea butter, then worry no more! Of course, also make sure to use a little amount and wash your face thoroughly before applying it.
How to Use Shea Butter for Eczema Treatment
→ Right Outta the Jar! The simplest way to use shea butter for eczema treatment is using it straight out of the jar. Simply get a liberal amount and rub it in your affected areas. It’s ideal to use shea butter for eczema immediately you step out of the shower and when your skin is still wet to lock in moisture, keeping eczema moisturized, flake-free, non-itchy and calmed down. If your shea butter is in a block form or it’s crumbly, then simply break off a piece and warm it between your palms to melt it.
→ Make a Salve! Salves are immensely healing and contain ingredients like beeswax, which is a surfactant that forms a protective barrier over eczema skin, warding off germs and sealing in moisture. They also contain herb-infused oils like comfrey oil, calendula oil, lavender oil, plantain oil, etc. These herbs are rich in anti-oxidants and skin soothing properties that give quick relief to bleeding, itchy and painful eczema.
→ Whip it! One of the best ways to use shea butter is by whipping it with a hand mixer or electric stand mixer to form a whipped cream like texture that makes it so soft and silky! This consistency is very easy to spread on the skin compared to using raw shea butter straight out of the jar. When whipping your shea butter for eczema treatment & relief, it’s very beneficial to add other skin nourishing ingredients like coconut oil, tea tree oil, aloe vera gel, among others. Using a hand mixer makes an excellent whipped eczema cream but if you don’t have one, it’s okay! Try using a whisk and a lot of force to beat the shea butter into a similar whipped consistency.