For centuries, shea butter – a natural plant butter obtained from the seeds of the fruit of the African Shea tree (or Karite tree) has been used as an integral part of many people’s lives in Africa for skin & hair moisturizing, cooking as well as soothing skin conditions, & painful joints.
What makes shea butter so much more special than other natural plant butters out there is its rich nutrient content and high healing fraction. Shea butter is rich in vitamins that have immense benefits to our bodies. Let’s take a look at the vitamins in shea butter and what they do for skin and hair.
4 Beneficial Vitamins in Shea Butter
1. Vitamin A
Shea butter is so rich in vitamin A that it can be called vitamin A cream all on its own! It’s well known that vitamin A is raved as a healing ingredient and it’s used in a myriad of skin creams from acne treatments to stretch mark balms. It has wonderful skin regenerating properties as well as moisture-sealing capabilities that keep skin looking beautiful. Vitamin A also helps gradually erase blemishes and it also treats eczema, psoriasis as well as extremely dry chapped skin.
2. Vitamin E
A powerful antioxidant that can be taken orally and applied externally, vitamin E is sometimes called the ‘beauty vitamin’ because of its extraordinary beautifying properties. It fights off free radicals that accelerate wrinkles and fine lines, deeply moisturizes skin, brings back the softness to leathery and rough skin, speeds up scar healing, helps prevent and fade away stretch marks, rejuvenates mature skin and so much more!
3. Vitamin K
Vitamin K is also another rising champion in the skin care world – it’s used to treat spider veins, rosacea, skin bruising, under eye circles, stretch marks and minor burns. It also promotes young looking skin and helps renew damaged and old skin cells, promoting healthy and glowing skin always.
4. Vitamin F
More commonly known as fatty acids, the vitamin F content in shea butter consists of the following:
- Oleic acid: 40 – 60%
- Stearic acid: 20 – 50%
- Linoleic acid: 3 – 11%
- Palmitic acid: 2 – 9%
- Linolenic acid: less than 1%
- Arachidic acid: less than 1%
The fatty acids in shea butter are the star reason people use shea butter – they are excellent emollients that seal moisture into dry skin, keeping it smooth and soft. They also form a protective layer over skin, preventing irritants and microbes from coming into contact with skin and aggravating it. The fatty acids are good for soothing painful inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis and they also heal bug bites, skin rashes and inflamed acne & pimples.
Go for Raw African Shea Butter for Maximum Benefits
If you want to gain all the vitamin-rich benefits of shea butter, then look for 100% pure raw African Shea butter because this is the type that doesn’t go through any sort of chemical or artificial processing. It’s straight from the tree after the manual harvesting method of sun drying, crushing and boiling the shea nuts and it is extracted using water.
The refined version of shea butter is the most commonly and easily available one on the market but this type has been highly processed, deodorized and bleached to make it stark white in color and scent-free. There’s no problem with using this kind of shea butter but about 95% of the vitamin content has been removed, leaving it without its medicinal & therapeutic properties – only the moisturizing qualities remain.
So it’s best to go for raw African shea butter: