Pass the Shea, Please

Coconut oil will dust your house and do your taxes.

Well, not really. Coconut oil certainly is all the rage. And with good reason. Its therapeutic qualities abound. But let’s not forget our healing sister botanical: shea butter. Raw, organic shea butter is no match for what ails your skin.

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY

Studies show that shea butter is a significant source of anti-inflammatory compounds. Therefore, it is an excellent base for salves aimed at easing achy muscles. Our Muscle Balm is made of 25% raw, wildcrafted shea butter and makes a great companion for weekend warriors and other active people.

ANTI-OXIDANT

Shea is also a powerful anti-oxidant and has shown to have anti-tumoral properties. This makes a shea product a strong skin protector. With the increasing attacks of UV rays and pollution, applying a shea-based moisturizer like our Wild Mint Body Butter (with 50% pure shea) just makes good sense.

ANTI-AGING / EMOLLIENT

Among other properties, shea butter inhibits collagenase, an enzyme that breaks down collagen and contributes to our skin’s aging. In fact, the application of shea butter has been shown to boost the production of collagen, which promotes younger looking skin. As an emollient, shea butter was shown to be more effective than mineral oil and petroleum jelly.

MISCELLANEOUS

Shea butter also provides a minimal amount of UV protection, with an equivalent of SPF 3-4. Although this does not provide adequate UV protection for daily, prolonged exposure to the sun, it does provide some protection, unlike some phototoxic essential oils (e.g. bergamot, lemon, cold-pressed lime, grapefruit, others).

Shea has also been shown to reduce rash (often seen in eczema). As an anecdote, I’ll tell you that one of my relatives came to me with severe eczema on her fingers. After two weeks of daily application of our Lavender [Shea] Body Butter to her hands, the redness and itchiness were gone. I have seen similar results in many friends and family members.

So, give shea butter another look. Although it may be an oldie, it still has staying power. And it plays well with coconut oil.

Our products with shea butter: Lavender Body Butter, Lavender/Ginger Body Butter, Wild Mint Body Butter, Lavender Foot Balm, Sleep Balm, Muscle Balm.

SOURCES

Malachi Oluwaseyi Israel. Effects of Topical and Dietary Use of Shea Butter on Animals. American Journal of Life Sciences. Vol. 2, No. 5, 2014, pp. 303-307. doi: 10.11648/j.ajls.20140205.18.

Akihisa T, Kojima N, Kikuchi T, Yasukawa K, Tokuda H, T Masters E, Manosroi A, Manosroi J. Anti-inflammatory and chemopreventive effects of triterpene cinnamates and acetates from shea fat. Journal of Oleo Science. 2010;59(6):273-80.

Zhang J, Kurita M, Shinozaki T, Ukiya M, Yasukawa K, Shimizu N, Tokuda H, Masters ET, Akihisa M, Akihisa T. Triterpene glycosides and other polar constituents of shea (Vitellaria paradoxa) kernels and their bioactivities. Phytochemistry. 2014 Dec;108:157-70. doi: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2014.09.017. Epub 2014 Oct 21

Draelos ZD. A pilot study investigating the efficacy of botanical anti-inflammatory agents in an OTC eczema therapy. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. 2016 Jun;15(2):117-9. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12199. Epub 2015 Nov 24

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