Although I have always moisturised my body with some sort of Shea butter body product or other, I was first introduced to natural unrefined Shea butter by the hubby who swears by the raw African Shea butter.
I have to admit that I wasn’t a fan of the unrefined butter at first because I didn’t particularly like the smell (of lack of, actually) of it but when I got pregnant, I decided to use it more frequently and let me tell you it’s one of the best things you can put on your skin.
Shea butter comes from the seeds of the fruit of the Shea (Karite) tree and is naturally rich in vitamins A, E and F. Although it is widely used in Africa and other countries as food and to improve skin and hair, I feel that some of us in the West are still in the dark about its many other uses and benefits. I initially started using Shea butter as a body butter but I have since found other uses and benefits of this super product:
1. Moisturiser – my skin tends to get really, really dry and I have tired many beauty store moisturisers that claim to work on dry skin and for some reasons they just don’t quite hit my dry skin spot like I need them to (see what I did there?!). Since I’ve started using Shea butter, my skin feels smooth, hydrated and soft. If like me you’re not a bog fan of the scent, you can add other oils such as lavender oil
2. Eczema – my daughter has inherited by dry skin and a couple of weeks after she was born, she had a mild case of baby eczema. I found that using unrefined Shea butter on the affected areas really helped clear the eczema away. She still has dry skin but thankfully no more eczema. It works just as great on most skin rashes.
3. Cradle Cap – on top of baby eczema, I also had cradle cap to deal with. This is basically scaly/scabby patches that appear on babies’ scalps. Because my baby’s skin is sensitive and my GP wanted me to avoid chemicals on her skin, etc, I was left with using both coconut oil and Shea butter for her hair. I’d message the butter on her head and leave it over night then gently brush it off the next day.
4. Stretch Mark Prevention – I swear by using Shea butter to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy. I used this everyday on my belly and i didn’t get a stretch mark….until my Shea butter ran out towards the end of my pregnancy and Mother Nature refused to let me be great. I am convinced had it not run out, it would have been a win for me…well, i’m starting to love my stripes anyway.
5. Tough & Cracked Heels – i love a good pedicure. My favourite part is when they peel off the hard skin on the heels. Wellll…I found out some time ago from one of the people I follow on Twitter that pedicures aren’t as great for your feet as I first believed. Did you know that peeling off your skin makes even tougher skin grow up. I guess it’s a way of your skin defending itself. Now, every night before bed, I put a generous amount of Shea butter on my feet and wear socks and it works.
6. Shaving Cream – this is a recent discovery (must have read it somewhere). I tried this and it left my legs feeling so soft. The consistency is slightly thicker but it does the job so much better than most standard shaving creams
7. Hair – my hair is natural and a lot of the hair products I buy contain Shea butter but nothing compares to actually using the unprocessed butter. I use it mainly on my scalp as a conditioner or put it all over my hair for shorter, more manageable hair. It locks in moisture and prevents my hair from getting dry and frizzy.