NEXT PAGE  

Advertisement

Shea Lotion Basics

Unusual Skin Care Ingredients Image Gallery Shea butter is an emollient and anti-inflammatory that contains fatty acids and vitamins A, E and K. See more pictures of unusual skin care ingredients.
©iStockphoto.com/Janeta Baranowska

Shea butter can be used as a hair conditioner or to fight dandruff. It can be used as a daily moisturizer, and it can be used to soothe burns and minimize scarring. It's even edible -- it's often used in chocolate as a substitute for cocoa butter [source: Karité]. Shea -- whether called a butter or lotion -- is often touted as a miracle ingredient in cosmetics and lotions. Its use in cosmetics worldwide is relatively new, but shea butter has been widely used in parts of Africa for centuries -- for moisturizing, healing and cooking [source: Cherry].

Shea butter comes from a tree that's indigenous to sub-Saharan West Africa. It's an excellent emollient and anti-inflammatory that's rich in fatty acids and vitamins A, E and K [source: Elias]. These vitamins and nutrients are essential to healthy skin because they do the following:

Advertisement

  • Vitamin A: Studies show that vitamin A reduces lines and wrinkles, controls acne and provides some psoriasis relief.
  • Vitamin E: Applying vitamin E to skin helps repair sun damage, reduce wrinkles and improve skin texture.
  • Vitamin K: Topical vitamin K reduces bruises, spider veins and wrinkles.
  • Fatty acids: If your skin is dry, inflamed or prone to whiteheads and blackheads, your skin may lack essential fatty acids. Without an adequate supply of these nutrients, skin can produce a more irritating form of sebum, or oil, that can cause acne and skin irritation [source: Bouchez].

Shea butter creation is a process that's been passed down from one generation of African women to the next. Read on to learn more about this demanding work.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement


Advertisement


Recommended

Advertisement

Advertisement