Let’s face it - if you’re black (and you know a thing or two about ashy elbows and ankles), you definitely know about shea butter. As the most popular moisturizing agent used in lotions and creams, shea butter has definitely gained a lot of street cred as being the king of bustin’ ash! Just by looking down the hair and skin care aisle in any beauty supply joint, you’re bound to find endless products that incorporate this good stuff. If you’ve ever wondered what shea butter is, where it comes from and why everyone is so obsessed with it, continue reading!
What is shea butter?
Here’s the deal - shea butter is basically fat. Yes ma’am, you read that right! Shea butter is fat extracted from shea nuts that grow in Africa. For centuries, shea butter has been produced mostly in the west and east of the continent by locals in a natural process with no added chemicals. Seriously, shea butter is so chemical-free that it’s primary use in Africa is for eating! It has also been used for years in skin and hair care as well as for treating wounds and healing skin conditions. It’s thick and luscious consistency also means that it is a great base for highly moisturizing creams, soaps and lotions!
What does shea butter do?
To understand the uses of shea butter, you must first understand it’s natural properties.
- It contains over 60% fat content: Shea butter has a lot of fatty acids (including oleic, palmitic and linoleic for the nerds who want to know) that make it an excellent moisturizer. These fatty acids create a protective layer on the skin that locks in the moisture and leaves you looking oiled up and hydrated even in the coldest, dryest times of the year! Love the glow you get from using our Ultra-Moisturizing Body Butter? You have the fatty acids to thank for that!
- It is a naturally UV protectant: So you mean black folk have natural melanin in their skin to protect them from the sun AND they can get sun protection from their favorite butta’ too? That’s right! Shea butter has a sun protection factor (SPF) in the 6 - 10 range, meaning that it provides a slight protection from the harsh UV rays of the sun. Yes, you can be moisturized and protected too! We do need to mention though that EVERYONE needs to wear additional sunscreen because, well, climate change.
- It contains antioxidants: You usually hear this word in discussions about body cleanses and diets. Well, it kind of works the same way with your skin! Shea butter has natural antioxidants that protect skin cells from free radicals which cause dull looking skin, wrinkles and fast skin aging. Vitamin E and A are the main antioxidants present in shea butter and they do a great job of making sure that your skin remains young and smooth for a long time to come!
- It is anti-inflammatory: It is no wonder shea butter has been hailed as a healing substance in many parts of Africa. Cinnamic acid is to thank for this (if you thought about cinnamon, yes, it’s the same compound it contains!) Cinnamic acid is great at reducing inflammation in the skin, which promotes healing and rejuvenation of collagen and skin cells. Shea butter naturally contains a lot of cinnamic acid which means that with continued use, your skin will heal and gain its youthful exuberance once more. Stretch marks, psoriasis and eczema are also products of skin inflammation, which is why shea butter is excellent at improving these conditions.
Why do we love shea butter?
Shea butter is basically magic in a bottle. Incorporating it in your skincare routine is a sure fire way to get skin that is popping, glowing and 100% ash free! Enhance that beautiful melanin with this natural, powerful product and thank us later. Because of the popularity of the product in recent years, there is a lot of shea butter out there that is of very low quality. Some manufacturers cut corners and refine shea butter so much so that it loses its natural abilities. You have to make sure that the shea butter you put on your skin is 100% natural, raw and unrefined so that you can benefit from all it’s natural goodness. Here at Somethiin’ For That Ash, we only use natural products shipped straight from the motherland to ensure that your skin only receives the best of the best. That’s why our Natural Shea Body Butter works wonders on the skin! But no matter where you get your shea butter, make sure that it's a good quality source.
If you were wondering what you can use shea butter for, the options are endless! Heat some shea butter in a water bath (make sure not to boil!) to use as a fantastic, deeply penetrative massage oil. Rub some shea butter on your lips to get rid of the cracks and peels. Use shea butter on your stomach and back during and after pregnancy to prevent or reduce stretch marks. If you’re also losing or gaining weight rapidly, shea butter helps your skin retain its elasticity so your skin can make an easy transition. Incorporate shea butter into your hair masks and conditioners to promote healthy hair growth. Shea butter is great for the winter months where your ankle ash is seemingly relentless. There are so many uses for this great product that you’ll be doing yourself a huge disservice by not trying it. Don’t say we didn't tell ya!Put Shea Butter Baby by Ari Lennox on blast and be amazed by sheer power of shea as you nourish your skin and feed your hair with this miracle treat!