Whether you're a beauty neophyte or a consummate connoisseur of every beauty product and secret, you're bound to have come across it in one of your perfume shop searches. We're talking about shea butter, one of the most popular and widely used ingredients in cosmetics. Shea butter has a multitude of uses in cosmetics, from the formulation of skincare and hair products to makeup, where shea butter has endless uses in lipstick and lip products.
Shea butter has been used purely on the skin and hair for centuries for its nourishing and conditioning cosmetic properties, but it is also a precious ally when included in the formulation of a product. Let's discover together all the qualities that make it so popular!
Shea butter: one ingredient for thousand uses
Shea butter is obtained from the seeds of the Vitellaria Paradoxa tree, a plant native to central Africa, where it is extremely widespread. During the summer, the process of collecting the seeds, known as shea nuts, takes place, from which a paste-like substance is obtained. This raw material can then undergo a few processing steps to purify and filter it into an ivory-white butter with a slightly sweet, nutty fragrance. Here it is, shea butter in its primary form. The name under which we find it listed in the INCI as Butyrospermum parkii Butter.
Unrefined shea butter is also called raw, because it does not undergo any kind of chemical process or temperature change, and is sold in blocks that must be consumed within a few days. For this reason, it can only be found in the vicinity of crops.
Unrefined shea butter is also an ingredient with many uses in the kitchen, especially in confectionery and in the processing of cocoa and chocolate. Its slightly 'nutty' scent makes it the perfect vehicle for adding a hint of softness to desserts. And it is probably because of this quality that we often find it as the main ingredient in fragrant, emollient lip balms. But that's not all: the endless softening, nourishing, elasticizing, and protective properties of shea butter are widely used in the production of cosmetics of all kinds.
A vitamin mix for the skin
With its soft and rich texture, this butter provides immediate relief in particularly harsh weather conditions, when cold, dry air, or wind can really take a toll on the skin and hair.
Thanks to its high content of flavonoids, shea butter has excellent antioxidant properties, which help to counteract the action of free radicals on the skin. Another property that makes shea butter exceptional for our skin is the high presence of linoleic acid, oleic acid, and stearic acid, ingredients that play an active part in the formation of elastin and collagen, preserving the elasticity and tone of our tissues. Finally, shea butter also contains high percentages of vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin D, a true multivitamin mix for the well-being of skin and hair.
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