Shea butter is natural fat extracted from fruit of the shea tree. It is especially known for its cosmetic properties as a moisturizer and emollient. Shea butter is a popular ingredient in many products.
It is so safe that shea butter is edible. It can be consumed in foods and is also used in the manufacture of chocolate as a substitute for cocoa butter. The two kinds of shea butter available are unrefined certified organic and chemically refined. Unrefined shea butter is processed without chemicals. The chemically refined shea butter is bleached, heated, and solvent extracted using a petrol-chemical. Purist claim the chemically refined version lacks the healing properties found in unrefined organic shea butter.
Shea butter is also a known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It is also used for treating skin conditions such as burns, rashes, fading scars, eczema, severely dry skin, and in reducing the irritation of psoriasis. Shea butter provides some natural UV sun protection although the level of protection varies and should not be relied on.
Shea butter is available in many expensive moisturizing skin products. It is also used in high quality hair conditioners to add moisture in dry hair, and reconditioning split ends. This butter has been used for centuries by the people of Africa to moisturize and protect their skin from sun, wind, heat and salt water. Shea Butter is also used as hairdressing to moisturize a dry scalp and encourage hair growth. It is also used to hold hairstyles and lightly relax curls.
One of the richest emollients available, scarcities of the supply of shea butter results in an erratic market price Shea Butter is frequently used in massage to create a frictionless surface on the skin, allowing for therapeutic deep tissue work. It also acts as excellent base for the addition of medical and cosmetic ingredients. It is a key ingredient in the most reputable beauty products and soaps, only recently gaining recognition in the United States in products like Revitol. Shea Butter can actually help stimulate collagen production in the skin, making it very effective in helping to reduce wrinkles, burns, and scars.
The anti-inflammatory properties of Shea butter have been studied for medical use. It has been found to be useful in cases of arthritis and in cases of rheumatism. Shea butter has also been studied as a nasal decongestant by application to the inside of the nostrils. It can also be helpful in cases of eczema and dermatitis and can help reduce skin bruising and soreness.
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