Shea butter has a variety of benefits for your skin and has been shown to be effective in treating acne and blemishes. Raw shea butter is also useful for tacking other skin issues, like acne scars.
How Can You Use Shea Butter for Your Acne and Skin?
Shea butter comes from the seeds of the Shea tree. The best shea butter is extracted and prepared without any added chemicals or preservatives. Shea butter is full of vitamins and essential fatty acids, making it ideal for UV protection and collagen production.
Shea butter is thick and solid at room temperature. It has a buttery consistency that makes it the perfect texture for eye creams, lip balms, and body butter. It is particularly good at penetrating the skin, as it contains 60% fat. Shea butter delivers moisture and anti-aging properties into your skin.
Shea butter is an exceptional moisturizer with a number of skin-healing properties. The moisturizers in shea butter are similar to what is produced by the sebaceous glands in your skin. For that reason, shea butter is hard to rival when it comes to an external skin moisturizer. Shea butter contains loads of Vitamin A and Vitamin E—vitamins that promote healthy skin and vision and protect cells from free radicals.
Shea butter can be useful for treating a wide variety of skin conditions, including:
- Dry skin
- Skin rash
- Skin peeling (after sun exposure)
- Blemishes and wrinkles
- Minor skin wounds
- Skin cracks
- Rough skin
- Stretch marks
- Insect bites
- Cold weather damage
- Heat damage
- Allergic reactions
- Razor irritation and bumps
Shea butter can also be used to relieve muscle tension and aches, such as those experienced after strenuous exercise. It’s ideal for moisturizing and smoothing your skin, as well as reducing inflammation.
Additionally, shea butter can be used as a cuticle cream or added to store-bought lotions. You can put it in homemade deodorant or homemade lip balms. Shea butter can improve skin elasticity, be used as an eyelid primer before makeup, or massaged into the scalp to relieve dryness and flakes.
Storing Shea Butter
Shea butter should be stored out of direct sunlight and heat. It is possible for shea butter to expire within one to two years—but with so many uses, you won’t leave it sitting that long! You can keep it in a cute, decorative jar on your bathroom counter or shelf.
How Shea Butter Can Impact Acne Scars
Shea butter can help reduce the appearance and redness of acne scars, fading their impact over time. Using shea butter for acne can help you regain the confidence that comes with clear, glowing skin. Here’s why it works:
- Anti-Inflammatory Properties. Shea butter contains Vitamin F and other healthy fatty acids that act as strong anti-inflammatory elements. These elements help reduce inflammation around scars and inject moisture into them—effectively weakening the appearance of acne scars.
- Antioxidant Properties Shea butter contains Vitamin E, which is widely known as skin-healing and protecting agent. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects your skin against free radicals that make your appear dull. Vitamin E has anti-inflammatory properties, too.
- Cell Regenerating Properties. Stearic fatty acid and allatonin are two amazing nutrients in shea butter. These nutrients are both effective cell regenerators, making them very useful for healing acne scars naturally. These two nutrients also increase the healing rate of minor skin injuries and blemishes. That makes shea butter perfect for quickly healing small wounds from popped pimples, which can cause unsightly scarring.
Shea butter is great for correcting skin discoloration and evening out skin tone. Shea butter can be more effective than store-bought moisturizers for lightening acne scars on your cheeks, forehead, and chin. Its healing properties help repair the pink, purple, and black discolorations of acne scars. Using shea butter for acne and acne scars will help you regain a smooth, even, skin tone.
Selecting the Right Shea Butter
Raw shea butter has not been commercially processed in any way. There are no added chemicals, preservatives, or other ingredients. It is not filtered, either, so you may find bits of soft shea nut in it—don’t worry, that’s a good thing!
The color of raw shea butter will be somewhere between off-white to beige or even yellow. The color depends on the tree it was extracted from. Raw shea butter typically comes in a jar or small tub and has a consistency similar to paste. It can be scooped with your finger or a small utensil. The reason it isn’t shaped into a block is that it isn’t formed by a mold. Rather, it is immediately placed into containers to harden before being distributed for sale.
Raw shea butter is rich in healing nutrients that haven’t been decreased or removed by heating or refining processes. Refined shea butter goes through a number of commercial processing steps to remove impurities (like those bits of shea nut) and to neutralize its odor. These steps cause the shea butter to lose valuable nutrients, making it less potent and effective than the raw form.
How to use Shea Butter for Acne Scars
The easiest way of using shea butter for acne scars is as a moisturizer. After you wash your face, pat it dry with a soft, clean towel. Then, scoop a small amount of shea butter out of your jar and rub it between the palms of your hands. Gently massage your face, making sure to target the areas with acne scars.
Alternatively, you can use shea butter as a spot treatment for acne scars. It might be better to use this method if you have one large acne scar or a number of small acne scars on your face. Simply dab a bit of shea butter on your acne scars with a Q-tip or your clean finger. Your skin heals itself and regenerates overnight as you sleep. Therefore, it’s best to apply the shea butter before bed.
A more potent method of acne scar treatment involves making your own shea butter concoction. This method is a bit more time consuming, but very effective at reducing the appearance of acne scars. To make the treatment mixture, you’ll need to combine shea butter with other natural scar-lightening ingredients. Here’s how to try this treatment yourself:
- 1 tablespoon of raw shea butter
- 5 drops of lavender essential oil
- 3 drops of lemon essential oil
Drop one tablespoon of raw shea butter into a medium-sized bowl. Using a whisk, stir the shea butter vigorously until it becomes creamy. Next, add the essential oils and continue stirring until the ingredients are blended together. Scoop the mixture into a clean jar or other small container and apply it to your acne scars every night.
If you’re a shea butter lover, you might want to make the mixture in a small blender if you intend to use it frequently. This will save you some time and energy! Make sure the blender is specifically designated for making the shea butter mixture, though, as the scent of the essential oils will linger. You probably won’t want to use the same blender to make smoothies, too.
Other Ways to Use Shea Butter on Acne Scars
- Whip raw shea butter with rose water or coconut oil to create a scar removal lotion.
- Melt shea butter and olive oil together to make a massage oil. Firmly massage scar areas to break down old, hardened scar tissue and promote blood circulation.
- Mix shea butter with any number of essential oils that help erase scars and stretchmarks, such as lavender, frankincense, or helichrysum. Apply to affected areas.
- Exfoliate affected areas with a natural exfoliant—like oatmeal or baking soda—to remove dead skin cells before using any shea butter recipes.
- Apply shea butter or shea butter mixtures to scars three times per day, including bedtime, for optimal results.
Natural Oils to Mix With Shea Butter for Scar Removal
Rosehip oil. This light, healing oil is extracted from dry rosehips. It is rich in a number of antioxidants that help treat skin problems, such as acne and acne scars. Rosehip oil is easily absorbed into skin. Mix it with shea butter to create a potent scar lightening solution.
Sea Buckthorn oil. This oil is well known for its healing and restorative properties. It is a natural exfoliant and cleanser that revitalizes skin cells, heals blemishes, and eradicates stretchmarks and acne scars. You can also make a massage lotion for acne scars by combining shea butter with Sea Buckthorn oil and rose water.
Vitamin E oil. Most store-bought scar creams contain Vitamin E oil. Vitamin E protects skin and can help heal and lighten different types of scars. Using Vitamin E on minor wounds as they’re healing can greatly speed up the growth of new skin cells and reduce the appearance of the scars that follow.
Benefits of Shea Butter for Hair
Shea butter is an oil, rich in fats, that offers a solution for countless skin and hair issues. Shea butter has gained huge popularity for its versatility in the health and beauty spaces. Lotion, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, and makeup have all put shea butter to use to create effective, natural products.
Chemical treatments like perms and dye are responsible for stripping hair of its natural moisturizer. Shea butter can help restore that lost moisture and protect your hair from things like harsh weather and sun damage. Once it’s absorbed, shea butter coats your hair shafts and protects them from heat tools and other moisture-stripping culprits. It’s great for color-treated hair and for protection from salt and chlorine for swimmers.
Shea butter also helps prevent hair loss. Fatty acids present in the shea butter condition your scalp and hair, adding vital nutrients along the way. This makes your hair follicles stronger and reduces hair fall-out. Shea butter also adds a gorgeous shine to your hair!
The moisturizing and regenerative properties of shea butter make it an effective treatment for split ends and breakage, too. It’s a great natural conditioner that locks in moisture without leaving your hair greasy or weighed-down.
Other Health Benefits of Shea Butter
- Rheumatism is a condition characterized by joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation. It often comes with pain and swelling in the muscles. Shea butter can be used topically to relieve this inflammation and pain.
- Arthritis is a joint disorder often associated with elderly or overweight people. It is a chronic condition that can be incredibly painful. The pain hinders basic movements and decreases one’s quality of life. Shea butter is composed largely of triterpenes—compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant powers. Some arthritis sufferers have experienced pain relief by using shea butter to alleviate inflammation.
- Shea butter can be used to reduce nasal congestion. By applying a small amount to the inside of your nostrils, you can reduce nasal inflammation in the inner lining of your nasal passages. This helps clear your nostrils, sometimes in as little as ninety seconds.
- Shea butter is edible and is used frequently for food preparation on the continent of Africa. Adding shea butter to your diet can help lower your cholesterol level. That’s because shea butter is high in stearic acid, a fatty acid that can assist in reducing cholesterol levels.
- Upset stomach is a symptom of many different ailments. It can also occur by itself, without being indicative of a larger issue. For annoying and painful intestinal issues, shea butter can be added to your diet as a natural remedy.
Shea butter truly has an incalculable number of applications. From skin care to hair repair to alternative medicine, shea butter can do it all! If you’re ready to try shea butter for your skin and acne concerns, here are a few tips to remember:
- Shea butter’s shelf life is two years at most.
- Shea butter is completely natural when purchased in raw form.
- Shea butter is safe to eat.
- Raw shea butter is plant-based and vegan-friendly.
- Shea butter comes from a tree nut but is generally safe for those with nut allergies. Check with your doctor before using shea butter if you have a history of allergic reactions.