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13 Amazing Benefits Of Shea Butter

Dr. Tahira Shahid

5 min read

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Shea butter is well-known for its many benefits for the skin and is a common ingredient in many skincare products. It can work wonders for your skin as it acts like food for the skin and can also help with other conditions.

What is shea butter?

Shea butter comes from the nuts of Shea trees native to Africa. It has a thick consistency and maintains its solid texture, even in warm climates. Like coconut oil, it melts when it comes in contact with your skin. It resembles dairy butter and is off-white in color. Shea butter is edible, and many African dishes use it as fat, but it is famous for its many uses for the skin. You can use it on your skin and hair as it is easy to spread and weighs light. It contains numerous fatty acids and vitamins that can benefit your skin health.  

How to use shea butter?

Shea butter is known for its topical uses in Pakistan. You can apply raw, unrefined shea butter on your skin and hair. You can also mix it with other oils to make it more effective. If you do not have access to a hundred percent organic shea butter, you can choose products with shea butter. It can aid in improving many skin conditions, but you should consult a Skin Specialist if you have severe skin issues. You can use it as a moisturizer, hair mask, or styling product.

How to store shea butter?

Store shea butter in an airtight container as air can spoil shea butter. Keep shea butter in a dry place with no sunlight or heat. If it is kept in direct heat, it can make its texture grainy by melting and solidifying again. If shea butter is stored properly, it can last up to four years. Check the label of shea butter products to know their expiry. You can identify if shea butter has gone bad if it smells acidic or develops mold.

What are the advantages of shea butter?

Shea butter is an emollient, which means it can have a softening effect on your skin and hair. The numerous benefits of shea butter are:

1. Moisturizes the skin

As it is an emollient, shea butter is one of the best natural moisturizers that you can use. Applying shea butter moisturizes the skin efficiently as it is high in fatty acids. When your skin absorbs the fatty acids, it restores your skin’s texture and makes it smooth. It can also moisturize and heal extensively dull and dry skin by moistening your skin’s barrier. It adds a protective layer to save your skin from damage.

2. Soothes skin inflammation

Shea butter is a natural anti-inflammatory that helps reduce swelling and redness on your skin. It can soothe irritation and redness from sunburn and other skin diseases, such as eczema and psoriasis. Shea butter can slow the production of inflammatory cells and calm them. It is useful for people who get dry skin during winter.

3. Contains anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agents

The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties in shea butter can help fight skin infections. It can combat acne that occurs due to bacteria by fighting against bacteria. It may not prevent all fungal infections, but it can cure some of them, such as athlete’s foot and ringworm. In Africa, shea butter was applied to umbilical cords to prevent infections. It can also help with scalp infections.

4. Rich in antioxidants

Shea butter contains antioxidants and Vitamins A and E, which are advantageous for the skin. Antioxidants can prevent premature aging and make you look younger, so make it a part of your daily skincare routine.

5. Fully absorbs in the skin

Even though shea butter is dense in texture, it does not make your skin look oily. If you feel uncomfortable with the stickiness after applying a regular moisturizer, give shea butter a try. It contains linoleic acid and oleic acid that balance each other, which allows it to absorb in the skin without leaving too much residue that can make your skin oily.

6. Prevents acne

If you are having an acne breakout, shea butter may not be the best remedy. You should consult the best Dermatologist in Lahore if you are prone to acne. Shea butter can provide moisture to your skin and restores the natural balance of your skin. It can help in preventing acne before it starts.

7. Increases collagen production

Applying shea butter to your skin can increase the production of collagen, reducing the effects of aging. It contains triterpenes, a chemical compound that prevents the destruction of collagen fibers. It can reduce fine lines and makes your skin look firm and young.

8. Promotes cell regeneration

Your skin often has dead skin cells on the surface. Usually, the dead skin peels off once the new cells emerge, but if they do not, dead skin can sometimes make your skin look dull and rough. Our body usually produces thousands of new skin cells daily to get rid of the dead skin cells. Shea butter can reduce dead skin cells and promote cell regeneration, which can be helpful for anti-aging.

9. Reduces scars and discoloration

Due to high oxidant activity, shea butter can lessen the appearance of scars and stretch marks. It is also high in Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin A and E, which can lighten scars. As shea butter stimulates collagen production and promotes cell regeneration, it can also treat and prevent hyperpigmentation and dark spots. Products that contain shea butter and hyaluronic acid are the most useful for scars and dark spots.

10. Adds extra sun protection

Although you cannot depend solely on shea butter for sun protection, it consists of a small amount of SPF. You can get extra protection from the sun if you apply shea butter with your sunscreen.

11. Restores hair health

Shea butter locks in moisture and can be as favorable for your hair as it is for your skin. Applying shea butter to your hair can moisturize and make them softer, reducing the frizz in your hair. As it has high Omega-3 fatty acids, it can stop hair breakage. Moreover, its numerous nourishing properties can protect hair follicles from damage due to heat styling or the sun. Shea butter is most suitable for people with curly and frizzy hair.

12. Soothes the scalp

In addition to improving your hair, shea butter can also help your scalp. It can be helpful in treating inflammation due to a dry and itchy scalp. Your scalp soaks shea butter, which moisturizes and can be an effective remedy for dandruff.

13. Promotes wound healing

Shea butter may also be helpful in healing wounds by protecting them from irritants that may worsen them. Due to its anti-microbial properties, it can promote wound healing. You can also use it to lower swelling from insect bites and bee stings. Additionally, applying shea butter to first-degree burns, such as sunburn, can be soothing.

Are there any risks of shea butter?

Shea butter is generally safe and is less likely to cause an allergy. Though if you have a nut allergy, shea butter may trigger it. Products with shea butter may have other ingredients that may cause an allergy, which is why raw shea butter may be more beneficial than the ones available in the market. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, shea butter may clog pores, while some suggest that it does not. More research is needed to get a more conclusive answer to this question.


Shea butter is a natural ingredient found in Africa. People use it for cooking too, but it is famous for its benefits for skin and hair. It has many potential advantages of shea butter, but it requires more research. Store shea butter in a cool, dry place in an airtight container, and it will be fine for years due to its high durability.

Among the many uses of shea butter, it is well-known for its quality to tackle dry skin by providing moisture. It is rich in fatty acids and vitamins. It also has anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties. It can reduce swelling. It also has an anti-aging effect on your skin; as it boosts collagen and promotes cell generation. It also contains SPF, which can be an extra layer of protection from the sun.

Shea butter is an ideal natural thing you should add to your skincare routine. It has nearly no side effects, but if you feel irritation, swelling, or pain, then you should stop continue using it. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is shea butter best used for?

Shea butter has many uses, but its ability to moisturize and hydrate your skin is the most beneficial.

2. Is shea butter good for your lips?

Yes, shea butter can effectively moisturize chapped and dry lips.

3. Is shea butter used for hair growth?

Shea butter provides nutrients to your scalp and hair that can be helpful for hair growth.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Tahira Shahid
Dr. Tahira Shahid - Author Dr. Tahira Shahid is a physician, with extensive experience in dermatology, a radio and tv broadcaster ,a motivational speaker & an entrepreneur she has done her masters and further certifications in dermatology, aesthetics & lasers.

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