Seborgo Shea Body Butter
A BRIEF HISTORY
Shea butter has been used to moisturise, repair, and beautify skin for thousands of years. Its history dates back to Ancient Egypt with rumours of caravans bearing clay jars filled with the magnificent butter for Cleopatra herself!
To this day, women in Africa lather their pregnant bellies with Shea butter to help prevent stretch marks and cover their babies in it once they are born.
But where does this lovely butter come from?
Considered a sacred tree, the Shea-Karite tree grows naturally in the dry Savannah belt of West Africa. The Shea butter comes from the nuts found on the tree by removing the outer shell. The nuts are crushed by hand and slowly roasted into butter, which is then kneaded by hand in a large basin of water to separate the fatty acids (these give the butter its restorative properties). The Shea butter formed is removed from the top and cooled until it hardens.
The following vitamins and fatty acids found in Shea butter help give it its nourishing, anti-inflammatory and anti-ageing properties:
Vitamin A: An antioxidant that heals and prevents stretch marks and scars and strengthens the skin’s outer layer.
Vitamin E: Powerful antioxidant that heals and soothes irritated skin, helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and rejuvenates and moisturises the skin.
Oleic Acid: A moisturising, anti-ageing and soothing fatty acid that helps keep skin soft while also repairing damaged cells present in conditions like eczema.
Stearic Acid: An essential fatty acid that creates a protective barrier on the skin and helps lock in moisture.
Cinnamic Acid: A unique acid with highly anti-inflammatory and gentle UV protection qualities. Assists with skin cell regeneration and healing.
While the uses and benefits of Shea butter are endless, here are some of my favourites to get you started, although everyone’s skin is different so results may vary from one person to another.
Moisturiser: By far my favourite winter moisturiser as it hydrates, repairs, and soothes dry, itchy skin while forming a protective barrier. I like to apply this butter at night to allow it to fully absorb into my skin.
Tip: A little goes a long way! Work the butter between your fingers until it warms and softens before rubbing into your skin for easier application.
Eczema Relief: Nothing beats the soothing qualities of Shea butter to relieve the itchy, irritated, bumpy patches associated with eczema. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of Shea butter help repair skin and reduce the appearance of scars. And for all you scratchers out there, it also creates a protective layer which will help prevent you from doing major damage when you just can’t resist the urge ;) Simply rub a small amount between your fingers and apply as needed.
Repair Dry, Cracked Skin: The vitamins and fatty acids present in raw Shea butter are perfect for repairing and soothing dry, cracked skin! Use it to heal cracked heels and hands, rough elbows and knees, or any other dry patches on your skin.
Heal Stretch Marks: Because of its amazing healing properties, Shea butter can reduce the appearance of stretch marks by hydrating and smoothing the skin. While your stretch marks may not disappear completely, a daily Shea butter massage can help restore your skin’s natural elasticity, making stretch marks less noticeable over time. Simply massage the butter into your skin in a circular motion for 5-10 minutes daily. This helps improve circulation, which will improve the appearance of stretch marks with time.
Lip Balms & Body Butters: Raw Shea butter is my favourite base for lip balms and body butters. With its high fatty acid content and vitamins, A and E, raw Shea butter provides lips and skin with many of the moisturising, nourishing, and healing properties they need.
Protection from Sun Exposure: The anti-inflammatory properties of raw Shea butter are helpful in reducing burned, sore, and sensitive skin after sun exposure. While raw Shea butter might not replace your sunscreen on a hot, sunny day, with an SPF of 6 it can provide gentle UV protection on cloudier days.
Tip: Allow the butter to melt well between your hands before applying to prevent further irritation.
Soothe Insect Bites: The anti-inflammatory and healing properties of Shea butter quickly reduces the itching, pain, and swelling related to insect bites. Simply spot treat and reapply, as necessary.
Repair & Prevent Wrinkles: Wrinkles can easily form if we do not protect our beautiful skin from sun damage and pollutants in the environment. Lucky for us, raw Shea butter forms a protective barrier on the skin that helps shield it from sunlight, wind burns, and pollution. Underneath this protective barrier, vitamins A and E and fatty acids go to work to increase collagen production and smooth and nourish the skin. It is a win-win!
Tip: Massage into skin daily for a few weeks to really notice a difference and reap the full benefits of this magnificent butter.
Soothe Dry, Irritated Scalp: Shea butter seals in moisture, conditioning the scalp and alleviating dandruff. It also works as a great scalp protectant in harsh climates.
Tip: Gently warm the Shea butter by rubbing it between your fingertips to soften and massage well throughout scalp. Leave on for 20-30 minutes and rinse, followed by your normal hair cleansing routine.
Hair Protection/Softener: Shea butter is an excellent natural conditioner for your hair, especially for those of you with unruly, curly locks like me! The presence of vitamins A and E make Shea butter a fantastic moisturiser and prevent hair from drying out and becoming brittle. It’s also great for restoring lost moisture to damaged or heavily treated hair and won’t leave hair feeling greasy or weighed-down since it absorbs fully into the skin.
Tip: Rub a spoonful of Shea butter between your fingertips until it begins to soften and melt. Using both hands, spread it over a small portion of hair and repeat until you have coated every strand. Comb through to spread evenly. Leave in overnight and rinse out any excess oil in the morning