Is it good to use shea butter for acne?

Shea butter and resolving acne

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People with acne suffer from a complex skin condition. The breakouts and eventual scars lead most to seek for a solution. You may be surprised to know that raw Shea butter can be utilized to treat acne. You may be thinking that it won’t work because it is butter, but the beauty of Shea butter is that it’s readily absorbed into the skin and effectively provides moisture without clogging the pores. It’s good to use Shea butter for acne because of its non-comedogenic properties, meaning that it doesn’t interfere with skin pores and block them.

What is Shea Butter?

A look at using shea butter for acne

Shea butter, which sometimes you’ll find labeled as Butyrospermum parkii oil on cosmetic products, is gotten from the nut of the African Shea tree. The butter can be raw, ultra refined, refined or unrefined. The production method determines its best use. Certain kinds of shea butter are used for cooking. They’re particularly prevalent and widespread in places like Nigeria, Ghana, and Mali – some of the top shea butter makers. Other shea butter and oil varieties are specially created for use within the cosmetic industry.

Types of Shea Butter

Depending on how the shea butter is produced, it can be either considered raw, unrefined, refined, or ultra-refined.

Raw Shea Butter

This shea butter which has not been filtered in any way, even through a cheesecloth. This kind of shea butter will always be in paste form usually in a jar or tub). Since it cannot be emptied into molds, it will not be shaped in any way. Since it is not filtered, it is common for it to have particles of impurities in it. It is normally a deep yellow color but can also be greenish, depending on how ripe the shea nuts were when they were picked.

Unrefined Shea Butter

Unrefined shea butter is often mixed with raw shea butter; however, there is a slight distinction between these two kinds of shea butter. With unrefined shea butter, filtering is permitted so long as it does not affect the properties of the raw shea butter. Most commonly, unrefined shea butter is purified using cheesecloth. The unrefined butter can also be poured into molds, so it is fairly normal to find these products in bars or sticks.

Refined Shea Butter

Refined shea butter has endured some form of processing to remove its odor and/or change its features. It is also standard for this refined butter to have additives, like perfumes or preservatives. Refined shea butter is usually very smooth and has a white color instead of a yellow one. It is not viewed as “healthy” as raw or unrefined shea because the filtration process destroys some of the nutrients in it.

Ultra-Refined Shea Butter

If shea has been “ultra-refined,” it has passed through at least two filtering systems that alter its composition. Ultra-refined shea is usually used for mass-produced cosmetic products. It will always be very white. Its consistency can vary, depending on how the producer wants to use the shea butter in a product, like being firm for a lip balm or being more liquid-like for a hair conditioner. This kind of shea butter is deemed the least healthy because it loses nutrients in the refinement process. 

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What causes acne?

Acne is a skin ailment that comes about when your hair follicles are clogged with sebum and dead cells, often causing whiteheads, blackheads or pimples, that usually appear on the face, forehead, chest, upper back and shoulders. Acne is most prevalent among teenagers, though it affects people of all ages. Effective treatments are accessible, but acne can be tenacious. The pimples and bumps heal slowly, and when one starts to go away, others seem to crop up. Depending on its severity, it can cause emotional distress and skin scarring. The earlier you start treatment, the lower your risk of such issues.

Why use Shea Butter for acne?

There are a few reasons why you should use African shea for acne. To understand the benefits, it’s important to take a look at the composition of shea butter. Shea butter works as a natural anti-inflammatory agent. Additionally, it has a low comedogenic rating. This rating is on a scale from zero to five. A substance that has a rating of zero will not clog pores. A rating of five means that the likelihood of pore clogging is very high.The comedogenic rating of shea butter is zero, meaning that it hydrates the epidermis without clogging the pores. This is the main reason why it’s different from other hydrating substances like wheat germ oil, coconut oil and cocoa butter which all have a comedogenic rating of four or five.

Can Everyone Use Shea Butter for Acne?

Clinical research proposes that most people will benefit from the use of shea butter on the skin. It has powerful antioxidants, as well as essential lipids like linoleic, oleic and arachidic fatty acids. There’s also proof that shea butter is a great source of catechins – substances that are also present in green tea. They give the anti-inflammatory and soothing traits of shea butter. This is why it can be used to control the redness associated with acne.Younger people with very oily skin should be careful about the use of shea butter for acne. In their case, the butter could be somewhat comedogenic. It’s good to test shea butter on a tiny skin patch to figure out if it would increase sebum generation and the development of blackheads. If a bad effect isn’t experienced, shea butter can be used.

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Benefits of using shea butter on acne 

Shea butter is safe for use on all skin types

Shea butter is a product of a tree nut ,but unlike most tree nut products, it is very low in the proteins that can induce allergies. Shea doesn’t have chemical irritants which are known to dry out the skin, and it doesn’t clog pores. It’s good for nearly any skin type.

Shea butter is very moisturizing

The butter is used for its moisturizing effects. These benefits are due to shea’s fatty acid content, and linoleic, oleic, stearic, and palmitic acids. When you put on shea topically, these oils are quickly absorbed into your skin. They work as a plumping agent, restoring lipids and quickly creating moisture. This returns the barrier between your skin and the outside environment, holding moisture in and decreasing your risk of dryness.

Shea butter won’t make your skin feel oily

Shea butter has high levels of linoleic acid and oleic acid. These two acids even each other out, meaning shea butter is easily fully absorbed by your skin and won’t make it look oily after use.

Shea butter has anti-inflammatory properties

The plant esters of shea have been observed to have anti-inflammatory attributes. When applied, shea triggers cytokines and other inflammation-causing cells to slow their production. This may help reduce irritation caused by environmental agents, like dry weather, and inflammatory skin conditions, like eczema.

Shea butter is an antioxidant

Shea butter has notable levels of vitamins A and E, meaning it promotes strong antioxidant activity. These antioxidants are crucial anti-aging agents. They guard your skin cells against free radicals that can cause premature aging and dull-looking skin.

Shea butter may help prevent acne

Shea butter is rich in many kinds of fatty acids. Its unique composition helps clear excess oil (sebum), and it restores moisture to your skin, locking it into your skin, so it does not dry out or feel stripped of its oil. This results in the restoration of the natural balance of oils in your skin — which may help stop acne before it starts.

Shea butter helps boost collagen production

Shea butter has triterpenes; these naturally occurring chemicals are thought to stop collagen fiber destruction. This may lessen the presence of fine lines and result in plumper looking skin.

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Where do all of these benefits of Shea come from?

The perks of shea butter come from its chemical constitution.  It contains: linoleic, palmitic, stearic, and oleic fatty acids, elements that balance the oils on your skin. Vitamins A, E, and F are antioxidant vitamins that boost circulation and healthy skin cell growth triglycerides, the fatty part nourishes and conditions your skin cetyl esters, the waxy part conditions the skin and locks in moisture. Bear in mind that the exact makeup differs according to where the shea nuts are harvested. You may also find shea butter combined with added ingredients, like tea tree oil or lavender oil.

How to use Shea for acne prone skin?

Before using shea butter, make sure that you:

  • Take off all your makeup with a good makeup remover.
  • Wash your face thoroughly with a good cleanser.
  • Exfoliate your face to remove dead skin cells.
  • Gently dry the skin with a fresh towel or disposable tissues.
  • Now go ahead and use your shea butter using clean fingers to dip into the cream.
  • Sleep on a clean pillow. 

DIY Acne-Fighting Shea Butter Night Cream

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Ingredients Needed:

  • ½ cup of Shea Butter
  • ¼ cup of Aloe Vera Gel
  • 2 tsp of Manuka Honey
  • 8 – 12 drops of Geranium Essential Oil 

Here is how each ingredient is battling acne:

  • Shea Butter: As mentioned above, shea butter is brimming with Vitamin A, E, K and F, which are all important in developing healthy skin from the inside out. It helps moisturize and regulate the overproduction of sebum that is caused by dryness; it helps regenerate the skin, allowing for new cell growth, it heals acne scars and blemishes, and it protects the skin from UV injury.
  • Aloe Vera: A natural cooling gel extracted from the succulent leaves of the aloe plant. It is an amazing skin healer that helps regenerate and heal the skin, It has antibacterial characteristics that fight off acne-causing microbes, and it has anti-inflammatory properties that help diminish the redness and swelling of the affected skin.
  • Honey: Raw Honey is a powerhouse of so many vitamins, minerals, and compounds. Honey is amazing for skin when applied topically. It is a natural antiseptic that eliminates acne-causing bacteria, and it is a powerful disinfectant that sinks deep into the pores and cleanses them.
  • Geranium Essential Oil: This is the number one recommended essential oil for all skin problems, including acne. It is a romantic-smelling oil that smells like a spicy rose. It is known for balancing the skin and is the perfect fix for hormone-related acne in adolescents and people with hormonal imbalances.

Method

  1. In a double boiler, melt the shea butter into a liquid.
  2. Now take the shea off the heat and add in aloe vera gel, manuka honey and mix it thoroughly with a spoon.
  3. Lastly, add in the geranium essential oil and stir it in using a spoon you will not be using for eating again–most essential oils should not be ingested.
  4. Put your mixture into a clean container, such as a salve tin, and allow it to set overnight in the refrigerator.
  5. The next morning, take out your container, the cream is now beautifully set. 
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