Shea butter for face and body is one of the most well-regarded moisturising and comforting skincare ingredients for good reason. Shea butter has been used to minimise dry skin on the face and body for centuries across East and West Africa. The Western world has caught on to the many shea butter benefits in the past few decades, and now it’s used widely as an ingredient in creams, lotions and balms.

If you’re new to this moisturising ingredient, this guide will teach you all the basics. We’ll answer questions like ‘why is shea butter good for skin?’, as well as providing advice on how to incorporate it into your regular skincare regime.

What is shea butter for skin?

So, what actually is shea butter for skin? Shea butter is a naturally occurring plant oil that’s solid at warm temperatures, but melts into liquid as things get warmer. In terms of where you’ll see shea butter, skincare is its most common use, but it’s also used in haircare products, as a cooking oil and for producing chocolate.

Shea butter is a rich emollient ingredient, which means it helps lock in moisture on the skin’s surface. This non-greasy moisturising ingredient has antioxidant, skin softening and skin soothing properties. Shea butter skincare products contain many beneficial nutrients including vitamins A, E and F, triglycerides and plant esters.

Shea butter is a naturally occurring oil that is extracted from the seeds of shea (also known as karité) trees, which are native to parts of Africa. So, how is shea butter made? Most shea butter is still produced in Africa today, before being distributed across the world. The oil that becomes shea butter is pressed from pods within the seeds. Once pressed from the seeds, shea butter is then processed into the stable form of shea butter for skin used in face and body moisturisers.

What are the shea butter benefits for skin?

Shea butter is famous for being key to an ideal skincare routine for dry skin, but what makes it such a standout skincare ingredient is the fact that there are shea butter benefits for all skin types. This ingredient is comforting and locks in moisture without clogging pores, making it suitable for dry, sensitive and oily skin.

Shea butter’s antioxidant properties are also beneficial to protect all skin types from the impact of harmful free radicals.

Is shea butter good for dry skin?

Shea butter is most well-known for its powerful benefits for dry skin. As a powerful emollient ingredient containing several types of fatty acids, shea butter reinforces the skin, holding moisture on the skin’s surface. This minimises trans-epidermal water loss, reducing dryness.

Is shea butter good for oily skin?

People with oily skin sometimes avoid using rich moisturising ingredients, but the truth is that oily skin needs moisture, too. Depriving oily skin of moisture strips the skin, eventually leading it to produce even more excess sebum (skin oil) to compensate. That’s why shea butter benefits oily skin by providing much-needed hydration, without making your skin feel more oily.By replenishing moisture, shea butter helps re-balance dehydrated, oily skin to interrupt the blemish-formation process. 

Is shea butter good for sensitive skin?

Yes, shea butter is more than just suitable for sensitive skin, it also has distinct benefits for this skin type. Shea butter has comforting properties that can help minimise some of the signs of sensitive skin.

Are there benefits of shea butter for eczema-prone skin?

Shea butter is often recommended for use by people prone to mild types of eczema-prone skin. Because shea butter has comforting properties, using a cream containing this ingredient can help minimise dryness and itching sensations.

Discover CeraVe products enriched with shea butter for skin

Now you’re fully informed about the benefits of shea butter skincare, it’s time to learn how to incorporate shea butter products into your regular skincare regime. Shea butter for face and body is most often found as an ingredient in cream products, which you can layer over a hydrating serum for optimal moisturising benefits.

After cleansing, apply our CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum across your entire face. Our CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream for Face is enriched with shea butter, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-9, niacinamide and three essential ceramides to comfort the skin and lock in moisture. Apply a thin layer over the entire face and neck.

For the body, our CeraVe SA Smoothing Cream is formulated with shea butter and salicylic acid to simultaneously moisturise and smooth dry, rough and bumpy skin. Apply liberally as needed.

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