We've mentioned a few of the shea butter benefits, but where do these come from? Well, shea butter contains a number of different vitamins, fatty acids and lipids that give it all of its benefits for our skin.
Shea butter is a source of:
- Linoleic acid - helps to strengthen the skin's barrier so it can retain moisture better whilst simultaneously keeping out irritants, our body cannot produce linoleic acid so we must get it either topically or through diet
- Stearic acid - an amino acid which helps oil and water combine in order to help remove dirt and excess sebum from the skin and hair
- Palmitic acid - a fatty acid generally used as an emollient or moisturiser, it has the ability to soften skin and boost skin water retention
- Oleic acid - this acid is fantastic for ageing or dry skin due to its ability to deeply penetrate skin and replenish lost moisture whilst preventing further moisture loss. Oleic acid can restore skin's natural oils, without clogging pores that can lead to breakouts.
- Cetyl esters - this is the waxy part of shea butter which locks in skin moisture and conditions the skin.
- Triglycerides - an excellent skin replenishing and emollient ingredient. It is fantastic at both providing moisture to the skin and preventing the further loss of moisture.
- Vitamin A - shea butter contains vitamin A which gives it the benefits of being able to: even skin complexion, fight infection, boost skin cell turnover, protect against UV damage and both slows signs of ageing and reducing existing signs of ageing skin including wrinkles.
- Vitamin E - vitamin E is powerful antioxidant, that when applied topically is fantastic at combating the signs of ageing and reducing the damage caused to your skin by UV light and free radicals.
- Vitamin F - as shea butter contains vitamin F it makes it great at strengthening the skin barrier. Vitamin F converts to ceramide when applied to the skin, which is a key ingredient for keeping the foremost barrier of skin healthy and moisturised.