The days are shorter, nights are longer, and honey, the dryness cometh. The older I get, the more I see and feel the effects of colder temps on my skin. Throughout my years of test-driving pretty much every moisturizer on the market, one ingredient consistently rises to the top: shea butter.
 
When harvested traditionally from the kernels of karité trees in Africa, pure unrefined shea butter offers extraordinary benefits. Several factors set this wonder nut apart from other plant oils. First, it contains an exceptionally high number of nutrients and vitamins that promote healing. Second, the vitamin A in shea butter acts like a natural retinol or retinoid, providing natural anti-aging benefits. Third, the emollients in shea butter mimic the emollients produced by the sebaceous glands in the skin, making it readily absorbable (no greasy hands!) and highly compatible with all skin types (no breaking out!). The list of shea butter’s super powers is long, but these are the most remarkable:
 
1.      Soothes rashes, bug bites and skin allergies
2.      Alleviates dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis
3.      Softens fine lines and wrinkles
4.      Stimulates production of collagen and elastin
5.      Acts as an antioxidant, protecting skin from environmental damage
6.      Heals minor cuts and wounds
7.      Soothes sunburn, windburn and chapped skin
8.      Treats blemishes
9.      Helps prevent and diminish stretch marks
10.  Softens scars
 
When shopping for skin care products that contain shea butter, look for the words “certified” and “unrefined” to ensure it’s was properly harvested without the use of synthetics that will decrease its efficacy. Likewise, the higher shea butter is on the ingredients list, the more of its benefits you’re likely to experience. One that meets the requirements: L’Occitane Certified Organic Pure Shea Butter.

Read more from Elizabeth at Beauty Bets.

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