Used a huge variety of cosmetics products, shea butter is a fat that comes from the nuts of the shea tree. The tree is native to West Africa, with a large proportion of shea butter coming from that region.
It’s high concentration of fatty acids and vitamins has made it a popular staple in the cosmetics industry.
Let’s find out what makes this ingredient so popular.
Shea Butter is rich in vitamins
Shea butters high vitamin content allows it to provide a host of benefits to our skin. The primary vitamins we want to focus on are A, E and F.
Vitamin A helps with skin cell renewal, reduces acne scarring, and stimulates collagen production. Collagen production helps to reduce fine lines setting in and turning into wrinkles.
Vitamin F works to help keep our skin plump, while also fortifying the skin’s barrier against causes of free radicals like pollution and smog. This can give shea butter the capacity to reduce signs of premature ageing.
Shea butter is rich in fatty acids
Fatty acids help to keep our skin and hair healthier. They help to keep our skin from drying out by keeping it moisturised.
Specifically, Shea butters linoleic acid content ( Sometimes referred to as vitamin ‘F’), helps keep our skin plump, while also fortifying the skin’s barrier against causes that reduce moisture and elasticity, like free radicals and smog. 
Shea butter is also high in monounsaturated fats. These are single boned healthy fats that help our skin to retain water, as well as maintaining the components of both fats and ceramides that help keep skin firm and healthy.
Shea Butter provides anti-aging benefits
Our skin ages as a result of two things.
Natural ageing, with our bodies internal systems slowing down over time, with our skin losing elasticity and being unable to produce enough collagen to maintain plump, healthy skin.
Environmental influence is the next cause. With things such as UV Rays and Free Radicals cause considerable damage to our skin over prolonged periods of time.
In either case, our skin wrinkles, spots and sagging all begin to appear, acting as indicators of aging skin.
Shea butter helps to address ageing when used as an tool for early intervention. Fine lines develop into wrinkles over time, setting into your skin. These are compounded by the above mentioned external factors.
By applying shea butter on a regular basis, we address fine lines by helping our skin stay hydrated tough shea butters natural water retention. Moist skin is more elastic, which helps to reduce the chance of fine lines developing into permanent wrinkles.
Shea butter also helps with barrier function, meaning it can provide some protection from external damage caused by free radicals and pollution. 
How to use shea butter?
Shea butter’s multiple benefits for both skin and hair make it ideal for products that are applied directly to the skin.
As always, when you’re trying out a new substance for the first time and you’re unsure if you’re allergic or not, it’s best to test it first.
The best way to test if you are allergic or not, by applying a very small amount, 1-3 drops of macadamia oil to your forearm. Again, if you know you’re allergic, don’t put it on your body.
Leave it covered for 8-12 hours and if you have no irritation, bumps or redness, you should be in the clear.
When It comes to products for shea butter? It’s easier to list what it’s not in.
As an industry favourite, it is used in a variety of applications ranging from Lip balms, Body masks, Creams, Lotions, Body butter, Hair care products, Liquid and Bar soap, Bath oils, Sun care products.
Packed with good fats, vitamins and anti-ageing properties, it’s little wonder that shea butter is so popular.
Now that you know how good it is, what products will you use that contain shea butter?
As always let us know below.