Shea butter is fat that’s been extracted from shea tree nuts. It’s off-white or ivory-colored and has a creamy consistency that’s easy to spread on your skin. Most shea butter comes from shea trees in West Africa. High concentrations of fatty acids and vitamins make shea butter an ideal cosmetic ingredient for softening skin. Shea butter also has anti-inflammatory and healing properties. Using shea butter on your body, especially your face, can condition, tone, and soothe your skin.
Anti-inflammatory and healing properties:
Shea butter has been proven to have extensive anti-inflammatory properties. Redness and swelling on your face may be calmed by applying shea butter products.
The rich tree-nut oils in shea butter can soak into your skin, creating a smooth and soft barrier that seals in moisture. This moisturizing effect can last several hours.
Shea butter has also been reported to have anti-aging properties. If true, the exact mechanism isn’t well-known and may be related to promoting collagen production or decreasing the breakdown of collagen that’s already present.
Shea butter is an incredibly low-risk topical ingredient. Allergic reactions to shea butter are rare.
Even people who are allergic to tree nuts, the family that shea nuts belong to, have a low risk of reaction to shea butter on their face. Researchers believe this is because shea nuts contain little of the tree-nut proteins that trigger allergies.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any risks to using it. Given the consistency of shea butter, it’s likely to be comedogenic.
Some websites on the internet claim that shea butter is non-comedogenic or has a “low comedogenic rating.” It’s not clear where this evidence is derived from since there are no available studies to support this claim.