Shea butter is a naturally occurring, fatty substance, obtained from the fruit of shea nut tree, found mainly in Africa. The Africans have been using it for centuries as they were aware of its ability to make the skin beautiful and healthy. New research shows that it not only beautifies the skin, but also works wonders on acne inflammation. Before we tell you how to use shea butter for treating acne, read about its other benefits.
Shea butter is a rich source of essential vitamins A, E, and F. Vitamin A and E are necessary to maintain a balanced, well-nourished, and healthy skin. Vitamin F, on the other hand, consists of two vital fatty acids, namely, linoleic acid and alpha-linoleic acid which can revitalize damaged skin. These acids are readily absorbed deep into the skin, thereby improving skin elasticity. A regular dose of these vitamins can give you an even-toned, soft, taut, and smooth skin. Shea butter soothes the skin and can be safely used on sensitive or irritated skin as well. Because of its soothing nature, it is also used for treating eczema, psoriasis, and other skin disorders.
Acne occurs when, excessive sebum released by sebaceous glands on facial skin is trapped inside the pores along with dead skin cells, and dirt. These clogged pores get infected due to growth of bacteria in them and form a pimple on that particular spot. Shea butter kills the bacteria that causes acne. It has anti-inflammatory properties that can bring down skin inflammation. It also exfoliates the dead skin cells and opens up the blocked skin pores. It acts as an excellent moisturizer which helps in fighting acne. It also heals skin that was damaged due to infections and restores it with healthy and supple skin. Using shea butter over scars that were caused due to acne can help you get rid of them.
Using it the Right Way
You can buy pure, unrefined shea butter from local health food stores. You may come across products that contain shea butter and proclaim that they are the best for acne treatment, but nothing beats its natural form.
Before applying shea butter, wash your face to get rid of dirt and oils from the skin. A mild face wash containing salicylic acid is best suited for this purpose. Salicylic acid exfoliates dead skin cells which tend to block skin pores and promote growth of acne.
Take a coin-sized amount of shea butter on a cosmetic sponge and apply it on the acne in the form of a thin layer. You may even apply it over the entire face. Never use your fingers for application as the dirt and germs from your hands may transfer to the acne and aggravate the problem further. Let the butter stay on the acne for at least 8 hours. So, ideally, the best time for application is before going to bed and letting it stay overnight - untouched and undisturbed. Next morning, rinse it off with a facial cleanser and cold water. The results will be there for you to see right after you wash the butter off your face the first time itself. You will see that the size of the acne has reduced considerably. The best part of this treatment is that it keeps the skin hydrated, soft, and supple, and keeps it from getting dry or rough. Use it at least thrice a week if you suffer from continued acne outbreaks.
Since acne tends to make your skin highly sensitive, it is recommended that you talk to your dermatologist before using it for acne control. Note that, not only does it aid in acne control, but also helps you get rid of dry and flaky scalp and gives you silky, shiny, and extremely manageable hair.