Sweetest Dripping

Rohe Shea butter

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Isn’t it great when you discover something that can tackle multiple problems?

Instead of purchasing several products, you get one with a powerhouse ingredient that can pull double- and even triple-duty. Introducing shea butter — a skin care superhero that helps with several complexion woes.

“It can be especially helpful for dry, reactive skin,” says dermatologist Alok Vij, MD.

Learn about the benefits of shea butter and decide if it’s destined to become your new favorite product.

What is shea butter?

Shea butter is a creamy fat found in nuts growing on shea trees in African countries. It’s solid at room temperature but melts on contact with skin, similar to coconut oil.

And while it’s edible and used in many African recipes, it’s primarily found in skin and hair care products in the United States.

You can safely apply shea butter to your face, lips and body. Some body scrubs and hair conditioners also contain shea butter for its moisturizing effects.

However, notes Dr. Vij, it’s not the best option for acne-prone skin. Shea butter may clog pores and lead to more breakouts. And those with seborrheic dermatitis or dandruff should note that yeast related to dandruff can grow in shea butter.

Is raw or refined shea butter better for your skin?

Raw shea butter is packed with vitamins and nutrients that are good for your skin. Refined (or processed) shea butter loses some of its essential nutrients during processing.

For example, there’s less or no cinnamic acid, an anti-inflammatory substance, in processed shea butter. Raw shea butter is usually yellow or beige, while refined shea butter is white.