Intrigued by the ingredient of the moment – Shea Butter – I thought I would purchase some of it in its raw, unrefined state to see what it could do for my skin.
The smell is difficult to describe; I think it’s something like burnt wood. Some people find it a little off-putting, but I don’t have a problem with it. It has a very stodgy texture too, akin to butter. When it arrived I was a bit intimidated by its texture, and wasn’t sure quite what to do with it!
I’ve been using it as a treatment for my dry skin with great results. As life has been very busy, applying body moisturiser at night has not happened for, well, a long time, so my dry skin has been in a bit of a state. Thus my first experiment with Shea Butter was using is as a body moisturiser. Body heat and the rubbing motion when applying the Shea Butter means that you don’t have to fight too hard to get it to melt. I could feel that it absorbed into my skin, but it also left a greasy and tacky layer on my skin. However, by morning my skin was utterly amazing. You would never know that I’d ever stopped applying body moisturiser. My skin was very plumped and happy.
I’ve also tried applying Shea Butter to my face as a night moisturiser, and I really like the results. I find that I’m more comfortable applying this to my face than my body on a regular basis, and my skin drinks in the moisture overnight. It would be too heavy to wear under makeup during the day, but for people with dry skin like me, this is an extremely effective night mosituriser. Whilst I’m still using my MU London moisturiser during the day (as it’s slightly lighter and easier to apply), I adore using this at night.
I have also used Shea Butter as an eye cream (I use either Shea Butter or Lanolips 101 Ointment when I want some serious hydration under my eyes) and a hand cream. Used as an overnight treatment, Shea Butter works wonders on my hands and keeps jagged cuticles and nails at bay.
Bear in mind that you have to really warm up Shea Butter before you use it – especially on the face or under the eyes. I like to place a bit of the Shea Butter on the back of my hand, make two fists, then rub the product around with the back of my hands. This way I can apply the Shea Butter to my face without any dragging of the skin.
I purchased a jar of Raw Shea Butter (Organic and Unrefined) from BeijaFlores on Etsy for USD $8 plus $5.75 shipping to Australia. They also make a whipped version with added fragrance which I haven’t tried, but might make its was in to my next order. Bear in mind that there are many producers of raw, unrefined, Shea Butter, so check with your local suppliers too.