For the past year or so I've been using shea butter for just about everything. I get mine unrefined, raw, organic, and fair trade through amazon.ca (who knew!) from a brand called Karitex. I've used shea butter for eczema treatment, lip balm, split end treatment, body butters, lotion bars, face cream, natural mascara substitute, and a couple other things. I completely treated/cured my brother's eczema that he's had for about 6 years. It was persistent and gave him sore, cracked, bleeding hands that no amount of prescription cream would treat. I slathered on a generous amount (1 tbs or so per hand) of shea butter (that I whipped for easier spreading and consistency) and massaged that in every night for about a month, and covering his hands with cotton socks to keep the shea butter from rubbing off in the night. After a month, I used about 1 tsp per hand and kept with the socks. After 3 months, his hands were so much better and not cracked at all. The whole process took about 4 months and now, even in cold eczema season, his hands are staying absolutely soft and healthy with a smidge of shea butter every week or so. As a lip balm I mixed it with a bit of honey and kept it in little pots. Super moisturizing and really tasty! I make a face cream with coconut oil and shea butter that keeps acne at bay and my face's oil production to a minimum, and it keeps my skin soft all year while mixed into all kinds of body butters. It's a bit heavy on it's own, so I would suggest mixing it with oil before using it as a body lotion. Whoops this is getting long...
In short, it has an incredible amount of uses and be sure to get pure and unrefined for best results! Take care :-)
This is the thing one has to realize about 100% natural shea butter. In order to get the best effects from it, it needs to be either smoothed out (creamed) or melted to soften. (place in a microwave oven on medium to low temperature in a glass bowl, constantly stirring it until it is creamy. If you don't get the desired consistency you would like for your hair or skin type, mix in a small amount of coconut oil -- also use 100% coconut oil-- in with it so that you can get that whipped creamy feeling) This will help with your hair. Also, place the shea butter on your hair before you take a shower and let the steam penetrate the butter through your scalp and you will notice the difference.
I have struggled with extreme eczema ever since I can remember. And not just to the extent of really dry or parched skin, but to the point of having my body covered in dark psoriasis-like scales, my face, neck and feet the only things excluded. So, as you can imagine, at 23, I had exhausted any and every lotion, cream, prescription, etc, to no avail. I was actually in a beauty supply store for hair, and my mom spotted this display table with tubs of shea butter. Upon reading what it's claims were for eczema, she picked it up. I wasn't reluctant to try it, but I wasn't expecting anything from it-except another failure. I used it one night, on my arms and legs, the most prominently covered areas, and thought nothing else about it. A couple days later, I happened to notice that a few areas on my legs and arms had lightened-after ONE shoddy application! Fast forward to a little over a month later, and my skin is about 90 percent clear! I haven't been able to wear short shorts since I was 14, and wearing my first pair in years a few days ago, and feeling confident in them, would have made me a little emotional were I not such a hard ass This stuff is seriously miraculous. I just started using it on my face last night, as it's said to have good moisturizing properties and skin healing for blemishes so we'll see. This stuff is gold. :)
I absolutely love this stuff! I always have a small pot available and use it as a face treatment. The way I apply it is I warm a small amount between my fingers so it melts slightly, then I pat it all over my face. I then massage it into my skin, it can be quite greasy but I use it as a overnight treatment about once a week so this doesn't bother me. It feels so soothing and luxurious. Almost all of my favourite face and body creams contain this or cocoa butter, I don't think you will find any better moisturisers. It is also quite cheap to buy, I get a small whipped 50ml pot for £3 online which lasts a long time if used only as a face cream (mysheaworld).
I was surprised by all of the positive reviews, but then I realized people are rating this as a body moisturizer, but the listing here is for the hair. In body care it's okay, but for my hair, what a nightmare. My hair is thin and fine, and I ended up getting a small tub of a shea butter based leave in for my hair, which gets rave reviews on a long hair message board. I used the tiniest bit on my ends as instructed (I only touched it until my finger tips were shiny & only worked it through the last few inches of my hair, where it's drier), and this stuff bonded to my hair like super glue. It made it more tangled and sort of matte looking.
After clarifying with everything from prell, to Paul Mitchell shampoo 3, to trying a CO wash, this still leaves a waxy build up on my hair. I'm going to try an extra virgin olive oil treatment tomorrow to try to get it out. Lots of people love this stuff, but if you have fine, thin hair, I would advise to proceed with caution. I absolutely hate it for my hair :(
I snagged a jar of whipped Shea butter from my nail tech and I've been massaging it to my feet at night and in the morning before rubbing the excess into my hands.
It melts quickly and doesn't leave a greasy mess. The smell is a bit nutty, but inoffensive. My feet are soft even with working out two hours a day and my nails are less brittle.
Unrefined shea butter is an awesome moisturizer but it doesn't really do anything besides that, it just hydrates a lot. I bought it because I was told it would be good for my eczema and it did moisturize it but I didn't get rid of it. Its also pretty expensive and the smell is horrendous. I probably wouldn't repurchase.
This is my HG cleanser/moisturiser. I've suffered from oily, acne-prone skin for the past 5-6 years, and nothing has really helped. In the past month or so since I've been using shea butter (organic unrefined) in the oil cleansing method, I've found that my skin is much better; softer, smoother and I now get little (if any) breakouts or spots.
The texture of unrefined shea butter can be a little unnerving at first, as you need to warm it in your hands to apply it. It also has an interesting, slightly nutty scent to it, but this all became insignificant when I discovered how much better my skin was. I will most definitely be purchasing again, especially as it is so cheap!
I am addicted to shea butter. I have been using it for the past two years and I cannot imagine being without it. I first got it by an african store locally. It is not that bright yellow color in the picture but it is more of an beige ivory color. If it refined the butter won't have the characteristic smell and it would be white. I use the shea butter right after I finished showering. Before I used straight shea butter but now I add some other oils to give even more skin benefits. I make a whipped butter and apply that to my skin and use it as a lip balm. It keep me soft and supple. People always compliment me on how "rich" my skin looks. Some people to hate the scent but I love it plus it doesn't linger anyways. For those who don't like it they can whip it up with some essentials to hide the smell. I buy mines online at coastal scents
Wow! This is great. I bought it for my feet because I was tired of buying brand name over scented shea butters and body butters, like from Victoria's Secret and The Body Shop and Bath and Body Works. I wanted something that works as well as Shea but without all the perfume, so I tried this. I must say this is amazing.
First, for those who want to try cooking with shea butter as an alternative, this stuff doesn't have any taste, and it does "wet" your food. As I read, I tried it on pancakes, bread and made eggs with it and was very pleased.
Next, I scooped out this stuff, which was hard as a brick, but as soon as I set it in the sun, literally within a minute, it got soft and runny! Scooped it up and tested it on my feet and hands, and it was easily absorbed.
Next, I did some research, wondering if I could whip this myself in my kitchen for easier application. While there were a bunch of elaborate and wild recipes online, I wanted to be simple. I put the half pound of shea in the sun a few until it softened; then I scooped into the bowl, and added an 1/8 cup of olive and whipped it until it was like butter. The results were fabulous. It absorbed so easily and my feet feel great. One application of this lasts an entire week; an entire week of soft heels.
Additionally, I have curly hair. I tried it in my hair, both damp and dry, and the results were pretty good. It definitely left a shine to it and softened it. I blow dried and straightened my hair, and the results were alright.
Well, anyway, this was a lot of fun. I will continue buying raw shea and having fun with it. This stuff works so thoroughly that this little half pound will probably last at least 6 months, maybe longer. Although our summers here get pretty hot, so I might go through it much faster.