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Shea Butter - One Product, Many Different Uses

There's no doubt that natural African shea butter is one of the finest skincare ingredients available. Not only is it an excellent moisturiser suitable for all skin types, but it is also renowned for its healing properties and the soothing effect it has on irritated or sore skin.

If you want to try skincare products containing this unrivalled natural ingredient there are plenty on the market - perhaps too many! How can you be sure of choosing just one or two products that are best suited to your particular needs from all those on offer?

The most important thing is to check what sort of shea butter has been used in the product, and how much. Always look for generous amounts from East African shea butter, as this is the most beneficial type for skincare. It will have been produced using traditional methods that preserve as much as possible of the natural active ingredients. Refined alternatives, extracted by industrial processes, is more plentiful and cheaper, but of poorer quality.

The next thing to remember is that the unrefined variety is very versatile. A product in which the shea butter has been blended with other natural plant based ingredients to improve its performance in one aspect of skincare, can often be just as effective when used for a different purpose. Here are a few examples of how this can work:

Acne
Many acne sufferers notice an improvement in their condition when using shea butter. It has natural antiseptic properties to fight bacteria, it moisturises without leaving a greasy feel or clogging pores, and its anti-inflammatory agents calm itchiness. If you are prone to acne reject any shea butter face cream that contains artificial additives that might further irritate your skin. But do look for natural additives such as jojoba oil and rosehip essential oil that have been proven to be helpful in treating acne.
When you find a face cream that works for you it can, of course, be used on the back or chest if these areas are also affected by acne. And you can still use it when your acne clears because it is perfect for maintaining healthy, unblemished skin.

Tired Feet
If you stand or walk for much of the day you will know all about tired, aching feet. For blissful relief gently massage with a shea butter foot cream that contains peppermint or spearmint essential oils. This will moisturise and soften hard skin while the mint cools and refreshes.
If you love the feel and scent of your foot cream you don't have to confine its use to below the ankle. Try it on rough knees and elbows, or any other part that needs a little TLC.

Dry, Coarse Hands
The skin on busy hands takes a lot of punishment. Constant exposure to the elements, frequent washing, and contact with all sorts of potentially harmful substances soon take their toll. A shea butter cream carefully formulated to care for hands can work wonders by restoring lost moisture and improving the smoothness and elasticity of the skin. It's also good for treating dry, brittle nails. And when you see the difference these hand cream makes, using it for the rest of your body is the obvious next step!
If you want all of the many benefits of 100% natural shea butter without buying a whole range of skincare products, save money by buying a few favourites and find out how many different ways you can use them.

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