Benefits of Shea Oil

For protection and regeneration of the skin, one of the best "oils" you can possibly use is African Shea Oil. I put the word "oils" in quotes because although it is called an oil, it does not carry with it the greasiness you would expect from an oil that you apply to your skin.

I think the term "oil" may be a hindrance to some people who want smoother healthier skin because they don't want their skin to feel oily from something they have applied. Don't let that stop you from using African Shea Oil. It effectively absorbs into your skin quickly, leaving it feeling smooth, fresh and healthy, without the oil or grease residue.

African Shea Oil comes from the seeds within the nut of the Karite (kar-ree-tay) tree, which grows in West Africa. These trees can live up to 300 years and don't even start producing their first nuts until they are about 25 years old, reaching full production at about the age of 40 to 50 years. The nut is edible and contains one to 3 seeds within its thin brittle hull.

In Africa the Shea Oil serves many purposes from therapy for colds and flu to cooking to healing cracks in feet brought on by the dry Sahara desert to making candles. It's also used on babies to protect their fragile skin from irritants. 

10 main reasons to use African Shea Oil - 

1. It is high in vitamins A, E and F. Vitamin F is found in products with omega-3 and omega-6 and is necessary for repairing and creating tissue within the body.

2. It is hypoallergenic, so it's a great alternative for those who have sensitive skin or have skin allergies to the chemicals in other lotion products. It is also great for infants with their sensitive skin.

3. It helps firm up aging skin that is beginning to sag by rejuvenating the skin cells.

4. It is excellent for every type of dry skin problem from mere dryness to cracks, rashes and psoriasis.

5. Skin irritations from bug bites, sunburns, allergies, etc. respond positively to the application of African Shea Oil.

6. It is also great for rejuvenating your hair. If you have dry, brittle hair from perms or sun exposure, applying a small amount of this oil to your hair and scalp will soften, moisturize and revitalize both your scalp and hair. It does not clog pores or block hair shafts as other petroleum based oils will.

7. Shea Oil is also deep penetrating and soothing to arthritic joints and sore muscles.

8. It may also cause the fading of scar tissue and stretch marks if used daily, especially with early scarring.

9. It's great when used by massage therapists, as it allows a smooth gliding surface for hands manipulating the skin and has deep penetrating healing properties.

10. It will help prevent bed sores in the elderly or anyone confined to a bed for a long period of time and keep their skin moisturized and smooth .

African Shea Oil differs from other natural seed and nut oils in that it has not only a high percentage of moisturizing ability, but also has an exceptionally large percentage of important nutrients and vitamins necessary for healing. Other natural seed and nut oils, although high in moisture content, usually only contain about 1% of these important healing properties. Because of this high percentage, it is very effective in healing skin problems if used regularly.

When seeking a good African Shea Oil for healing purposes, be sure it is a high quality unrefined product. As it ages or is put through high heat refinement - bleached, processed and deodorized - it loses its healing qualities but is still a great moisturizer.

Written by: Karleen Lindsey for