Benefits of Shea Butter
Shea butter comes from the African Shea tree also know as Karite Nut trees or Mangifolia trees. It has long been appreciated in the cosmetic industry as it melts on contact with skin, does not leave a greasy residue and is readily absorbed.
Another prized benefit of shea butter is its healing qualities. Shea butter contains four triterpene acids and four triterpene cinnamates which are also found in cinnamon and balsam trees. These compounds have demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects which have been sought after for those suffering from dry, irritated skin or even psoriasis and eczema. Natural sunscreen properties are provided by cinnamic acid, although it is advised it not be relied on as your primary or only UV protection as shea butter's SPF is less than 6.
Western and central Africa has long known about the benefits of Shea butter to help heal burns, scars, sores, psoriasis, dermatitis, and stretch marks, skin discolorations, and chapped lips. Its vitamin A, E, and F content may also provide anti-aging qualities by diminishing wrinkles, smoothing skin, promotong cell renewal and increasing skin elasticity. Vitamin A and E are also good protectors against environmental damage and damage from free-radicals.
The benefits of shea butter are also derived form several of its fatty acids and plant sterols such as stearic acid, oleic acis, palmitic and linolenic acids. Even in German Soap Box's soap you will find shea butter in its nonsaponified state, which means a portion of Shea butter has not been converted to soap and is, therefore, retained in the soap in its natural state for greater skin softening qualities.
The Food Allergy Research and Resource Program (http://farrp.unl.edu/resources/gi-fas/opinion-and-summaries/shea-nut-butter) states that shea nut butter does not "pose any known or likely allergenic risk to consumers including individuals with pre-existing peanut or tree nut allergies." Since shea butter does not contain any detectable protein residues such as those from peanut, almond, walnut, pecan or hazelnuts, the benefits of shea butter may be safely used by nearly all consumers.
If it was good enough for the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra, the beautiful Nefertiti and even the Queen of Sheba, then certainly you should enjoy the benefits of Shea butter as well!