Ancient history tells of West Africans using jars of rich shea butter to protect and nourish their skin and hair. Naturally abundant in Vitamins A, E and linoleic acid (Vitamin F), shea butter supplies essential fatty acids and nutrients necessary for collagen production, especially vital for young children.
Babies and newborns have very sensitive skin and yet often have dry or rough patches, and here are 6 ways shea butter can naturally protect sensitive skin.
1. Moisturizes Skin
Shea butter is a powerful moisturizer for baby skin. It works like an emollient and is used to soften and smooth rough skin patches. Human skin responds better to seed oils that mimic oils naturally found in the skin.
2. Hydrates Skin
Shea butter helps retain moisture by forming a protective barrier on the skin’s surface, reducing loss of water and keeping baby skin hydrated.
3. Soothes Eczema
Shea butter delivers key anti-inflammatory components to reduce the skin swelling during an eczema flare up. Specifically, inflammation is reduced by the fatty acids in shea butter, which enters the skin quickly, so baby skin feels better fast. This study explains how shea butter can be equally as effective at treating eczema as medicated creams.
4. Controls Diaper Rash
Because of shea butter’s anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, it's ideal for controlling and preventing diaper rash. It will soothe and repair skin sitting inside a diaper. (Note: it can also be used to treat yeast infections.)
5. Offers UV Protection
Naturally rich in Vitamin E and cinnamic acid, shea butter offers babies some protection from UV rays. Keep in mind however, shea butter only offers about SPF 4. We recommend also using Baby Waxhead if you’re going to be outside for longer than 30 minutes.
6. Soothes a Sore Nose
Dry air or a runny nose cause baby noses to become raw. A small dab of shea butter around the nostrils replenishes moisture, repair rough skin, and also helps nasal congestion when used in the interior of the nose. According to this study, shea butter can actually be more helpful than nasal drops.
Worried about allergies?
It's very unlikely pure, unrefined, certified organic shea butter will cause an allergic reaction. In fact, there are no documented cases of topical shea butter allergies. However, if your baby’s skin seems to be irritated after using shea butter cream, it's possible your child might be allergic to a fragrance or an additional ingredient in the lotion. Waxhead products contain no added fragrances. Always read skincare labels and know what ingredients you’re putting on your baby's skin.
Since babies and newborns have especially sensitive skin, parents are looking for natural ways to heal and protect dry or rough patches. Shea butter is a wonderful single ingredient to naturally protect skin. Just make sure you’re using pure, unrefined and certified organic shea butter.
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