Our new Hygienic Hand Balm (HHB) is the first product of its type to use encapsulated shea butter, which allows the shea butter to work its magic in nourishing your hands, while the alcohol protects by killing 99.9% of germs. Why is Shea butter such a key ingredient? Read below to find out!
What is Shea butter?
Shea butter is the fat extracted from the nuts of the shea tree, which is native to West Africa (where most shea butter still comes from). A skin superfood, it provides essential fatty acids and the nutrients needed to produce collagen. In its natural state, it's a solid at warmer temperatures and has an ivory colour.
Shea butter has been used in cosmetics for centuries. It has an easy-to-spread, buttery consistency which makes it ideal for smoothing onto skin. Studies have shown that as a highly emollient substance, it is especially good at penetrating the skin. Its rich consistency makes it ideal for use as body balm or butter, eye cream or lip balm.
What does Shea butter do, and how does it work?
It has special properties which make it more than just a hero moisturiser - it also delivers key anti-inflammatory and anti-aging fatty acids, and studies suggest that it has antifungal, antioxidant and antibacterial properties - ideal for a hand balm ingredient. Shea butter contains:
- linoleic, palmitic, stearic, and oleic fatty acids: ingredients that balance oils on your skin
- vitamins A, E, and F: antioxidant vitamins that promote circulation and healthy skin cell growth
- triglycerides: fatty acids that nourish and condition skin
- cetyl esters: waxy substances that condition skin and lock in moisture
Key benefits of shea butter include:
- Moisturising: The concentration of natural vitamins and fatty acids makes it incredibly nourishing for skin and hair.
- Reduces Inflammation: A 2010 study found that shea butter was anti-inflammatory due to its cinnamic acid and other natural properties. One compound in particular, lupeol cinnamate, was found to reduce skin inflammation and even potentially help avoid skin mutations. This also makes it beneficial for some people with acne.
- Skin Smoothing: Shea butter assists in the skin’s natural collagen production and contains oleic, stearic, palmitic, and linolenic acids that protect and nourish the skin. With long-term use, people report skin softening and strengthening, as well as wrinkle reduction.
Keen to try it? You can order our HHB from Purdy & Figg's website now. Give it a try and let us know what you think!