Recently I’ve been looking for a natural cream or lotion that could be used for sensitive skin, as mine is prone to eczema breakouts. However, I was shocked when I read some of the ingredients in “natural” products!
Before The Flawless Program, I suffered from eczema for over 12 years. After getting rid of my eczema completely after the 30-day program, I am always careful about what I put onto my skin.Eczema (also known as contact dermatitis), is a condition in which the skin becomes red, inflamed or sore after direct contact with a particular substance. In worse cases, the eczema can become infected, leading to oozing sores and weeping crusts.
Contact dermatitis or eczema mainly comes in two types:
irritant or allergic. Irritants are usually in the form of chemicals found in many products such as soaps, shampoos, conditioners, lotions, and moisturizers, etc. These irritants are sometimes harder to spot than allergens, because depending on the person, the effect might not always be as instantaneous as an allergy to something would be. Many people with eczema often need lots of moisturizers to fight against the dryness and itchiness, but it’s so important to know what exactly you are putting on to your skin.
I have one rule I follow when it comes to creams and other moisturizers: If there’s more than 10 ingredients, it’s probably not good for you.
On my search for an all-natural lotion and body cream that didn’t contain any eczema irritants, I came across many products advertising themselves as “natural” or “organic”. But wow, I was shocked when I looked at the ingredients! Many creams and lotions out there have so many added chemicals, that many people don’t take the time to really look at. Even brands such as Aveeno, Dove, Garnier, and some other “natural” products, contained so many eczema contact irritants!
Instead of buying into the commercial stuff, I decided to look online and see if there were any better options for contact dermatitis treatment. Thankfully, there was!
Introducing: African Shea Butter!
After doing some research on the benefits of African Shea Butter vs regular Shea Butter I decided to go for the gold! (Literally, it’s yellow) African Shea Butter is actually used for so many things; from lotion, hair cream, conditioner, sunscreen, to reducing stretch marks and large scars. The ingredients are the best part: 100% natural butter! That’s it!
The first time I heard about African Shea Butter was actually through a “celebrity post” where they were talking about the great uses for this butter. Celebrities such as actress Alicia Silverstone and supermodel Andrea Thomas claim to use this butter for their hair and great complexions. Now usually I don’t really buy into the whole “celebrity” endorsement–after all, they advertise for bad products as well–but because African shea butter is an all-natural product, I thought I would give it a try!
The real quality stuff is produced from Ghana. This butter is only found in the tropics of Africa, where they extract it from the nuts of the Shea-Karite tree. This particular tree begins to bear fruit only after 15 years; and can take up to about 30 years to bear a quality crop of nuts with a high content of the essential fatty acids.
African shea butter contains more fatty acids compared to regular shea butter and other vegetable butters, which makes it more superior. It’s rich in this essential fatty acid that is crucial to rejuvenating and moisturizing the skin. This is why it’s important to buy it in it’s pure form, where it hasn’t had a chance to be processed and stripped of it’s vitamins.
What are the benefits?
Because it’s packed with essential vitamins for the skin, African Shea Butter won’t hurt your eczema! In fact, some people actually use it as a treatment for contact dermatitis and other skin irritations.
Here are some ways this miracle butter helps the skin:
-stimulates cellular activity, fighting effects of aging
-repairs rough, damaged skin
-moisturizes dry, flaky skin
-evens skin tone, fading blemishes, stretch marks and wrinkles
-can be used to soothe burns and sunburns
-helps protect agains frost bites and cold weather
-eases muscle fatigue and tension
-can be used for skin allergies such as poison ivy or poison oak
-helps in treatment of contact dermatitis and eczema
-gives relief from insect bites, itchy skin, and rashes
-prevents bumps after shaving
-absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave a greasy residue
-helps restores elasticity to skin
The benefits for skin are pretty incredible, considering this is an all natural product! You can also use it to smooth frizzy hair, either as a conditioner in the shower or in a hot shower cap.
How do I know what kind of African Shea Butter to buy?
Currently, there are not that many types of this butter on the market. But you still have to be careful about which type you purchase, especially for contact dermatitis or eczema treatment. The color of African shea butter ranges from a golden yellow (similar to whipped butter) to a grayish yellow, depending on what kind of nuts are used. There are African shea butters that are pure white, but these are highly refined and don’t have as many healing properties intact compared to the raw kind.
Make sure that you are buying 100% all natural raw African shea butter, especially if you will use it for your eczema or contact dermatitis treatment. This is the purest form that you can get and will last you for a long time!
Above is the one I bought online through Amazon (click to see link). It was cheap, and since a little goes a long way, it lasts me for a very long time!
While there are no medical claims on using African shea butter we can consider some skin facts:
This tree butter contains large amounts of Vitamins A, E, and F. Vitamins A and E especially help maintain the skin to keep it clear and healthy looking. Vitamin F also acts as a skin rejuvenator, soothing dry, rough or chapped skin.
If you are having large breakouts with eczema, African shea butter could really help lessen the itchiness and swelling. It has high anti-inflammatory properties and is high in unsaponifiables (a type of fat that’s good for skin). Compared to avocado oil (a well-known skin conditioner), African shea butter has between 7-12% unsaponsifiables, while avocado oil contains between 2-6%.
Lastly, this butter’s properties easily penetrate the skin without clogging it. Something necessary if you want a skin-soothing lotion for eczema and contact dermatitis treatment.
For me, I’ve been using it for 3 weeks now, and I can say my overall skin complexion has definitely improved! My skin doesn’t get as dry as it used to (even in really cold weather), and I haven’t had any bad breakouts with my eczema.
So how about you? Are you also on the Shea butter wagon? What do you think of this “miracle” butter for eczema? I’d love to hear your thoughts and answer any questions!
PS: Don't know where to start? Sign up to my free series The Clear Skin Plan !