Dry skin is a very common ailment in today’s world, and often times regular lotion just doesn’t do the trick. This is because dry, cracked, and itchy skin is actually lacking in nourishing and moisturizing essential fatty acids, or EFA’s. Using an EFA rich botanical oil instead of lotion will go a long way toward transforming skin from dry and cracked into soft and smooth. And what better EFA-loaded botanical butter to slather on than the infamously moisturizing raw African shea butter?
The main moisturizing fatty acids in African shea butter are oleic and linoleic acid, and these EFA’s are also present in other plant oils such as cocoa butter. What’s important to note is that, although both plant fats contain the same EFA’s, shea butter contains higher levels of oleic acid, which is the main EFA responsible for deep and long lasting moisture.
Oleic acid, along with stearic acid, is the most abundant EFA in shea butter, and is also the most deeply moisturizing. Its presence makes oils more rich and heavy, which results in thick plant butters such as shea that act as very effective occlusive agents which seal in extra moisture. It is a very healing EFA, and helps the skin to restore its natural and healthy barrier function, as well as strengthen cell membrane integrity. This is important because without healthy cell membranes, the skin is unable to stay plump and juicy, and instead becomes brittle and shriveled.
Linoleic acid is not as rich as its oleic counterpart, but that doesn’t mean it’s not as important. Linoleic acid plays a crucial role in skin regeneration, as well as forming the lipid component of our cell membranes. It softens skin and helps to keep it young and supple. Interestingly, linoleic acid has also been recommended for people with acne prone skin, so if you find that your skin is dry and acneic, linoleic acid would be an ideal EFA to incorporate into your skincare regimen.
Raw African shea butter is an ideal treatment for dry and dehydrated skin. Its exceptionally rich essential fatty acid profile makes it a beautifully effective botanical butter that nourishes, hydrates, and restores. Cracks become smoothed, the itch goes away, and skin cell integrity is bolstered and protected. Don’t wait another day- forget those bottles of watered-down lotion and pick up a jar of nature’s perfect dry skin remedy.