Is there something that you just have to have around at all times? For some people it’s a water bottle or a hair tie, for others its Band-Aids and still others need a bottle of sunscreen or bug spray in their bag no matter what. Whatever that thing is for you, you know that you have at least one good reason why you want it on hand at all times. What if you could have something on hand all the time that did more than just one thing? Water bottles and sunscreen are great, but they have one main purpose. Shea butter, on the other hand, has multiple purposes that make it truly valuable for keeping around no matter what.

If you live in a climate with harsh winters, you’ll want to keep a jar of Shea butter with you. This is because it heals and prevents dry cracking skin as well as protecting your skin from the harsh elements. So wind burn and severe cold irritation can be easily fought against by a simple application of Shea. This also applies to hot, dry summers that can be equally harsh on your skin for both dryness and other environmental effects like sunburn. Even though Shea butter is not sunscreen, it does have a slight sun protective factor that can aid you in your sun protection strategy.

If you live in a buggy climate with plenty of mosquitoes, keep some Shea butter on hand. It helps to soothe the itching and redness that comes with bug bites. If you work in a kitchen or other environment where burns can occur, keeping a jar of Shea butter with you will ensure that you always have something effective to instantly soothe the pain and redness of a burn.

If you have children, Shea butter is a definite must because it is so helpful for everything from soothing irritations, rashes and bug bites to minor scrapes. You can even use it on your pets! If you’ve got a dog with sensitive paws or a dry nose, a layer of Shea butter can be immensely soothing for them. And if you are someone who has lots of leather products, be they furniture, drums or even horse tack, Shea butter is a fantastic leather conditioner.

As you can see, Shea butter is extremely versatile and comes in handy in a variety of situations. Keep a container with you and you’ll never have to worry about chapped lips, cracking skin or poorly kept leather again.