Have you used shea butter for lips before?
There is nothing more annoying than when you come inside from the freezing cold and your lips are so dry that they crack and become sore. No. Chapped lips are not what we want. It's not just cold weather when you should use shea butter for the lips. Our lips can become chapped when they are exposed to dry air for too long. Plane journeys are the worst for this, literally sucking the moisture out of your skin and hair, and this includes your lips. If the lips are exposed to dry air for a long time, they can become dry. So, yes, hot weather can also dry out your lips. So basically, shea butter for lips should be an essential staple in your beauty cabinet!
This article will discuss why you want to start thinking about using shea butter for the lips and how you can make the most of it!
Why Shea Butter for Lips is a Good Idea
Whilst referred to as a butter, shea butter is actually an oil, albeit a very thick one, that can penetrate the skin and keep its cells healthy. There is a reason why shea butter is added to all sorts of cosmetics in the beauty industry, including face creams and lips balms. We often forget about our lips need for moisture, but focus a lot on making sure we have the best moisturiser.
Let's run through the vitamins that help to lubricate your lips, which will make you want to use shea butter for lips all of the time. Okay, so vitamin A prevents dryness in the first place and is soothing to sore lips. Vitamin E lubricates the lips and is also soothing. Vitamin F is a moisture sealer. Vitamin K stops and prevents bleeding. Bleeding! Yes, that's the worst part of chapped, dry lips. When our lips reach this stage, we know that vital moisture and nourishment is desperately needed. And thankfully, all of these vitamins are found in shea butter, which is known to seal in the moisture and keep it there.
As shea butter is highly emollient, this means that it is an excellent at preventing dryness. It penetrates the skin deeply and contains 60% fat, such as oleic, stearic, palmitic and linolenic acids. Essential fatty acids are needed for the production of collagen, which is the building blocks of our skins vitality and structure.
It's also anti-inflammatory and anti-aging, so for lips, this is good news for keeping our lips plump and smooth. Sore lips can be soothed by the anti-inflammatory properties of shea butter and the nutrition that will penetrate the lips to keep them healthy.
How to Use Shea Butter for Lips
You can simply apply shea butter to the lips just like that if you want. There are no rules here.
If you want to get rid of flaking lips, you can use a mild cleanser to wash your lips first, and then apply a small amount of shea butter to trap the water used to cleanse between your lips and the shea butter. Brush your lips in circular, gentle motions with a soft bristled toothbrush to get rid of any flakiness. You can then rinse your lips again. Pat dry and re-apply shea butter for smooth, soft, nourished lips and the knowledge that shea butter is an emollient that will lock in that moisture. Keep re-applying throughout the day to keep protecting the lips and topping up the nutrition in shea butter for the lips.
Quick Tips: Shea Butter for Lips
These tips will help prevent chapped lips in the first place.
- Apply before any other lip products. We need the moisture to sink in before we put anything else on them. Otherwise no lip gloss, or lip stick is going to look pretty, no matter how expensive it is.
- Apply frequently throughout the day - for at least six to eight times throughout the day. Every couple of hours is a good idea, and make sure to apply first thing in the morning and as you are going to bed.
- Cover and protect your lips with a scarf to prevent the potential drying effects of the cold.
- Chapped lips can be caused by dehydration, so drink up on the water and eat your water from fresh fruit and vegetables to plump up your lips with hydration from the inside out.
- Never lick your lips. Sounds strange but this can take moisture from your lips.
- Using a humidifier indoors can prevent skin and lips from becoming dry.
Other Uses for Shea Butter
You will want shea butter to be your skin's new best friend for a long time once you start using it. There’s a reason why it has been used for beauty since its discovery. As well as using shea butter for lips, you can use shea butter for eczema, dermatitis, skin cracks, skin rash, Skin peeling after sun exposure, acne, wrinkles, skin wounds, rough skin, dry skin, insect bites, and the prevention of stretch marks during pregnancy.
Everyone should try shea butter because it will be deeply nourishing for every skin type, with all those nutrients sinking into the skin. Not only is it hydrating, and protects against trans-epidermal water loss, it's also suitable for sensitive skin as it's very gentle. This is a lot better than some of the harsh products we can find on the market, which can actually do our skin more harm than good.
You can read more about the transformative skincare benefits of shea butter in this article: shea butter before and after.
How to Buy the Best Shea Butter
The quality of shea butter can change drastically depending on the manufacturer and how the shea butter was produced. For example, if a company has organic standards and is recognised by the organisation: the Soil Association, you can guarantee that quality will not have been compromised as company certified by the soil association will source, manufacture and make their products to high organic, ethical and sustainable standards. Check out the soil association directory to check if the company you are thinking of buying from is soil association certified.
Brands that compromise on quality will have less cinnamic acid in their shea butter, which is one of the elements of shea butter that makes it so healing.
Use shea butter that is raw, unrefined and organic. Refined shea butter is often bleached and completely white, but the whole process takes out all of the nutrients.
A company will often talk about where their shea butter has come from if it has been ethically sourced. An estimation by the UN Development Programme indicates that an average of three million African women are involved with the production of shea butter, both directly and indirectly. It provides employment and financial independence to millions of women across Africa in co-operatives that allow this to happen.
The women harvest the karite fruit with traditional methods, then crush the nuts inside for the shea butters extraction. There are now many shea fair trade cooperatives and associations making sure that the women working to produce shea butter are protected and the deal is fair. Shea butter is often called a women's gold because it generates income for women, which in turn helps them to provide for their families.
By buying from a company who is transparent about how they source their shea butter and is certified by the Soil Association, it will feel good to know that your conscious purchase will be empowering women and their families, and improving the quality of their lives.
Will you be using shea butter for the lips? Maybe you would prefer to use it for the rest of your skin! Or even better: both. Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.
Written by Jess Burman