When we look at our scars, the chance of them healing and disappearing completely seems impossible, and so does the idea of using shea butter for scars and this very thing happening. But many people are taking to the internet to proclaim that their scars are in fact healing. And shea butter is the secret.
When the second deepest layer of skin, the dermis, is damaged, a scar will form. This can be caused by injury, picking at a scab or surgery. When this happens, the skin immediately starts trying to heal itself. It does this by trying to close the wound quickly by covering it with a blood clot. This covers the cut and is what we know as a scab. Once this stage has happened, the cells start to build collagen so that the tissue can be rebuilt. We can help support this process with shea butter.
Shea butter is an emollient that comes from the seeds of the Shea (Karite) tree. As an emollient, it’s highly moisturising. It’s thick and solid at room temperature but melts slightly when you heat it up with your body temperature before applying it to the skin. Its buttery texture makes it ideal for use as a body butter, lip balm or even hair treatment.
When a wound or cut heals, a scar is left over. Scarring can occur from chicken pox, bug bites, acne, cuts and surgery. Some scars can take a lot longer to heal, such as surgery scars, which are also more visible than others. Healing can take time and that doesn’t exclude scars. Luckily, shea butter can sometimes speed healing along. Keep reading to find out why and how using shea butter for scars is a thing.
Nutritional Components of Shea Butter
Whilst feeling extremely luxurious on the skin, it has many benefits including penetrating the skin easily and deeply to provide the ultimate nourishment. Other benefits include being anti-inflammatory and anti-aging as a result of all the nutrients it contains. This includes vitamins A, E, F and 60% fats. The high content of essential fatty acids, such as oleic, palmitic, stearic and linolenic acids, makes shea butter incredibly healing, nourishing and moisturising. They prevent drying, soften the skin, and may even reduce wrinkles. Shea butter has individual emollients which allows it to keep the skin cells bursting with moisture. All its nutritional components work together to make using shea butter for scars really work by softening up the tough fibres of the scar tissue.
Shea Butter for Acne Scars
Scars are caused when the connective tissue that grows under the skin becomes hard and fibrous. Marks of varying shapes, sizes, textures, and colours appear on the skin. Many people have acne scars on their face, and even if the acne has disappeared, these lingering marks remind them of the highly unpleasant experience of having acne. This happens every time they look in the mirror, so using shea butter for scars can help with the unwanted left-overs acne brings. The following properties make shea butter great for healing acne scars, but, please keep in mind that newer scars are more likely to heal more quickly compared to older scars. Sometimes patience is needed when it comes to healing, but shea butters scar diminishing properties may help your acne scars disappear quicker than you might think. Shea butter has a high antioxidant content, and this includes vitamin E, known to help soothe and heal scars on the skin. This anti-inflammatory antioxidant also protects the skin from free radical damage, which accelerates aging. Shea butters skin smoothing properties supports the skin’s natural collagen production, and aids in skin renewal to help the scar tissue heal itself. Many people claim that using shea butter smooths out their wrinkles as well.
How to Use Shea Butter for Acne Scars
The most beneficial and easiest way to use shea butter for your acne is as a moisturiser. By simply applying it to your skin after you cleanse your face, and whilst your skin is still slightly wet, you can lock in hydration by trapping the water between your skin and the shea butter. Alternatively, you can gently pat your skin dry with a towel if you would prefer not to apply to damp skin. Take time to massage your face and especially take time to massage over the acne scars. This will boost the blood circulation to this area, allowing the scar tissue to get the nourishment it needs to heal. If you feel that shea butter is too heavy and rich for your skin as a moisturiser, you can use it as a spot treatment for your acne scars instead. Use a clean finger to dab the shea butter on each individual scar. Apply before bed to help your skin’s natural healing process, which is most active at night when sleeping, which is when the skin cells regenerate.
Alternatively, why not make your own DIY scar treatment product? And of course – shea butter can be the star ingredient. This method might seem like a lot more effort and more time-consuming, but it can be a lot more effective to combine your shea butter with other scar fighting ingredients. Use the following scar-fighting recipe for a concoction to apply to your scars every day:
1 tablespoon of raw shea butter
5 drops of frankincense essential oil
3 drops of lemon essential oil
Take a medium-sized bowl and place one tablespoon of shea butter in it. Use a whisk to stir the shea butter in a vigorous manner. The consistency should be creamy.
Add the essential oils and stir until all the ingredients are nicely blended together.
Take a clean jar or another small container and scoop in the mixture.
You can then apply this to your acne scars every night, or as often as you want.
An important consideration is how often you wish to make this. If it’s often, making the mixture in a small blender might be a time and energy saving idea.
Scar-Fighting Essential Oils
You might want to experiment with this recipe and mix and match with other scar-fighting essential oils of your choice. By doing it this way, you can find your favourite smelling concoction and the most effective essential oils for your individual skin type. Here is a list of other essential oils that also work wonders when it comes to fighting scars.
Lavender - Antioxidant protection, relieves stress, improves sleep and insomnia, promotes healthy skin and hair
Carrot Seed - Antioxidant protection, antiseptic, carminative, diuretic (urine-stimulating)
Patchouli - Antidepressant, antiseptic, astringent, aphrodisiac, deodorant,
Tea Tree - Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antifungal,
Frankincense - Relieves stress, heals skin, fights fine lines and wrinkles, astringent, improves memory, boosts immune system
Geranium - Uplifting, anti-inflammatory, reduces anxiety, hormone balancing, reduce fatigue, promote emotional wellness
Cedarwood - Anti-inflammatory, deodorant, antiseptic, diuretic, sedative, astringent, antispasmodic, tonic, insecticidal, relieves stress
Nature’s Other Scar Healing Ingredients
The following oils can be used as a carrier oil and the main component of a scar healing concoction. To these oils, you can add drops of a couple of the scar healing essential oils.
Rosehip Oil - known to treat the appearance of scars and help prevent aging and wrinkles. In this 2005 study, researchers found that Rosehip Seed Oil improved the appearance of post-surgical scars. Participants experienced less discolouration, redness and atrophy when they applied the oil twice daily for 12 weeks. Rosehip Seed Oil is worth a try for the healing of scars!
Vitamin E Oil - there are a few studies showing that using vitamin E oil consistently may help in the treatment of scars, whilst protecting the skin from free radical damage. But researchers agree that more studies are needed. You may start to notice results after a few weeks of use, but if not, continue for a few months and be aware of any progress. It’s better to choose an organic vitamin E oil without any potentially harmful chemicals added to it. You can try Fushi’s Vitamin E oil, which is certified by The Soil Association, the major organic certifying body in the UK.
Coconut Oil - Like shea butter, coconut oil has fatty acids and micronutrients found in coconut oil that may soften the skin and help it to retain moisture. Coconut oil may help increase collagen production, and help speed up the healing of scar tissue, but researchers agree that more studies need to be done to prove its effectiveness. Coconut oil is affordable, and you may notice results quicker than you think. It’s also a great multi-purpose product and an essential for your beauty cabinet. Try it out!
Sweet Almond Oil - This oil is commonly used for the treatment of smoothing and fading scars. This is because of its emollient properties, and its ability to penetrate the skin easily. By keeping the skins moisture levels topped up and nourishing the skin with its nutrients, Sweet Almond Oil may help to fade scars. Many people attest to this working, and claim it softens blackheads, unclogging the pores for smooth, clear skin.