Shea Butter Nutrition Facts
Shea butter contains UV-B absorbing triterpene esters, such as cinnamic acid and tocopherols. In addition to these, it also has a high percentage of phytosterols, triterpenes, and hydrocarbons such as keratein. It also contains:
- Fatty Acids: Shea butter contains five principal fatty acids namely palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic, and arachidic acids, with a higher proportion of stearic and oleic acids that together accounts for 85-90% of fatty acids. Stearic acid provides a solid consistency, whereas oleic acid influences the hardness or softness of the Shea butter.
- Phenolics:Phenolic compounds are known for their antioxidant properties. Shea butter contains 10 phenolic compounds, 8 of which are catechins. Traditionally extracted Shea butter has higher phenolic levels than that extracted with hexane. In fact, the catechin content of Shea butter is higher than the total phenolic content of ripe olives. The overall concentration and relative percentage of the Shea kernels vary from region to region, depending on the level of environmental stress endured by the trees .
- Vitamin E: Tocopherol is otherwise known as vitamin E. Different versions of this are found in Shea butter, but their concentrations fluctuate depending on climate and some other factors like the butter extraction method.
- Vitamin A And Vitamin F:These are also found in Shea butter naturally. They can aid in the treatment of skin conditions like eczema, dermatitis, and even slow down premature aging.
Shea butter is considered as a superfood for the skin as it is rich in unsaturated fats, with a large proportion of non-saponifiable components, essential fatty acids, vitamins E and D, phytosterols, provitamin A, and allantoin. It has been used since time immemorial for skin care, baby care, and consumption. Given below are its various Shea butter benefits for the skin.