Saturday, March 30, 2013

Shea, mango and cocoa

Shea, Mango, and Cocoa Butters - B is for Beauty

Shea, mango and cocoa butters are all excellent natural vegetable fats that have been used for hundreds of years in health and skin care. While each is unique, all three contain antioxidants and other vitamins that may be worth adding to your skin care regimen. These plant butters mimic sebum or the natural oils produced by our skin so their application on the skin rarely causes irritation and is actually ideal for those who have sensitive skin.  


Shea butter is rich in fatty acids including oleic, stearic, palmitic, arachidic and linolenic acids that help heal and protect the skin and lock in moisture. It has a buttery texture which is easily absorbed into the skin without leaving a greasy residue. Shea butter has antiinflammatory properties and is rich in antioxidant vitamins A and E and catechins which are proven to help prevent and treat skin damage from ultraviolet radiation. It also contains vitamins D and F. Shea butter is not only used as a moisturizer to reduce the appearance of fine lines, scars and stretch marks but also to effectively and safely treat common skin ailments like burns, insect bites, diaper rash, eczema and psoriasis. Its consistency is dependent on location of production.


Mango butter is a soft, creamy butter that has a mild pleasant scent and is highly emollient, softening, moisturizing and soothing to the skin. It is rich in antioxidant vitamins A and C that have protective effects against ultraviolet rays. It helps to treat dryness, itching, small wounds, skin rash, eczema, dermatitis, insect bites, poison ivy, and blemishes. Mango butter can also help to minimize stretch marks during pregnancy, promote healthy rejuvenated skin, and fight off fine lines and wrinkles.  


Cocoa butter is one of the most highly concentrated and stable fats available and has been used for thousands of years in skin care items and of course, chocolate. The benefits of cocoa butter for preventing bad stretch marks during pregnancy are well-known. The Vitamin E in cocoa butter promotes the skin’s elasticity, minimizing the formation and appearance of scar tissue. Also, cocoa butter contains cocoa mass polyphenol or CMP which helps stop production of immunoglobulin that worsens skin conditions like eczema.

Cocoa for the Skin

A lot of people think of cocoa as a delicious treat that is bad for our diet and rarely consider its health and skin care benefits. Cocoa is a natural product that is loaded with active substances that might be very protective for the skin including antioxidants flavonoids and procyanidins which are thought to be effective in fighting cancer. Work published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2006 concentrated on a group of antioxidant flavonoids. They showed that a group of women given a flavonoid rich cocoa drink showed 15% less reddening of the skin when exposed to ultraviolet light. It is well established that the aging of the skin caused by sunlight is largely the result of damage to the skin’s collagen caused by free radicals.

For those with oily skin, Shea and Mango butters are the best options. For people with dry skin, Cocoa butter provides the most moisturizing and emollient benefits. 
Skin Care and Skin Treatment

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