What Are the Benefits of Shea Butter Lip Balm?

Melanie Smeltzer

Shea butter is a natural fatty oil extracted from the nuts of the karite nut, or African shea, tree. This fragrant extract has long been used to treat skin-related ailments including eczema, sunburn, razor rash, and blemishes. As this natural product is said to be very moisturizing, it is not surprising to find that shea butter lip balm is a popular choice for treating dry, cracked, or aging lips. Additionally, shea butter is also thought to contain nutrients said to help heal skin and improve its general appearance.

Shea butter is used in some lip balms.
Shea butter is used in some lip balms.

Although this product can be used all over the body and in the hair, many find that shea butter is a good option for improving the health of the lips. Shea butter lip balm is most commonly used to help heal and moisturize sunburned, dry, or cracking lips, as it is said to not only bear anti-inflammatory properties, but is also easily absorbed into the skin. Though it is often used to heal chapped lips, many feel that it can also help prevent dry lips, because it is said to create a moisture barrier.

Dry or cracked lips can be treated by applying shea butter lip balm.
Dry or cracked lips can be treated by applying shea butter lip balm.

In addition to preventing dryness, shea butter lip balm may also be useful in protecting the delicate skin of the lips from the sun and damaging free radicals. Depending upon the processing of this oil, the amount of sun protection factor (SPF) can vary; some can reach up to an SPF six. Shea butter is also thought to be plentiful in important antioxidants such as vitamins E and A, which may help protect the lips from the free radical damage that can make them look prematurely aged, thin, or lined.

Shea butter lip balm may help heal and moisturize sunburned lips.
Shea butter lip balm may help heal and moisturize sunburned lips.

As well as containing vitamins E and A, shea butter lip balm may have a number of other potentially useful nutrients. For example, this product may contain vitamin F, more commonly known as essential fatty acid, which is thought to help the skin look more supple and youthful. Another example of the beneficial nutrients in this type of lip balm is vitamin K, thought to help preserve skin elasticity. When used over time, this combination of nutrients is said to be helpful in treating and preventing lip lines and aging, relieving sore or dry lips, and healing irritation, sunburn, and small wounds.

Shea butter may be used to treat eczema.
Shea butter may be used to treat eczema.

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Discussion Comments

anon999833

Be careful; Shea butter actually exacerbates my eczema. Go easy on it until you know whether or not it’s an irritant for you.

Wisedly33

I found some lip balm that was mango and shea butter, and I could almost eat the stick! Ha. It smells wonderful and feels great going on, too.

When you find a good lip balm, you don't want to use anything else. Shea butter really works for me.

Scrbblchick

Shea butter has to be one of my favorite ingredients in lip balm. I love it. It works so well to moisturize my lips and to help keep from chapping. We had a very cold winter, and my shea butter lip balm was really a godsend for keeping my lips from drying out. It was even good to put on my nose on really cold days!

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