When babies are born, they are exposed to the environmental stresses and effects of the world. From the comfort of the womb now they must experience the surroundings of the outside world. This of course results in a drastic change in their living conditions and has a profound effect on their skin especially.
This change usually results in dryness and in some cases eczema on babies’ skin which becomes a cause of worry for parents. But as their skin is sensitive and the newborns need products that are free from all sorts of chemicals, parabens, and artificial dyes, Shea butter comes out as the number one choice for treating their skin condition due to its moisturizing and healing properties.
What Is Shea Butter?
Shea butter is a vegetable fat that is extracted from the nut of the Shea tree that is grown commonly in West African nations. In its pure form, it is ivory or off-white in color, with a creamy and spreadable texture that is easy to use especially for application on facial skin and body.
Shea butter is naturally enriched with vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin F, alongside its fatty acids that impart its moisturizing properties. Apart from this, the presence of antioxidants in it gives it a healing and anti-inflammation nature as well.
Due to these qualities, it is one of the most sought-after naturally occurring vegetable fat in the beauty industry to be used in cosmetics, lotions, and even lip balms.
What Are the Benefits of Shea Butter for Babies?
Given the sensitive nature of babies’ skin and hair, alongside the natural composition of Shea butter, let us now look at the benefits of African Shea butter for babies.
Due to the presence of vitamin E and different beneficial fatty acids, Shea butter is an excellent moisturizer that not only helps get rid of dryness but due to its emollient nature prevents further moisture loss and repairs the skin’s natural moisture barrier.
As it is 100% pure and naturally derived, free of any harmful chemicals or substances, it is not only safe to use for babies' skin but has also overtime come out as one of the most preferred moisturizing mediums to be used while giving massages to new-born babies, as such massages help in skin stimulation and better blood flow as well, when done correctly.
Helps Treat Eczema
Due to different environmental factors and changes in living conditions, the skin of babies is prone to developing eczema as well from time to time. Research and studies have concluded that the use of Shea butter enriched treatments as prescribed by paediatricians and dermatologists has proven to be far more effective in treating eczema especially in the case of sensitive skin in comparison to other creams containing hyaluronic acid, skin-repairing proteins, and even ceramides.
Environmental exposures sometimes result in skin irritation, rashes that might be caused due to allergic reactions to certain materials, or even at times insect bites. Due to the anti-inflammatory ingredients and anti-oxidants present in Shea butter, it is also effective and safe to use as an anti-inflammatory treatment to reduce skin irritation and possible itching on babies’ skin. For this purpose, we recommend that you consult your paediatrician for a prescription of the most suitable anti-inflammatory topical treatment that contains Shea butter.
Another additional benefit that you can derive for your baby from the use of Shea butter, is using it as a leave-in moisturizer for your baby's scalp and hair. Due to certain reasons some babies develop severe eczema on their scalps right after birth. Shea butter has been proven beneficial in treating it as well.
Is Shea Butter Safe for Baby's Skin?
Parabens and other artificial ingredients are harmful to adult skin then you can very well imagine the havoc they might cause on baby skin especially given the sensitive nature. With all-natural ingredients and beneficial vitamins not only is Shea butter safe for babies' skin but it's also one of the most preferred choices of parents in today's times, where the focus has been re -shifted towards natural, organic, and vegan products that are suitable for all skin types.
But to ensure that the Shea Butter that you are sourcing after consultation with yours and your baby's doctor is 100% pure and of the highest quality, we recommend buying from trusted producers and distributors like Baraka.
How to Use Shea Butter on Your Baby?
To treat babies’ dry skin and to prevent it, the best time for usage of Shea butter is right after a bath. It is recommended to use only 100% organic Shea Butter that is free from any other ingredients, to enjoy the true and maximum benefits of Shea butter.
Gently massage pure Shea butter on the baby’s skin especially on areas that are more prone to dryness or are affected by eczema. Even though Shea butter is a 100% natural ingredient and does not have any side effects, due to its nut-derived nature we recommend that you do a small patch test on your baby’s skin before using it in the long run as a part of their skin protection regime. After regular use for up to seven days if you do not see any improvement in your baby’s skin dryness or eczema kindly consult their pediatrician for further treatment.
Best Shea Butters for Baby Skin
Four major types of Shea Butter are available for use that are raw, unrefined, refined, and ultra-refined. Given the purity and highest concentration of beneficial ingredients, one of course feels inclined to use raw or unrefined types of Shea butter for their baby’s skin.
But both types might contain some residue of the Shea nutshell which of course can be gritty and be tough on the baby’s skin. If opting for these two types, we recommend melting the butter using a double boiler or a microwave and then filtering it using a sieve paper or cheesecloth to get rid of this grit. Another type of Shea butter that is gaining popularity due to its ease of use and fluffy texture is whipped Shea butter which can easily be made at home from refined Shea butter, just by going through a few easy steps.
The Next Step
Shea butter is one of the most beneficial and naturally enriched vegetable butter that is available for use in our skincare routines. Its organic and safe nature makes it is one of the most well-suited products to cater to the moisturizing and protection needs of your baby’s skin but just like with any other product that you might be making a part of your baby’s daily use, always consult their paediatrician when incorporating Shea butter in your baby’s skincare routine.