Shea Butter for Stretch Marks (Remedies and Hacks)

There’s something about shea butter that makes it so easy to like. I don’t know if it’s its anti-inflammatory and healing properties or the fact that it soothes, conditions, and tones the skin. Here's what I've learned about using shea butter for your stretch marks.

Raw or unrefined shea butter is packed with vitamins A and E, both of which enhance collagen production and improve skin elasticity. When your skin is sufficiently elastic, it can stretch and shrink in a supple way, thus preventing stretch marks from forming. 

In fact, shea butter doesn’t just stop stretch marks dead on their tracks, it helps with already-existing stripes.


How Shea Butter Helps With Stretch Marks?


How-Does-Shea-Butter-Work-With-Stretch-Marks-Woman-Using-Skincare-Cream

The vitamins and essential fatty acids that are found in shea butter make it excellent at two things. First, it’s been proven effective at UV protection. You can use it as one of your main ingredients for making a DIY sunscreen.

Secondly – and more importantly – shea butter enhances collagen production. This is the main protein in our bodies that creates the structure of most of the human body, including the skin.

The more collagen you have, the more elastic your skin will be. That’s precisely what you need because if your skin is elastic enough, it can stretch and shrink without causing stretch marks. And it’s exactly why most women use shea butter for stretch marks during pregnancy.


What if you already have stretch marks? 


Woman-Pointing-At-Her-Stretch-Marks

Well, in that case, you’ll be more interested in getting rid of them rather than preventing them. And you’ll be glad to know that shea butter doesn’t just enhance collagen production, it also prevents collagen that’s already present in your skin from breaking down.

In doing so, shea butter allows the skin to take a more natural and even tone. Therefore, those whitish and reddish streaks of stretch marks will start to disappear as you continue using shea butter.

Here’s the best part: shea butter is 60% fat and contains the same moisturizers that our sebaceous glands (in the skin) produce. Because of that, it penetrates the skin very easily. It won’t take long for you to start noticing your stretch marks disappearing; not as long as other oils and creams anyway.

There’s a catch, though. You should only use the best shea butter for stretch marks. If you opt for anything less, you risk damaging your skin completely.

So, what’s the best shea butter for stretch marks? Hop to the next section to find out everything you need to know.

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Best Types Of Shea Butter For Stretch Marks


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First things first, all shea butter is extracted from shea tree nuts. The shea tree (scientific name: vitellaria paradoxa) is native to Africa, which explains why most of the best shea butter for stretch marks come from West Africa.

That begs the question: if all shea butter comes from the shea nut, what makes the difference between the best and the rest? Simple. The best is raw and unprocessed. Here’s a low-down on each type and how to identify the best shea butter cream for stretch marks.


1.) Raw Shea Butter

Raw shea butter is extracted and sold without any additional processing. What happens is that the shea nuts are picked and their outer shells removed. Then they are crushed, roasted, ground, and their flesh boiled in water.

From there, the butter is easily collected from the surface of the water. It’s then packaged, ready to hit the shelves. That’s the extraction process and it doesn’t involve adding additives. 

You can always identify raw shea butter by its deep yellowish color. It has a creamy, buttery consistency and is solid at room temperature.

Ideally, you should only use raw shea butter for stretch marks because it’s 100% natural and doesn’t have any additives. That’s why there are tons of shea butter for stretch marks reviews advising users to stick to the raw stuff.

That’s not an easy thing, though, because raw shea butter is not the easiest to come by. Because of its impurities and smoky smell (from roasting), raw shea butter is often filtered to make it unrefined.


2.) Unrefined Shea Butter

This is the closest thing to raw shea butter. The only difference is that while the latter has impurities and a distinct smoky smell, unrefined shea butter doesn’t. It’s filtered to remove both.

Is that a bad thing? Nope! The filtering process doesn’t usually affect the quality of the butter. It neither introduces chemicals or preservatives. Because of that, unrefined shea butter is just as good as raw shea butter. 

In fact, it’s arguably the best shea butter for stretch marks since it is readily available online and in stores. You can identify it by its sweet, nutty scent and beige color.


3.) Refined Shea Butter

In addition to filtration, refined shea butter is processed some more by adding preservatives and (in some cases) perfumes. The refining process significantly reduces the nutrients that you would otherwise get from raw and unrefined shea butter.

It gets even worse in the case of ultra-refined shea butter. Even though the final product often looks and smells nice, it doesn’t really have the vitamins and essential fatty acids that are organically found in shea butter. 

Because of that, refined and ultra-refined shea butter is largely ineffective on stretch marks. I wouldn’t recommend using them, even if it was your last option. Try as much as possible to stick to raw and unrefined shea butter for stretch marks.


Shea Butter Remedies And Hacks


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Now you know how to choose the best. But how do you use shea butter for stretch marks? Here are my top 5 hacks:


Use Shea Butter as a Moisturizer

This is the easiest way to use shea butter for stretch marks. Start by cleaning the area where stretch marks appear and then pat it dry with a clean towel. Scoop some shea butter and rub it in your palms. Gently massage the area where stretch marks appear to apply shea butter.

I personally like this method because: 

  • It’s simple and straightforward
  • You only need to buy a shea buttercream. 
  • You don’t need to buy a bunch of ingredients and mix them.

The catch? Buying the right type of shea butter. As I’ve already mentioned, you’ll want to go for unrefined (or raw if you can get it). You may want to read as many shea butter for stretch marks reviews as you can to see the most recommended products.


Use Shea Butter In a Cream

Another easy way to apply shea butter on stretch marks is to buy a body cream that has shea butter in it. Again, this is an ideal option if you like your things simple. Simply scoop the cream, rub it in your palms, and apply it in places where stretch marks appear.

The trick here is to get a cream that has enough shea butter in it. Most of the reputable food stores, pharmacies, and online retailers who stock skincare products should have a wide selection for you to choose from.

Just make sure that you read the reviews on each product first. That way you’ll get a gist of what other buyers are saying (from their experience).


DIY Shea Butter Concoction

Are you up for some mixing? If you have the time, then you’ll get a kick out of making your own shea butter cream for stretch marks. 

The best thing about this option is that you can include essential oils that nourish the skin and reduce stretch marks.

Argan, bitter almond, bitter orange, lavender, and neroli are among the best essential oils for stretch marks. Adding at least two of those to your shea butter concoction can do wonders.

Not sure how to go about it? Here’s a simple recipe for making a DIY shea butter cream for stretch marks (with essential oils):

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of raw or unrefined shea butter
  • 3 drops of argan essential oil
  • 5 drops of lavender essential oil

Directions:

  1. Put 1 tablespoon of shea butter into a bowl and stir until it’s creamy. 
  2. Add both essential oils and keep stirring until the mixture blends.
  3. Go ahead and apply the cream to your stretch marks.

Why argan and lavender essential oils? Research suggests that argan can improve your skin’s elasticity. Remember that stretch marks appear when your skin isn’t elastic enough to stretch or shrink in a supple manner.

Lavender, on the other hand, increases the production of collagen. Remember collagen, the protein that builds our physical structure (including the skin)? It’s also crucial to skin elasticity and thus the reduction of stretch marks.

Here's an awesome DIY video of how to make creamy shea butter stick:

Video via: DanielleBeautyBliss


Has Your Shea Butter Solidified? Let It, Thaw

It’s normal for shea butter to solidify when the temperature is cold, like during the winter. If that happens, it doesn’t mean that it has gone bad.

Simply let it thaw out at room temperature and it will go back to a creamy texture. If you have to heat it, then do so using a stainless-steel container over a stovetop. Do not use plastic containers.

Conversely, if the temperature is too hot (like in the summer), shea butter may melt. In that case, put it in a cool, dry place where the temperature is neither too hot nor too cold.


Do Not Frequently Heat Shea Butter

I would recommend that you find one spot for storing shea butter. It should be a weather-resistant place where it will neither solidify nor melt.

If it solidifies, you’ll be forced to constantly heat it, and that can damage its nutritional value. The same goes for direct sunlight – it destroys shea butter.

In case you have unused raw or refined shea butter to store, put it in an airtight container or wrap it in a saran wrap and place it in a cool, dry place. If you do that, the shea butter will last at least 2 years, during which time you can wage a successful war against stretch marks.

Related Post: Can Colgate Toothpaste Really Remove Stretch Marks? (Remedies And Hacks)


Are There Any Side Effects?

The topical application of shea butter doesn’t have any side effects. None have been scientifically documented anyway. That’s perfect news because the last thing you want is to apply something on your skin and end up with regrets.

There’s, however, a concern that shea butter CAN clog pores and cause acne. There aren’t any scientific studies to prove this claim, but it’s something worth mentioning nonetheless. You may want to keep an eye out for acne if you have sensitive skin.

A majority of shea butter warnings center around its oily nature. It’s so fatty that once you apply it, you can’t put makeup on top of it. That said, we’re talking about shea butter for stretch marks. Those stripes typically appear in places that don’t need any makeup. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about shea butter preventing you from looking prettier.


Wrapping It Up

That’s just about everything you need to know about shea butter for stretch marks. It’s literally a gift of nature that exists to solve one of nature’s most annoying problems.

How long does shea butter take to remove stretch marks? If you apply it two to three times a day, you should start seeing an improvement within a month. But it all depends on the severity of your stretch marks, so don’t be impatient.

In case you don’t have stretch marks but are worried that they will appear, I would recommend that you start using shea butter more frequently. It will make your skin more elastic and prevent it from developing stretch marks. That’s precisely why women use shea butter for pregnancy to prevent stretch marks after childbirth.

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