Why Shea Butter & Lecithin for Winter skin?
Before I go into detail about both Unrefined Shea Butter and Lecithin as ingredients let me first briefly describe my own skin regime which is nothing short of total devotion to these two making up a major part of every single day of my routine.
Yes, I put shea butter on my face every single day, 360 days a year. Why? Because although not all skin (young skin, fine skin or very oily skin) can handle its initial weight and heavy lipid base, the butter (fat let’s say) gradually absorbs very well and provides not only all the benefits listed below from a physiological point of view but for me basically provides a look of healthy, plumped up, hydrated and smooth looking skin. My skin is superiorly protected against dehydration and protected against the elements whether it is hot sun, harsh cold or wind.
The REMEDICA formula Richesse Shea and Aloe Balm is also ingestible so may be used on cracked or dry lips, as a pre or post-natal balm for mother and/or baby…even used on cracked or sore nipples from breast feeding.
It is a myth that simply spraying water or simple water solubles on the face is enough to keep the skin hydrated. In fact the nature of water on the skin is to, when it evaporates, take existing moisture with it. Thus my use of lecithin as a natural and very powerful hydrator (discussed further below) is compounded in REMEDICA’s facial hydrating formulas. However it is also true that naturally present lipids within the acid mantle of our skin (surface) occur in part to protect us from the occurrence of moisture evaporating from our skin each day.
In this instance Shea Butter is one of THE MOST POWERFUL natural pure emollients around able to effectively inhibit unnecessary and residual dehydration. One can apply as many state of the art hydrators on the face as one can afford however it is to some waste if appropriate protection against further dehydration is not then similarly applied to the surface of the face. Thus the power of pure butters and oils in transforming vulnerable skin to powerful hydrated and luminous skin.
THE MATERIAL: Shea Butter has been used to protect skin for thousands of years. It is a natural and sustainable plant butter derived from the kernels of the Shea Fruit (Karite Tree), which grows wild within West African Savanah. Very high in Omega-6 linoleic and Omega-9 oleic Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), large concentrations of naturally occurring retinol, and UV absorbers (natural cinnamate), and anti-oxidants.
REMEDICA sources Certified Fair Trade Unrefined Shea Butter which is produced by hand whereby nuts are selected from the fruits and dried in the sun then crushed into a mill and made into a paste. When combined with hot water it is filtered and the pure butter is skimmed from the residual impurities in the surrounding liquid.
The high level of Tocopherol and Retinol (Vitamin E & A) present in the unrefined form of Shea Butter exhibits powerful anti-oxidant properties and combined with the Omega Essential Fatty Acids exhibits and equally strong anti-inflammatory benefit.
When applied to dry, damaged, sore, flaky or irritated skin, topically the butter and visibly reduce the look and effects of photo aging, it can inhibit the development and occasion of redness of the skin or mucous membranes, that occurs with skin injury and inflammation, provides relief from itchiness and as a skin protectant is the hero of skin smoothness, protection against dehydration, harsh winds and climate, and superficially appear to plump surface skin cells.
OK so we have protected the skin against irritation and dehydration but what about hydrating the skin in the first place?
A common denominator of both Shea Butter and Lecithin is the presence of Phytosterols which are by the way present in many vegetable oils and like cholesterol play in interacting with our lipid layers to provide stability in hydration and dimension. Stability being important for the skin to maintain and increase moisturisation and dimension important in providing anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant activity.
Lecithin as said previously is what is called in topical skin care as a natural humectant or water binder. By attracting moisture from the atmosphere and then helping the skin retain this vital moisture level leaving skin to look and feel softer, more supple and radiant.
As mentioned above with Phytosterols in relation to Shea and Lecithin, Phospholipids, another key component present in lecithin are already naturally occurring in skin as a way of protecting the dermal layer from external stressors by locking in moisture.
Lecithin derived phospholipids are superiorly effective in mimicking and enhancing the skin’s ability to attract and retain moisture.
I incorporate and high level of lecithin (GMO Free) in my facial skin care regime because much of what is done to my skin each day can damage or deplete the natural occurring barrier function of my skin. such as simply going out into the elements (cold, wind, sun and even everyday pollution) as well as simply washing the face each day (NO MATTER WHAT CLEANSER IS USED pH BALANCED or NOT) – stripping the natural phospholipid content from the surface layer of the skin will almost always occur.
Simply put lecithin helps rebuild by way of hydration and cell protection a healthy, responsive and resilient acid mantle). This allows the skin to be in better shape to obtain and retain nourishing and rebuilding ingredients found in more elaborate and expensive skin treatments. That is if the skin is not at its highest most healthy responsive state it cannot make the most of what extra dollars you invest in your skin anyway!
Both of these ingredients are utilised in meaningful amounts in many of REMEDICA’s products…
Our Fair Trade, Organic and Unrefined Shea Butter is present in most of our African Richesse Line, but the one I use every day is the very simple and pure Richesse Shea and Aloe Vera Balm.
Our lecithin is present as a hydrator and a rebuilder of a healthy acid mantle in the facial serums – sensitive.visage and clair.visage (for a more oily or congested skin).
Enjoy and good skin health,