Can Shea Butter Be Used As A Natural Sunscreen?

It's Springtime!!! What does Spring mean to you? Spring does something to my spirit! To me, it means that it's time to change out my winter clothes to my Spring/Summer clothes; it means pre-summer weather where all of the pretty flowers start to bloom, and leaves on the trees and plants begin to grow back. I love having my windows open, and even more so, I enjoy the fresh air and spending more time outside! I LOVE the sun!!!! But with that comes sunscreen to protect your skin. I bet that you never thought of Shea Butter as a sunscreen, did ya? Before you head to my shop and purchase (yes, that's a sales plug!) tons of Shea Butter, let me give you a bit more information.

Protecting Your Skin When You're a Sun Goddess

Loving the sun is excellent, but we MUST protect our skin from cancer-causing wrinkle-inducing UV rays. I'm a huge fan of sun tanning and didn't realize how NOT using sunscreen, but only sun tanning lotion is a train wreck until I had horrible sun tan burns. No Bueno! So what brings me to the burning question (pun intended), can shea butter be used as a natural sunscreen?

Shea Butter as Sunscreen

Shea Butter originates from the shea tree in Africa - a place where the sun don't play. It has been used since ancient times as a sunscreen and has a natural SPF of about 7! If that doesn't seem like a lot by today's standards, you're right. We're used to slathering ourselves and our children with copious amounts of SPF 50. What exactly makes shea butter work as a sunblock? It contains compounds known as cinnamic acid esters, also found in cinnamon (you guessed it right!) and balsam trees. These compounds are POWERFUL anti-inflammatory agents that help instantly soothe skin swellings, irritation and inflammation, and contain antibacterial properties and mild sun protection qualities. They immediately calm skin redness and help prevent harmful UV rays and premature-aging causing free radicals from penetrating the skin. But a little sunshine is healthy for you, especially in a country that boasts so little of it. The verdict? If you're brown/dark-skinned and more likely to tan than burn in the sun, then go ahead and use shea butter alone on your skin; it'll act as an effective sun protectant! But if you're fair/pale-skinned and very much prone to getting burned in the sun rather than tanned, you can't use shea butter exclusively as a sunscreen. You can mix shea butter with your current sunscreen or a natural sunscreen that's heavy in zinc to thin it out and make it less white. You'll be reducing the sun protection factor, so covering up with a wide-brimmed straw hat and light linen clothing is advisable.

What To Do When Sunburned

Now, what about if you neglect your sun care end up burned to a crisp as I did? If you end up having a little too much fun in the sun and get a bit sunburned, you can apply some shea butter to the affected area. Shea Butter can help heal burns because it has anti-inflammatory properties to soothe the skin and reduce redness (I'll discuss this in another blog).

So Now What?

Grab your KBlessd Butters Natural Whipped Shea Body Butter, your sunscreen, and enjoy basking in the sun safely! Happy Spring!

Kausha Wells, Owner/CEO