It's important to prioritize babies' skin health, especially because the skin of little ones is drastically thinner and thus more delicate than that of an adult.
Now, shea butter has been around for a long, long time and is used all over the world for skincare. It's a common ingredient in many skin and hair care products as well as beauty products.
Of course, parents wonder: Is shea butter good for babies? Does it have health benefits? Is it absolutely essential when it comes to baby skin care?
Let's find out.
Can You Use Shea Butter On A Baby?
You may have heard that shea butter is good for skin, but you must be wondering if it is ssuitable for your little one. The answer is yes! Shea butter is a natural product that has many benefits for babies. It is extracted from shea nuts (of the African shea tree or the karite tree).
Shea butter is known for its moisturizing properties, which is why it is often used in lotions and creams. It can help soothe and protect your baby's skin and is especially helpful for those with dry or sensitive skin.
It's best to use unrefined shea butter for babies — natural baby care products are the way to go! If you're shopping, look for terms like "raw shea butter," "organic shea butter," "natural shea butter," and "unrefined organic shea butter" on the label. Make sure the product is 100% shea butter, with no additives or fragrances.
Now you must be wondering: can I use shea butter on my baby's face? And the answer is yes, you can! However, if you think it is a little too thick for your baby's face, consider using a small amount or opt for another natural moisturizer like coconut oil.
You can apply organic shea butter to any part of your baby's body — just take care to avoid the eyes, mouth, and genital area. You might have to warm up the shea butter a bit before use due to how thick it is.
You might even find pieces of shea nut in unrefined shea butter, but that's not a bad thing! Just remove the small pieces before applying the butter to your baby's skin.
Additionally, do not believe false claims that shea butter will darken your baby's skin!
Remember that it's important to speak to your baby's doctor before trying out any new skincare ingredient, be it natural or artificial. Although shea butter is generally considered safe for babies of all ages, it is possible that your little one might have an allergic reaction to this natural moisturizer.
Thus, test shea butter on a small patch of your baby's skin and get some professional medical advice from a trusted source before starting its regular use!
Now that we have established that shea butter is good for babies, let's take a look at its many benefits for little ones.
Benefits of Shea Butter For Babies
As we mentioned before, shea butter is considered to be an emollient and a wonderful moisturizer. It can definitely help protect your little one's skin!
Most babies combat dry skin quite often. But fret not, shea butter can soothe dry skin and irritation. It contains saturated fatty acids, essential fatty acids, and vitamins that will protect and hydrate the natural barrier of baby skin.
Thus, for babies, shea butter can be a regular part of their skincare routine. It can even be your night baby lotion, since it is thick but can get easily absorbed by the skin.
Essential for Healthy Skin
Shea butter is rich in vitamins A and E, which are essential for healthy skin.
Vitamin A is known for its ability to improve skin elasticity and texture whereas Vitamin E has antioxidant properties that help to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals. The fatty acids in shea butter lock in moisture and protect the outer layer of your baby's delicate skin.
So, when used topically and regularly, shea butter can help to improve your baby's overall skin health.
Helps In Treating Baby Eczema
Shea butter is especially helpful for those with dry or sensitive skin. In babies, dry and flaky skin can sometimes be the result of infant eczema, which is one of the most common baby skin conditions.
The good news is that research has known that shea butter may help alleviate the symptoms of eczema — particularly skin irritation, itchiness, and flakiness.
If your baby has eczema prone skin, consider giving shea butter a try. Apply a bit of shea butter to your baby's skin whenever there's an eczema flare-up.
Helps In Treating Cradle Cap
Cradle cap is another common skin condition that affects babies. It is characterized by the appearance of dry, scaly, and oily patches on the scalp.
While a cradle cap is quite harmless, it can be annoying and unsightly. Thankfully, shea butter can soothe and moisturize the scalp. It also helps in loosening and removing the thick, crusty, and flaky skin.
Simply apply shea butter — you can even mix shea butter with some coconut oil — to your baby's hair and scalp and massage it in. After leaving it in for around 20 minutes, use lukewarm water, a mild shampoo, and a soft comb or brush to gently remove the flakes.
Combats Diaper Rash
Shea butter possesses anti-inflammatory properties; it makes cytokines, along with other inflammatory cells, slow down their production. Thus, shea butter is great for treating diaper rashes and other kinds of skin rashes!
The moisturizing properties of the butter will help to heal the rash and keep it from coming back while the anti-inflammatory properties will soothe the inflamed and irritated baby skin.
Additionally, shea butter's healing properties will make sure your baby's skin gets back to its normal and rash-free state quickly. You can use shea butter on your baby's irritated skin between baths. Just make sure to avoid the genital area during application.
Another great use for shea butter is for soothing sunburns. The anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce the redness and pain associated with sunburn, especially on the sensitive skin of babies.
In fact, shea butter can offer some added sun and UV protection as well, as it has an SPF of 3 to 4. So, you can apply shea butter on babies under the age of six months who can't wear sunscreen. However, keep in mind that this won't be enough to block harmful UV rays — you will still need to rely on full-coverage clothes and physical shade to protect your little one.
For older babies, consider applying kid-friendly sunscreen first (which contains physical blockers like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) and then shea butter. This is because shea butter won't be enough on its own to block out the sun's harmful rays (as mentioned previously).
Keep in mind that this step should accompany full-coverage cotton clothing and a physical shade (such as an umbrella) to provide proper sun protection for your little one.
If your baby does happen to get mild sunburn, be sure to apply shea butter as soon as possible for the best results.
Soothes Insect Bites
Another common issue for babies is bug bites. Thankfully, shea butter can help soothe the itching and irritation that comes along with insect bites.
The anti-inflammatory properties of shea butter will help to reduce the swelling and redness while the moisturizing and healing properties help to heal the broken skin. If your baby is dealing with a bug bite, simply wash the affected area with mild soap, apply some shea butter to the affected area, and let it work its magic.
As you can see, there are many benefits of shea butter for babies. It is suitable for use on your little one and good for all skin types.
Enjoy the Benefits of Shea Butter with Nature's Baby Organics
Nature's Baby Organics has a range of plant-derived baby products that are USDA Certified Organic, cruelty-free, and dermatologist-approved. Some of our products make use of shea butter, so consider giving them a try!
For example, our highly popular Face & Body Lotion and Moisturizer (Fragrance Free) contains shea butter along with aloe, chamomile, and calendula. Nature's Baby Organics' products have been specifically formulated keeping in mind sensitive and problem-prone skin; nourish and moisturize your baby's skin with the help of natural ingredients and stay away from harsh chemicals!
Head over to our website today!