How Do I Use Shea Butter for Acne?

A thin layer of shea butter can be used to treat acne.

You can use shea butter to fight acne by first washing your face with a medicated cleanser and then applying a thin layer of raw shea butter to the breakout-prone areas of skin. Many dermatologists recommend leaving shea butter on your skin for about eight hours before washing it off your face. Shea butter is a natural fat derived from the nut of the shea tree that grows in the savannas of Africa. It can be helpful in treating and preventing acne due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. The best type of shea butter for acne does not contain additives, such as tinctures or fragrances, which can sometimes irritate sensitive skin even more.

Unrefined soaps made with shea butter can help absorb excess oil and heal existing acne.

The type of cleanser you use for acne can be very important in treating the condition. It needs to remove excess oil and trapped bacteria for the shea butter treatment to be effective. If you have oily skin, common in people with younger acne, skin care experts often recommend a cleanser with salicylic acid. Adult acne sufferers often need a different cleanser with a lower concentration of anti-acne medication because the skin is more prone to drying out. Shea butter can be especially helpful in this case because it absorbs into the skin and provides moisture without further clogging the pores.

A medicated cleanser should be used before applying shea butter products in most cases.

Unrefined shea butter soap is another alternative if your skin doesn’t respond well to salicylic acid anti-acne cleansers. This type of soap lacks the mineral oils and added humectants found in refined shea butter products typically used as body moisturizers. Pure shea butter soap can often help to clear away excess oil and heal existing acne blemishes. Some acne sufferers report that unrefined shea butter soap can dry out slightly, so it may be necessary to apply a gentle facial moisturizer for acne-prone skin.

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Drinking lots of water can help keep your skin hydrated and reduce the occurrence of acne.

After your skin is clean and dry, dermatologists recommend applying fresh shea butter with a small sponge normally used for makeup application. Rubbing shea butter with your fingers can be counterproductive as it usually introduces more sebum and bacteria into acne breakouts. Using a clean makeup sponge avoids this problem. It is also important not to touch your face after applying a layer of shea butter for acne. If you decide to leave shea butter on for acne overnight, many dermatologists advise waiting until the shea butter is at least partially absorbed into the skin so it doesn’t transfer to sheets or pillowcases.

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