Skin Care

Shea butter: a multi-purpose beauty booster

Shea butter comes from a species of tree native to the plains of West Africa. Its fleshy fruit looks a bit like an avocado. Its sweet flesh is edible and the seed is pressed to obtain shea butter. Each tree produces around 20 kilos of this buttery paste a year. Known for its many health-boosting properties, shea butter has long-since been part of standard medical kits in parts of Africa - it can help soothe sprains, sore muscles and rheumatism. It's also widely used in homemade beauty treatments.

Shea butter is packed with active ingredients: latex, fatty acids as well as vitamins A, D, E and F. A moisturising superhero, it repairs, protects and deeply nourishes skin. It's also an effective anti-ageing weapon! Shea butter stimulates collagen production, which helps skin to remain supple and flexible. It reduces fine lines and wrinkles, whilst minimising the appearance of liver spots. To apply shea butter, all you need to do is melt a bit on your hands and massage it in.

There are tons of ways shea butter can be used to help our skin:

- as an after-sun, to moisturise and regenerate our skin, so that we keep our golden glow for longer,
- in our bath water, so that we step out with velvety soft skin,
- to soothe skin irritated by hair removal,
- to soften and remove hard skin from our elbows and heels, thanks to its regenerative properties,
- as a preemptive strike against stretch marks,
- to soothe and protect our lips
- to repair chapped hands,
- to prevent and soothe muscle cramps during or after a work out

Tinted BB creams are a beauty life-saver. They help you even out your complexion while giving a natural-looking coverage. They give us a healthy glow in winter, but what about summertime? Can you continue using your BB cream when the sun is shining? Read on to find out!

A good BB cream usually also contain a sunscreen - usually an SPF 15 to 20, so as to offer some protection from the sun. This is enough for winter or on cloudy and overcast days when the sun rays aren’t as strong. They are a wonder product when it comes to healthy and natural-looking dewy skin. But standard BB creams don't provide enough protection if you're planning to sunbathe or spend your days outdoors during summertime, they're not designed for prolonged exposure.

So what if you are planning to soak up the sun? If you can't bear to leave your BB cream at home, you can always pack a summertime formula. Why? They have concentrated pigments and an SPF of 30 to 50 for an instantly bronzed glow. The trick is to choose one that suits your skin by testing it on the back of your hand. If you can still see your skin, then you've picked the right tone.

Another option is to use a tinted sunscreen instead so you don’t have to layer on another complexion product on top. If you are looking for a lightweight sunscreen that not only shields you from the harmful rays of the sun but also provides some colour to your skin and gives you a light coverage, try the UV Perfect Even Complexion by L’Oréal Paris. The UV Perfect Even Complexion provides broad spectrum coverage from the sun and the advanced apricot pigments fuse perfectly to beautify skin, leaving skin more even and radiant!

You can enhance your sunscreen-meets-BB-cream by applying a touch of bronzing powder to your cheekbones. As for eye makeup, a coppery eye shadow and a coat of black mascara will do the trick. And there you go, a simple, natural look for the summer with extra sun protection!