What: Shea butter
The history: Shea butter is made from the nut of the shea, or karite, tree, which is indigenous to many African areas. In western countries like Ghana, it's used as a sunblock to prevent skin damage from ultraviolet rays.
The lowdown: An ingredient du jour for high-quality lip products, shea butter is an excellent emollient. "It’s nourishing, it’s healing to the skin, it prevents chapping, and it has a long-lasting effect," says King. "Versus a lip balm that’s petroleum-based, it tends to stay on the skin longer and is more of a barrier without affecting the skin function negatively, which petroleum-based products can do," explains King.
Although shea butter helps soften wrinkles and moisturizes skin, it's not good for all types. "For those who are prone to acne, their pores could get easily clogged, says Poole. "If you have this problem, I recommend the use of pure argan oil." Argan oil, although expensive, is lightweight and less likely to promote breakouts.
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