Ingredient Close Up: Shea Butter

Linoleic Acid

This an essential fatty acid (Omega 6 fatty acid) that our bodies cannot produce. It makes up ~5% of shea butter. Omega 6 fatty acids play important roles in cellular signalling, inflammatory response (immune response), mood regulation and behaviour. Linoleic acid has an additionally specific role in maintaining the water permeability barrier of our skin. So not only can baby’s skin be kept in tip top shape but it can improve their mood and behaviour…who knew? Maybe that’s why Honestly babies sleep so well 🙂


These are the plant version of sterols, e.g. vegetarian cholesterols. They have essential roles within the plant yet can have some mighty useful actions for humans too (think of cholesterol lowering margarine). In our skin they are helpful in retaining moisture and creating an occlusive barrier to allow skin to regenerate.

Cinnamic esters

These are triterpenes compounds which are part of a group of unsaponifables in shea, basically these components won’t make soap like other fatty parts of shea. What’s so magical about cinnamic esters is that they have been found to be highly anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory!

That would explain why shea is so effective at reducing redness and irritation, perfect for sore little bottoms. On a side note this may also explain why shea is a common ingredient in sun creams and lotions, helping to reduce irritation brought on by sun exposure. Whilst in an after-care product that is definitely helpful, in a sun cream perhaps not. Surely we want to know when we are suffering from too much exposure and should get out the sun, right? Anyway another soap box for another day…

Shea has an incredible ability to heal, soothe and regenerate damaged skin making it perfect for calming and relieving painful nappy rash.


A secret ingredient in shea butter, allantoin brings some big guns of activity to nourish skin. It’s got it all. Super anti-inflammatory activity to reduce irritation, wound healing and stimulates the growth of healthy tissue. Allantoin repairs damaged skin barriers, restoring skin moisture and protects against UV induced cell damage. It has a unique ability to rebalance the levels of keratin in the skin, removing dry tough skin cells that can appear flaky and affect the barrier functionality of the skin.

It is this activity that gives shea butter its skin softening abilities and making it such an amazing ingredient to add to our Nappy Balm.

So if you find nappy rashes a problem for your baby, especially those surprising teething rashes (yes -producing teeth brings about changes on the other end too eek!), using products that contain shea butter will help you remedy that rash ASAP!

Using only ACO/USDA Organic Refined Shea Butter in our Nappy Balm, you be confident that we use the best quality ingredients for your child’s skin. Find our amazing rash remedy in the shop here.

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