Shorea robusta is a tree of the Dipterocarpaceae family, also known as sal it is native to the Indian subcontinent. From its seeds a butter is extracted, the sal butter in fact, largely known in cosmetics as a stable ingredient, which does not go rancid easily and with emollient and antioxidant properties. But let's better understand the characteristics of sal butter, what this butter can do for our beauty and the possible applications.
Sal butter, composition and properties
Sal butter brings fatty acids. In particular, it contains stearic acid that is the substance that appears to a greater extent. Stearic acid is found naturally in the human epidermis, however, it tends to decrease over the years and in the case of photoaging. Therefore, providing the skin with this substance helps to protect, nourish and regenerate the tissues and helps to preserve the integrity of the skin barrier (Kim et al, J Korean Med Sci, 2010 - Costa et al, Dermatol Res Pract, 2013). Other fatty acids contained in sal butter are oleic acid and, in smaller quantities, palmitic, arachidic and linoleic (Kumar et al, Cogent Food and Agriculture, 2016). Moreover, sal butter contains sterols, in particular beta sitosterol, which has an antioxidant, antibacterial, antitumor and anti-inflammatory action and is also useful in case of dermatitis (Han et al Exp Biol Med, 2014). Finally, this plant based butter also provides squalene, which is antioxidant and moisturizing, able to regenerate the hydro-lipid film and beneficial in the case of dermatitis and psoriasis (Wolosik et al, J Cosmet Sci, 2013), and alpha and beta amyrine, substances that calm irritations and inflammations (Dhara et al, J Oleo Sci, 2010). Thanks to these characteristics, sal butter finds application in case of dry skin, itching, dermatitis and eczema, thick and cracked skin such as the skin on the heels, chapped lips, burns, wrinkles but also dry and damaged hair.
Sal butter, where to find it and uses
You can find ready-made products that contain sal butter inside, in this case the substance appears in the INCI with the name of Shorea Robusta (Sal) Seed Butter. Alternatively, you can find pure sal butter in specialized shops or online and use it in DIY cosmetic preparations or directly on the skin. The sal butter melts around 35° C and, once it is applied on the skin, penetrates without greasing, leaving the skin velvety and soft, hydrated and regenerated since it helps to counteract premature aging caused by external agents and free radicals damages. To prepare a serum for the skin, to help in case of wrinkles but also chapped skin, dry lips, burns and eczema let melt in a double boiler sal butter and jojoba oil in equal parts, leave to cool and here is a serum that you can apply on the affected parts of the skin. If you intend to use the butter on the face it is better to apply the product in the evening before going to sleep on damp skin. Instead, in case of dry or damaged hair and split ends you can melt in a double boiler 1 tablespoon of sal butter and 1 teaspoon of coconut oil, let it cool down a bit, stir and apply on the hair, on all lengths up to the ends. Leave on for 15-20 minutes, then wash the hair with your shampoo.