The cold, wet and windy weather this week may have taken its toll on your skin at around the same time you were packing away or using up the last of your winter beauty essentials, leaving you with dry, cracked skin on your hands and face.

If this is the case, try using a body butter to restore moisture and smoothness to your scaly skin, soothing painful broken or sore patches at the same time.

Shea butter is naturally rich in vitamins E, A and F - all of which are good for skin. Choose an unrefined product over other types, as these have come straight from the natural source without undergoing any artificial processes.

Vitamins A and E in particular balance out dry skin and help keep the complexion clear and healthy, while vitamin F protects the cells by providing three essentially fatty acids vital for revitalising and soothing your complexion.

Shea butter is used around the world to treat a number of skin complaints, such as acne, burns, discolouration and dark spots and eczema.

It is also said to be helpful in fading scars and stretch marks, so if a friend of yours is feeling a bit wobbly about the prospect of showcasing her post-pregnancy stretch marks, give her natural beauty products that will help her feel better about her body.

Shea butter can also be used as a dry hair treatment because it moisturises and protects the scalp and locks, especially on tresses that have been over-processed or are damaged due to over-use of heated equipment like straighteners and hairdryers.

Unlike other beauty products, shea butter does not clog pores or block the hair shaft, nor does it leave a greasy residue, so you can slick some on your dry bits in the knowledge that you won’t be leaving behind a sticky trail.

Posted by Laura Andrews