As a skin care formulator, there is nothing more satisfying then creating a luxurious body butter or cream filled with oils. When I began working with butter, I went through so many test batches trying to get the perfect texture. What I would soon realize after going to skin care school and learning is that each butter works differently and there is really a science to how they will work with other ingredients.
Here I am going to tell you what I learned and give you some information on what butters are, some facts on their profiles and how they benefit your skin.
Understanding Body Butters: What they are and why you need them?
A body butter is an oil soluble Ingredient, meaning it can only be dissolved into oils. Butters are derived from seeds or beans and are solid in consistency. A butter is an emollient which provides moisturizing and protective properties and are added to products like creams and lotions to provide a rich and creamy texture. Butters can also be used by itself in application to lips, hands, elbows, legs and feet. Some butters absorb into the skin quickly while others may leave a slight oily barrier depending on skin type and formulation. They are rich in antioxidants and are essential fatty acids. People love them because they provide a barrier on the skin.
Some of the ways people use butters are :
Right after a warm shower will lock in the moisture. Basically you just hydrated your skin and now you are sealing in the moisture.
Use on cracked heals and dry areas. People with eczema and severe dry skin will use butters because they provide such a rich moisture.
Butters are sometimes used in creams and lotions to provide a thicker viscosity or texture. Although you can use a body butters in its raw unrefined form, it is typical for oils to be added to provide other benefits.
Now its time to break down 6 popular types of butters and their profiles:
INCI ( Persea gratissima)
Quality: Rich, Heavy and Dry Oil.
Absorption Rate: Fast
Skin Type: Dry, damaged, sensitive, and aging skin.
Shelf Life: 2 Years
This butter is very rich and moisturizing that can be a little heavy so its best to consider using it in small amounts or with other butters to harden your butter. This butter improves barrier repair function and forms a thin layer on the surface to keep moisture locked in and attract water from the surrounding area, helping the skin stay hydrated. It is also rich in vitamins and minerals that are antioxidants helping to soften and smooth the skin and delay the signs of aging. The butter melts at 86-91 degrees Fahrenheit. It is smooth and creamy when applied.
TIP : Pair with Kokum or Cocoa to Harden other butters in a body butter formulation.
INCI: Theobroma cacao
Quality: Thick & Fatty Butter
Absorption Rate: Fast- Medium
Skin Type Dry, chapped, cracked, broken & normal Shelf Life: 2-5 yrs
A really good occlusive which forms a protective layer and locks in moisture leading to better hydration and the oleic acid increases skin cell rejuvenation. This butter improves flexibility of the skin. This butter offers great protection against weather and outside environment. It's good for legs, feet and cracked skin. Many formulators consider this is a star ingredient to harden other butters & thicken consistency to put in lotions.
Cocoa butter is known for its chocolatey scent and if you are using scents in your formulations, expect to smell notes of the cocoa. Cocoa butter has high vitamin E content and is a great antioxidant the supports minimizing the signs of aging. It melts at 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tip : This butter is a popular butter to help with minimizing stretch marks and scarring.
INCI: Gardenia Indica
Quality: Fatty Butter contains vitamin E
Absorption Rate: Fast
Skin Type : Shelf Life: 1-2 yrs
Kokum Butter is an excellent emollient and is expeller pressed from the Kokum tree. Basically what that means is that a machine was used to press the nuts and seeds of the tree through a cavity and uses intense pressure and friction to extract the oil. The butter has moisturizing and nourishing properties. It softens the skin as well as prevents the skin from drying by helping to retain moisture in the skin. Another benefit is that It has regenerative effects on the skin due to its high antioxidant content and helps prevent the signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles by restoring the skins elasticity.
This butter melts between 100 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
INCI: Mangifera indica
Quality: Light and easily absorbed
Absorption Rate: Fast- medium ( easily absorbed)
Skin Type : Normal to oily skin
Shelf Life: 2-3 yrs
Mango is one of my favorite butters! It absorbs perfectly and when making creams or body butters, it has minimal scent making it a star ingredient for scented products. This butter increases moisture retention, provides a protective layer and reduces transepidermal water loss. It improves the flexibility and elasticity of the skin in addition to being a strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti viral, antibacterial and anti-fungal which also soften the skin , fights off free radicals by combating irritations, infections and inflammations! This butter does it all in the recovery and repair of skin and is a thinner and non greasy.
This butter melts at 95 degrees faranheit.
INCI: Olea europa
Quality: Thick & Heavy
Absorption Rate: Fast- medium
Skin Type : Dry, sensitive, irritated and aging skin
Shelf Life: 3 yrs
Olive Butter is thicker than the oil but is easily absorbed by the skin and also easy to spread across the skin. It's an emollient and a butter that contains a high content of vitamin e. It is also humectant,which means it pulls moisture from around and hydrates your skin. In addition, the butter helps repair function, soothes inflamed and irritated skin. Something really amazing about this butter is that it mimics the skins natural sebum helping with oily skin. Consider this one anti aging in addition to softening the skin.
INCI: Butyrospermum park
Quality: Thick & Fatty
Absorption Rate: Fast- medium
Skin Type : Dry, damaged, cracked, chapped and sensitive skin
Shelf Life: 2 yrs
This butter is one that you want to keep in your toolkit! It is an amazing moisturizing agent that melts as soon as you apply to the skin. It protects against water loss and outside weather conditions. It boosts a protective layer on the skin. Another humectant by locking in water and absorbs moisture from outside to hydrate , soften and smooth dry and damaged skin. It contains high amounts of vitamin E making it another antioxidant. This butter contains regenerating properties and helps with stretch marks, wrinkles , eczema, psoriasis and chapped broken skin. This butter melts at body temperature and is anti-inflammatory to heal scars, cuts and sores.
Now you have 6 Butters to begin your formulating journey. There are so many more and I can't wait to share with you all. If you want to find out more about formulating and ingredients, please join my community to receive exclusive access to my digital printable library!