Pure oils are one of my favorite facial moisturizers, but oil isn't quite thick enough for me when the weather turns blustery. Enter butters. Think of butters as oils with more saturated fatty acids and higher melting points, making them thicker, richer, and even more lush on the skin.
To help you choose the right butter for you, I've compiled a list of my five favorites and how they can be used.
Good for wrinkles but not so good for acne prone skin.
Though Palmer's Cocoa Butter is widely popular and beloved, straight-up cocoa butter is much more nourishing to the skin. Derived from the beans of the cacao plant, it has a mildly chocolatey scent and is rich in antioxidant vitamin E and oleic acids, making it incredibly soothing for irritated and aging skin. If you’re acne prone, though, it’s best to keep this one off your face.
Great for anti-aging and magical on dry and coarse hair.
Here’s a butter that’s definitely having a moment in the sun, and for good reason. Shea butter is another good choice for anti-aging because of its high vitamin A and E content. It even has a teeny bit of sun protection, equivalent to a SPF of around 4-6. You still have to wear a sunscreen (duh), but every little bit helps! When whipped, it makes a deliciously light and rich body moisturizer. It’s also totally magic on dry and coarse hair.
A must for those battling rough, cracked skin on the lips or feet.
Mango butter is a new favorite of mine. It has a soft texture that spreads easily and a light, slightly fruity scent that's utterly delightful. High in oleic acid, it's ideal for smoothing rough, cracked skin. I love it in Burt’s Bees Nourishing Lip Balm with Mango Butter for repairing chapped lips. Danielle loves it, too!
A DIY-ers best friend.
Kokum butter comes from the seeds of Indian mangosteen trees. It’s a comparatively hard, solid butter that makes for an excellent thickener in DIY formulations. When I used to make DIY deodorant using coconut oil, baking soda, and essential oils, I added kokum butter to harden it into stick form. It has a melting point upwards of 100 degrees Fahrenheit, so it’s especially good for people in warm climates, if you’re not super into products melting in the bottom of your purse and ruining everything.
A lesser known butter that's ideal for thin or delicate skin.
Cupuacu butter is relatively new to the North American skin care scene, though it’s been used by Amazonian communities for generations. It’s high in stearic acid, a fatty acid that moisturizes and also acts as an emulsifier, making it great for DIY lotions and soaps. It’s a softer, creamier butter that makes it great for delicate skin and hair. Add in the antioxidant tannins and flavonoids, and what’s not to love?
- Will you be incorporating butters into your winter skin care routine?
- What are your favorite skin and hair care products that contain butters?