Butters are the biggest sensation in skincare these days and rightly so with the many applications derived from them. Well-known among them are shea and cocoa butter, but there is a vegan option grown mostly in India that's often overlooked. Kokum butter, part of the Guttiferaw tree family, is an unsung hero in skincare formulations. With it's non-greasy texture, higher stability, and filled with nutrients, this butter packs quite a punch in terms of benefits.
WHAT IS KOKUM BUTTER
Kokum butter, also known as Garcinia Indica, is found in the Western Ghat region of India. It consists of 80% of stearic-oleic-stearic (SOS) triglycerides which gives it, it's moisturizing and stabilizing properties. Kokum butter is traditionally used to soften and nourish the skin with its rich emollient and nutritive properties.
TYPES OF KOKUM BUTTER
Unrefined kokum butter has a soft, chalky texture and no smell. It is usually light to medium peachish/brown in color and is melted at high temperatures. Unrefined kokum butter is extracted using physical or mechanical extraction, which contains about 25% of kokum butter. It is harder in nature and is a lightweight emollient. It is mainly used in cosmetic and skincare formulations such as body balms, conditioners, soap making, etc.
Refined kokum butter has a neutral odor and is off-white to white in color. Refined kokum butter is extracted using the less natural chemical or solvent method, in which the seed can yield around 44% of kokum butter. This method leaves behind traces of chemicals and solvents in the product. It is primarily used to make lipsticks and lip balms. It is also used in bar soaps, creams, and conditioners. Refined kokum butter is a better choice if you want to maintain the white color in the final products compared to the yellow color derived from unrefined kokum butter.
USES OF KOKUM BUTTER
Kokum butter is famously used in cosmetics, skincare, soaps, personal care, and is a great alternative to cocoa butter. As it is firmer than cocoa butter, it is a substitute fat in cosmetics. It is edible and is used occasionally to make chocolates and other confections. Cocoa Butter Equivalents (CBE) can be created with kokum butter when it is mixed with PMF (Proton Motive Force) and mowrah stearine.
CHEMICAL INFORMATION / PROPERTIES
- INCI - GARCINIA INDICA SEED BUTTER, BOTANICAL NAME - GARCINIA INDICA
- Fatty acid composition showing C16 (3.4%), C18 (67.4%), C18:1 (28.1%), C18:2 (0.6%) and C20 (0.3%)
- It’s extremely stable and also harder than other kinds of butter. Thus it can’t be directly applied to the skin.
- It remains solid at room temperature.
- The melting point of kokum butter is 90 -104 degrees Fahrenheit / 38 - 40 degrees Celsius.
- A non-greasy and lightweight moisturizer that’s rich in vitamins, nutrients, emollient and has astringent properties.
- Kokum butter is high in essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6 which keeps the skin healthy.
- It has almost no smell.
- It has a high stearic acid content which makes it moisturizing and gives a creamy feeling to the products.
- It is non-comedogenic in nature and won't clog pores.
- Shelf-life is about 2-2.5 years from manufacturing if stored properly.
- Avoid overexposure to sun and heat and store in a cool and dry place.
- It may turn grainy in texture, which is absolutely normal.
- Gently melting the butter and rapid cooling and freezing can reduce the grainy texture of the butter.
KOKUM BUTTER BENEFITS
- Helps to smoothen skin and prevent drying of the skin.
- Known to heal ulcers, cracks, and fissures.
- Heals acne, minor inflammatory conditions of the skin.
- Helps in reducing age spots and wrinkles.
- Excellent moisturizer for skin, hair, and scalp.
- Helps in reducing aging by its excellent emollient and nutritive properties that keep the skin supple and soft.
- Helps in strengthening the hair roots, can promote hair growth and rejuvenate hair follicles, also helps in reversing hair damage.
- Helps in skin nourishment and hydration and promotes healthy skin cells.
KOKUM BUTTER USES IN FORMULATION
Kokum butter can be used in various cosmetic preparations such as scrubs, balms, salves, moisturizers, body butter, conditioners, make-up foundation, lipstick, creams, skin tonics, lotions, shaving cream, bar soaps, bath bombs, acne treatment, spa products.
RECOMMENDED USAGE IN FORMULATION
- Base Lotions & Creams: 1-30%
- Lip & Body Balms: 5-100%
- Lipsticks: 1-3%
- Liquid Soaps: 2-5%
- Hair Products: 1-5%
- Lotion: 1-3%
- Conditioner: 1-3%
- Bar Soaps: 2-5%
- Use 50-50-50 / 1:1:1 formula of kokum butter, carrier oil, and beeswax to make a luxuriously soft body butter or balm.
- DIY NOURISHING HAIR MASK
Use equal parts of kokum butter, olive oil, and coconut oil to make a nourishing hair mask.
Incorporate all the ingredients in the bowl and mix thoroughly. Warm the mixture and apply it to the scalp and hair. Leave it for about 30 minutes to 1 hour before rinsing.
- MOISTURIZING LIP BALM
Use equal parts of kokum butter, beeswax, and coconut oil to make a moisturizing lip balm.
Mix all the ingredients and heat it slowly. Once the mixture is melted, remove it from heat and store it in the fridge immediately to solidify.
Kokum butter boasts of unique and multiple beneficial properties, but is often overlooked in comparison to shea butter as it’s undoubtedly more famous. Kokum butter has better stability and has incredible emollient and nutrient properties that gives your skin a supple and youthful glow. It's a great option for Indians as it is easily sourced, summer-friendly, and more suitable for the skin.