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Understanding Body Butters: Benefits and Composition

Sweet butter. Creamy, delicious, and nutritious, it is perfect for spreading on… your body! Edible milk-based butter is not our topic of conversation today. Instead, we are going to talk about naturally occurring plant butters and explore what they are and how we use them in skin care.

Plant butters are very effective at moisturizing and soothing your skin. So, if you are looking for ways to achieve soft silky skin, you might find this information very useful and interesting for you.

What Are Body Butters?

“Ready-to-use” body butters are a blend of solid natural plant butters and liquid plant oils. Most body butters are whipped at the final step to create an aerated, smooth, soufflé-like cream, which allows for easy application. Body butters are most notable for being thicker than body lotions and other moisturizers which is why you’re most likely to find body butters in a jar rather than a bottle or tube.

Whipped body butters are one of the best ways to nourish your skin AND hair, from the inside out. And since these butters don’t contain water, they won’t dry out your skin, or require preservatives to stop them from spoiling! Plus, they have a myriad of uses: hand, foot, cuticle softening, dry skincare, hair care, massage, all over skincare and softening, and even makeup removal and personal hygiene.

Types of Natural Plant Butters

Plant Butters are oils extracted from the seeds, kernels and nuts of certain tropical trees. They are called “butters” because they remain solid at room temperature.

Whipped Body Butters are the final products ready to be used directly on the skin and are usually a blend of plant butters and plant oils that are liquid at room temperature. The addition of liquid oils, not only provides nutrients and moisture to the skin but it helps smoothen the consistency of the final body butter. Liquid oils commonly used in whipped body butters are Sweet Almond Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Jojoba Oil, coconut Oil, Plum Kernel Oil and others.

Let’s examine some popular plant butters and their benefits:


Cocoa Butter is an edible fat obtained from the cacao bean pod. One of the most popular and well-known body butters, it is naturally high in vitamin E to help hydrate and soothe skin, and contains natural antioxidants. Because it is a fantastic thickening agent you will often find cocoa butter in lipsticks, lip balms, soaps and creams. It helps to create an amazing whipped body butter.

The texture tends to be creamy and yellowish in color and it has a heavenly light chocolate scent and feels delicious on your skin.


Shea butter is a fat extracted from the nut of the African Shea tree. Shea butter is high in vitamins a, e and f, provides collagen (to assist prevention of skin aging & wrinkles), and contains essential fatty acids.

Shea butter contains many fatty acids:

  • Oleic (40% to 55%) refers to the group of omega-9-unsaturated fatty acids

  • Stearic(carbonic acid, 35% to 45%)

  • Palmitic (3% to 7%)

  • Linoleic (from 3% to 8%)

  • Linolenic (about 1%)

Shea butter is also high in Vitamins A, E and F

In skin care we use Shea butter for the following:

  • Moisturizing

  • Healing

  • Anti-inflammatory properties: reduces redness, irritation and inflammation

  • Anti-aging


Mango butter is extracted from the kernels of the tropical Mango Tree. The texture and composition resemble Shea and Cocoa butter but it contains more fatty acids making it a more intense moisturizer. It also contains high amounts of vitamins A and C. This butter provides skin softness, soothing and moisturizing properties, and is a natural emollient. Mango Butter tends to be rich, white in color with a mildly sweet scent and is hard at room temperature.


Kokum Butter is extracted from the seeds of the Kokum tree. This is a highly prized butter that helps revitalize skin cells while supporting elasticity and flexibility. It is rich in essential fatty acids, vitamin E, and is non-comedogenic (meaning, it won’t clog your pores), making it a perfect choice for dry, cracked, rough, damaged and calloused skin.

Like Cocoa butter, it has a uniform triglyceride composition, so one can be easily substituted for the other in skincare formulations. Kokum is na