By the very nature of the word you can assume it’s not like real butter from milk. It is from plants or more specifically usually from the nut of the plant. An example that everyone is familiar with is peanut butter. The peanut is crushed and blended until it resembles cake frosting. So too with different plant butters which come from nuts, kernels and seeds of various plants
Since this blog is concerned with different types of plant butters that are used for the health & body care industry we will list some of the known and lesser known plant butters. Mostly they are used for skin care, wound care and overall skin health from the areas that they are found in.
Many have very strong scents which takes some getting used to or can be mixed & blended with essential oils that will mask the possibly unpleasant odor. The following list is a start but incomplete since there are many plants in the world today that have not yet been been discovered.
1.) Shea Butter - This butter is extracted from the shea nut which is found in many parts of Africa. It is yellowish is to ivory white in color with a strong nutty odor. Used for skin care, sunburns and other skin related issues and comes in a refined or unrefined state. Many proponents of this butter suggest using the unrefined shea butter which retains more of the beneficial skin properties.
2.) Cocoa Butter- This butter is the natural cream colored vegetable fat extracted from cocoa beans during the process of separating the powdered cocoa & liquid from the bean itself. Cocoa Butter is produced in the West African nations Nigeria, Ghana and South America on a limited scale . It has a sweet aroma and is very stable which means it does not turn rancid. Cocoa Butter has been & is used used to heal and moisturize skin that has been exposed to the harsh elements. Supposedly it helps reduce the stretch marks during pregnancy by keeping the skin supple. It is used as a major ingredient in lotion bars, lip balms, body butters and soaps.
3.) Cupuacu Butter - this fantastic plant butter is native to Brazil and contains phytosterols which means that it has a high capacity for water absorption due to these sterols. Cupuacu Butter is an excellent emollient that adds softness & smoothness to the skin and improves elasticity. It is used in skin care, hair care, lip balms and lipsticks.
4.) Tucuma Butter – this great plant butter is also native to Brazil and is cold pressed from the seed of the native Tucuma palm tree. Tucuma Butter has a mild odor and is relatively neutral to light beige in color. It is considered to be an excellent emollient with superior skin softening properties.Tucuma Butter spreads very easily on the skin and softens upon contact with the skin. Used in massage & body balms, soaps, lotions and skin care products.
5.) Kokum Butter – this plant butter is native to India comes from the Garcinia indicia tree. It is yellowish to brown in color with a earthy scent. Kokum Butter is the hardest and most stable plant butter and is often substituted for cocoa butter due to it’s shelf life and milder odor. It supposedly is an excellent emollient for superior skin care.. Since it is harder it has a higher melting point relatively higher melt point making it better for lip balms & lipsticks. It is also used in bar soaps, body butters, skin moisturizers, body creams and skin conditioners.
All these plant butters do have a limited shelf life from one year to three years if stored under proper conditions. A cool, dry place away from sunlight and sealed is the best way to store any plant butter. There are many more plant butters in the world today but these are a little more well known and used in the production of skin care and lip care products.