Most are familiar with cosmetic butters because they appear in thousands of skincare products. But which butter are the best butters for skin? Cosmetic butters come from natural sources, including beans, nuts, and seeds. While these ingredients sound more like food items, these natural products have a wide array of benefits for your skin. Along with their moisturizing benefits, they also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and contain beneficial vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids.
Since there is no water in these natural butters, they have a thick, nourishing consistency and are able to help hold in skin’s moisture, while also protecting the acid mantle and moisture barrier. Essential fatty acids have the ability to protect against moisture loss and prevent signs of aging. Another good aspect of butters is that since these butters come from natural sources, skin sensitivities are extremely rare. Here are a few butters that are commonly used in skincare:
Shea butter is removed from the shea tree nuts and is universal in many types of skincare. It’s one of the most commonly used butters and has very powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is a perfect anti-aging ingredient and a great treatment option for those with dry skin or eczema.
Cocoa butter is a healing source of power. With the combination of strong antioxidants and saturated fats, cocoa butter helps ensure that the skin is both detoxified and fully hydrated. It also has a natural scent that is very similar to chocolate and can help you “lock-in” moisture for lasting hydration.
Mango butter is actually pressed from the seed, or pit, inside of the mango fruit. It contains high levels of essential fatty acids, vitamins, and antioxidants. Mango butter does not have a strong scent and is also non-comedogenic, a good choice for congested and acne-prone skin.
Kokum butter is one of the “harder” butters, however it melts easily in contact with skin. Like most of the cosmetic butters listed, its essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties can help provide moisture to skin without causing sensitivity or a negative reaction.
Why choose raw butters?
It is common for many commercial moisturizers to be full of fillers like water, fatty alcohols, and mineral oil, all of which are used to increase the volume of the product. The main issue is that they don’t have any distinct long-term benefits for the skin. They generally make your skin may feel hydrated in the short term, those ingredients will either evaporate away (like alcohol) or remain sitting on the skin without penetration (like mineral oil) unlike butters, which remain as a protective barrier but also sink deeply into the skin and provide vitamins and minerals for maximum efficacy.
Mineral oil has been shown to clog pores, which results in acne breakouts. The main reason for this is because its molecular size is too big to be effectively absorbed into the skin, unlike natural butter counterparts. Mineral oil could also be carcinogenic after long-term use. Since the majority of the natural butters being used for skin care have small molecular sizes, they are able to deeply penetrate the skin and allow the skin to benefit from all of the antioxidants, vitamins, and anti-inflammatory compounds.