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Shawna Answers The Internet’s Burning Questions: KOKUM BUTTER

Updated: Apr 4

In this series, I focus on a specific ingredient or process that I use, plug it into the Google machine to find the most popular questions the internet has about them, then answer those questions! Trust me, it’s more fun than it sounds, and it’s definitely informative!

What is kokum butter?

Kokum butter is a natural substance derived from the seeds of the kokum tree (Garcinia indica), which is indigenous to the Western Ghats region of India.

It's known for its unique properties and benefits, making it a sought-after ingredient in the cosmetic and skincare industry. Here are some key attributes and uses of kokum butter:

  • Composition: It is rich in fatty acids, particularly stearic acid and oleic acid, which contribute to its moisturizing capabilities.

  • Texture and Melting Point: Kokum butter has a relatively hard texture at room temperature but melts upon contact with the skin. This characteristic makes it an excellent ingredient for formulations that require a stable, spreadable consistency, like lotions, creams, and balms.

  • Moisturizing Properties: It is highly moisturizing and gets absorbed into the skin without leaving a greasy residue. Kokum butter can help repair the skin barrier, making it beneficial for dry, cracked, and rough skin.

  • Skin Healing: Thanks to its emollient properties, kokum butter is effective in healing dry skin, cracks, burns, and minor wounds. It also supports skin elasticity, which can help with the appearance of scars and stretch marks.

  • Stability and Shelf Life: Kokum butter is known for its stability and long shelf life, which makes it a preferred choice for cosmetic formulations. Its low level of unsaponifiables means it's less prone to rancidity compared to other natural oils and butters.

  • Non-Greasy: Despite its moisturizing effects, kokum butter leaves a light feeling on the skin, which is particularly appealing for use in daytime skincare products and for people who prefer a non-greasy feel.

  • Versatility: Beyond skincare, kokum butter is also used in hair care products for its ability to nourish and strengthen the hair, improve scalp health, and enhance hair's natural shine and softness.

Its beneficial properties, along with its compatibility with a wide range of skin types and conditions, make kokum butter a valuable ingredient in the formulation of natural and effective skincare and hair care products.

Is kokum butter comedogenic?

If you’ve read the internet’s burning questions about shea butter, you already know that “comedogenicity” means a product’s likelihood of clogging your pores. Kokum butter is considered to be non-comedogenic or very low on the comedogenic scale, often rated at a 0 or 1 out of 5, meaning it is very unlikely to clog pores. This makes it suitable for all skin types, including oily and acne-prone skin. Its texture is firm at room temperature but melts upon contact with the skin, allowing for easy absorption without leaving a greasy residue.

What does kokum butter smell like?

Kokum butter is known for its relatively neutral or mildly earthy aroma. Unlike other natural butters such as cocoa butter or shea butter, which have distinct, sometimes strong scents, kokum butter's scent is very subtle and can be described as faintly nutty or woody.

If you’re in Southern Ontario and would like to experience the scent in person, come on by 31 Mechanic St., in Paris, Ontario and I’d be happy to guide you through some of our product testers to help you discover the scent on your own. It really is a soft, understated scent reminiscent of wood. 

Natch Central, in Paris, Ontario!

Where to buy kokum butter?

Well I think I really will let Google take the lead on this one. There are just a few too many options out there. 

Of course if you’d like to buy kokum butter already formulated into safe and effective skincare products, you’re in the right place! It’s in all of our organic body whips, our bronze lustre glow butter, which moisturizes your skin and leaves a hint of bronze from natural mica pigment, and our skin saver, which is our all-purpose, hydrating skin balm.

Shawna Bruch is a chartered herbalist and aromatherapist in Paris, Ontario. She makes Slow Beauty products wildcrafted from natural botanicals.

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