Cosmetic Butter

What is a cosmetic butter?

A cosmetic butter is one of the many ingredients in a cosmetic that:

  • creates a solid or semi-solid oil base
  • provides moisture to the skin, lips and hair
  • has anti-inflammatory properties
  • has anti-aging properties
  • helps calm irritated, itchy skin
  • restores skin elasticity
  • contains Vitamins A, D, E and F

Examples of cosmetic butters

There are so many butters that you can use to make cosmetic. Let's take a look:

  • Shea butter
  • Cocoa butter
  • Mango butter
  • Avocado butter
  • Bacuri butter
  • Cupuacu butter
  • Murumuru butter
  • Tucuma butter
  • Ucuuba butter

Different butters also have different:

  • smell
  • color
  • melting point
  • fatty acid contents
  • different saponification values

If you are a bar soap crafter, the saponification value and color is the most important to you!

If you are a skincare and makeup formulator like me, we tend to focus more on the rest of the properties.

How does fatty acid contents in butter affect me?

In a butter, there are many acids content such as:

  • Oleic acid
  • Linoleic acid
  • Linolenic acid
  • Lauric acid
  • Myristic acid
  • Alpha-linolenic acid
  • Gamma-linolenic acid
  • Stearic acid

But as a cosmetic formulator, I usually focus on 2 of them:

Oleic acid and Linoleic acid

Fatty Acid Guide

  • Oily skin do best with oils/butters high in Linoleic acid.
  • Dry skin do best with oils/butters high in Oleic acid.
  • Normal skin do best with oils/butters with a balanced Oleic and Linoleic acid.
  • Sun-sensitive skin do best with oils/butters high in Alpha-Linolenic acid.

Are butters safe for acne-prone and oily skin?

My answer is, yes it is!

All types of skin can use cosmetic butter in different ways. You can use butters directly on your skin like a balm or make it into cleanser, emulsion or serum!

Anyway, people with acne-prone and oily skin must moisturize their skin on a daily basis. Oil cleansers and oil serums are also good for acne-prone and oily skin.

You just need to know which one to choose and how to make it non-greasy!

Which butter do I use to make cosmetics?

Only you can answer this question! But not to worry, I will help you narrow down your choices of butter.

You can use these questions to start off your thinking process:

  • What are you making - skincare or makeup? 
  • Who is your target customer - people with oily skin or dry skin?
  • Are you going to add color, fragrance and actives?
  • Is your end product washable or leave-on?
  • Do your customers prefer oil-base or water-base?
  • Do your customers have eczema, acne or psoriasis?

Next, you will need to look into its Comedogenic Rating.

This is a scale from 0 to 5 and it shows how much the cosmetic butter can clog your pores. 

Comedogenic list of cosmetic butter

0 being non-comedogenic (non-clog)
5 being the most comedogenic (most clog)

Comedogenic list of cosmetic butter:

  • Shea butter: 0-2
  • Cocoa butter: 4
  • Mango butter: 2
  • Avocado butter: 3
  • Bacuri butter: 4
  • Cupuacu butter: 4
  • Murumuru butter: 2-3
  • Tucuma butter: 2-3
  • Ucuuba butter: 4

Now you know why you always see Shea butter in cosmetics? It is considered the most non-clogging butter and suitable for all skin types.

If you are formulating for a severely dry skin, you can use Cocoa butter, Bacuri butter, Cupuacu butter and Ucuuba butter.

Add your favorite essential oils for a more therapeutic experience!

Tips and tricks when using butter

cosmetic clay

Don't like the oily feeling when applying butter? Here's what you can do!

  • Add some cosmetic clay or cosmetic-grade rice starch 
  • Make a lotion or emulsion instead because the emulsifier will bond the oils and water together, making it less greasy

Where to buy cosmetic butter?

Rainforest Chica - USA

Making Cosmetics - USA

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