Hair Care, Skin care

Know your butter series: How to use Cocoa and Shea butter

There are several butters out there and they can be used in numerous applications. Until now, these butters were not being tapped for their maximum potential by the average person. You would normally find them in your ingredients list but mixed with chemicals and other ingredients that you really do not want on your body. But thankfully, these days, everyone seems to be taking their skin care more personally instead of relying only on what they can find in stores.

There is a very high level of innovation in the skin care industry because of increased competition not only between skin care companies but also between skin care companies and their own customers. Customers are now asking very intelligent questions about the content of their products, leading companies to constantly formulate cleaner and healthier options. But who needs to buy lotions and body creams from the store when you can make yours in your home. Not only is it a very exciting experience, it is also very empowering to find out what you can create or manufacture all by yourself in the comfort of your home.

The list of skin care products you can make by yourself is endless: deodorants, massage cream, body butter, body balm, lip balm, lotion stick, etc. It is just important that you pay close attention to discover which natural butter works best for the products you are trying to make. In some cases, you might need to incorporate natural waxes like organic Carnauba and organic beeswax to get the right texture for some skin products like deodorants, body balms, massage balms and lip balms. However, it is absolutely possible to only work with natural butters if you know the right proportions to use.

In this series, I will only be discussing natural butters. The section below, gives a breakdown of the most common uses of the butters that we are including in the overall series. Please note that this list is not exhaustive as there are other natural butters out there; but the butters below can be said to be the most widely used and most sought after due to their amazing benefits.

Shea Nut Butter:Cooking, Skin and hair
Cocoa Butter:Cooking skin and hair
Mango Butter:Skin and hair
Tamanu Butter:Skin and hair
Kokum butter:Skin and hair
Illipe nut butter:Skin and hair

Shea nut butter:

This butter is an amazingly rich and creamy butter that provides unique moisturization for the skin. In some parts of West Africa where it originates from, it is used in cooking but this is not common practice because it is used mostly for the skin. In some parts of Nigeria, before a woman gets married, she goes in to ‘lock down’ and is exclusively pampered for some days with this butter as well as other natural oils. This practice is to ensure that her skin is extremely supple, smooth and soft for her wedding day. Women that undergo this treatment come out with glowing skin. Although this treatment might be considered extreme by some cultures but it just exposes the great rejuvenating benefits of this butter for the skin.

To achieve a smooth consistency for your body butter, you will need to incorporate this butter almost as a staple. Some people do not like this butter due to its peculiar smell. Some brands have a strong overpowering smell due to the way the butter is processed but out organic Shea butter does not have an overpowering smell and you can be sure your essential oils will not be dominated by our brand of Shea nut butter.

Cocoa butter:

Many of the brands that use cocoa butter emphasize its great benefits for stretch mark removal. This is because it promotes skin elasticity. This butter is a multipurpose product in some cases (Please note that not all brands offer the food grade version of this butter). We offer the Food grade, organic, unrefined, non-deodorized version of this butter so most of our customers use it for homemade chocolate as well as for body butters.

Because of the pleasant scent of chocolate this butter has, you might be tempted to chunk in a large portion in your body butter, but beware, it tends to harden and will give a relatively stiff texture to your butter. If you are looking to manufacture a soft body butter, you will need to add cocoa butter sparingly. However, it works great if you are making deodorants and balms which will need to be stiff. This is the reason why it is a major component of chocolates.

I will be discussing the other butters in subsequent sections of this series. So please stay tuned.

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