Hair Care, Skin care

Know your butters series: The oils that make your DIY body butters pop


You may have purchased very high quality natural and organic butters but you have to take the final step in order to ensure that your body butter, soap or hair butter turns out perfect. This final step involves using the right and appropriate carrier oil to bring out the best in your end product. Sometimes, adding just any oil is not enough. Carrier oils have now become more available at very affordable prices so there is really no excuse for a less than desired end product. In this section of the “know your butters series”, I will give a summary of some of the most common and fabulous carrier oils out there. I will leave it to you to choose which ones to work with. Personally, I have found that mixing them is the best. Because this ensures that I am able to receive all the benefits of the vitamins and nutrients in one go. The carrier oils that I work with on a regular basis include the following:

Argan nut oil, Virgin: this oil is extracted from the nut of the argan tree (Argania spinosa). This rare oil is unrefined and carries a light yellowish clear appearance with a mild characteristic taste and odor. Its applications are vast including cosmetics, soaps and culinary.

Baobab oil, Virgin: This oil is cold-pressed extracted from the large Baobab fruits produced by the Adansonia digitata trees native to Africa. Virgin organic baobab oil is liquid at room temperature, non-hydrogenated, and has a nutty characteristic aroma and golden yellow appearance. Organic baobab oil is widely used in the personal care and cosmetic industry to manufacture lip balms, skin moisturizing lotions, face and wrinkle reducing creams, and bar soaps. Baobab fruit has been nicknamed the ‘superfruit’ due to its naturally occurring levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and Vitamin C. Among several other benefits, is it believed organic baobab oil promotes healthy skin.

Coconut oil: Coconut oil is known for its many uses in different applications. This oil is known for its many uses in the food and cosmetic industries. It is extracted from the meat of the Coconut. Refining removes the Coconut taste and smell leaving it as a clean bland product with a whitish color. Due to its high content of saturated fatty acids, primarily Lauric Acid (C12:0), the oil is solid at room temperature and highly resistant to rancidity.

Apricot kernel oil, Virgin: This oil is also referred to by the botanical name Prunus armeniaca. Virgin organic apricot kernel oil is cold-pressed extracted from the kernel of the apricot. It has a clear light yellow appearance and a characteristic nutty aroma with properties closely resembling those of almond oil. Virgin organic apricot kernel oil is a popular ingredient used through the cosmetic industry. It is a favorable lightweight base oil rich in Vitamin A and E, as well as Oleic (C18:1) and Linoleic (C18:2) essential fatty acids. Apricot oil is known to be an effective emollient as it is easily absorbed into the skin and helps promote skin softness and elasticity. It is used to formulate a variety of bath and body products to condition and provide stable lather to soap formulas. Traditionally this oil has been used in massage therapy to soften the skin. Virgin apricot kernel oil is relatively stable due to its higher concentration of important essential fatty acids.

Sweet Almond oil, Virgin: This oil is obtained from the dried kernel of the Almond tree. Organic Almond Oil is a universal carrier oil used throughout the food, nutritional supplement and cosmetic industries. The appearance is a clear light yellow liquid. It is considered a lightweight oil which is known to be rich in vitamin A, E, and B as well as Oleic (C18:1) and Linoleic (C18:2) essential fatty acids.

Macadamia nut oil, Virgin: This oil is a versatile carrier oil with applications ranging from culinary to cosmetics. The appearance is a clear characteristic golden honey color with a mild characteristic odor. With a higher concentration of monounsaturated fatty acids, primarily Palmitoleic and Oleic, Virgin Macadamia Nut Oil has a higher resistance to oxidation as well as a relatively higher smoke point.

Extra virgin olive oil: This oil is characterized by a high level of oleic acid, is a popular oil derived from the fruit of the olive tree. Uses are universal ranging from culinary to cosmetics. It is obtained from the first pressing of the olive and is left in its natural unrefined state. The appearance is a greenish yellow color with a characteristic aroma. Extra Virgin is known to be the highest quality Olive Oil available and is used in everything from lotions and soaps to hair products and is at times applied straight to the skin. The oil naturally conditions and moisturizes the skin and is known to add shine to hair. Extra Virgin olive oil is also believed to contribute to skin elasticity. On the culinary side, it is one of the most widely used oils. Extra Virgin olive oil is best and typically used in preparation of foods which are going to be eaten cold. The oil can also be used for sautéing, however when using Olive Oil for high heat cooking other grades are more appropriate. As temperature exposure to olive Oil increases, the oil will burn and the natural taste and aroma will deteriorate.

Jojoba oil, Golden: Bulk Organic Jojoba Oil-Golden is a unique oil known for its long chain monosaturated wax esters. Used widely in the personal care and cosmetic industries, Jojoba Oil-Golden is a filtered oil with a clear honey color and bland characteristic odor. Organic Jojoba Oil-Golden is one of the more stable oils and is known to be a good lubricant with excellent moisturizing ability.

Castor oil: The pressing of the castor bean Ricinus communis results in Castor Oil, which is a universal light pale-yellowish oil used widely for applications ranging from cosmetic to industrial.

Rosehip oil: Bulk Rosehip Seed Oil is extracted from the seeds of the rose bush and is rich in essential fatty acids, particularly Linoleic (C18:2) and Linolenic (C18:3). Rosehip Seed Oil has a light honey color accompanied by a characteristic bland odor.

Avocado oil, Virgin: Avocado Oil is extracted from the fruit of the avocado tree. As an unrefined oil, virgin avocado oil carries a darker green color with a characteristic odor and taste. The oil is known to be rich in vitamin E and the essential fatty acid Oleic Acid (C18:1). Virgin Avocado Oil is used widely in food, nutritional supplement and cosmetic applications

Evening Primrose oil, Virgin: Evening Primrose Oil 10% GLA is a cold-pressed oil extracted from the seed of the Olenothera biennis plant. It is unrefined and golden-yellow in color. Evening Primrose Oil is widely used in the dietary supplement and cosmetic industries due to its naturally occurring levels of essential fatty acids. It is rich in essential fatty acids with particularly high levels of GLA (gamma-linolenic acid C18:3n-6) and Linoleic Acid (C18:2n-6). The GLA content is typically at 10%, while the level of Linoleic acid is one of the highest found in nature, ranging from 65-85%. Essential fatty acids play a crucial role in brain function as well as normal growth and development. Omega-6 fatty acids are necessary for human health, but can only be obtained by consumption. Evening Primrose Oil receives positive press and has become a favorable dietary supplement since the body cannot produce these Omega-6 fatty acids naturally.

In the sections to come, I will give suggestions on how best to combine these oils and which butters they work best with. It is important to mention that the combination of these oils depend on what they are being used for. Hair and skin butters should contain different oils in varying proportions. This will be dealt with in the next section. Stay tuned.

Leave a Reply