Sunday, March 15, 2009

Butters: A short guide

As part of the "know your ingredients" series, I present to you some information on the various butters you can use in making upcoming products: Lotion bars, whipped butters, bath melts, and more. Yep, we're making anhydrous (without water) products!

BUTTERS - butters are rated from 1 to 10 for hardness. 10 is very hard.
Aloe butter: Hardness 4. Melts easily at room temperature, good for salves. Aids in rapid hydration of dry skin caused by eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, sun burn, wind burn, and general chapping.

Avocado butter: A very rich, moisturizing treatment, but it can be a little heavy or greasy. Use in small amounts. Again, you might want to use a secondary butter to harden a lotion bar.

Cocoa butter: Hardness 10. A very good butter for trapping in moisture as it stays on the skin as a barrier. This is good as a primary oil in a lotion bar.

Mango butter: Hardness 8. A very creamy butter, doesn't go grainy after melting. It is less greasy than other butters and very emollient.

Olive butter: Olive butter offers the goodness of olive oil, which includes high level of phytosterols and humectant qualities.

Shea butter: Hardness 7. Shea butter penetrates deep into skin and returns elasticity. It has high levels of Vitamins A and E, as well as phytosterols, fatty esters, and phenolic acids. May help repair skin damage. It softens and heals cracked and aged skin. If you are allergic to latex, please avoid shea butter.

So how do you choose a butter? If you have skin that is wind chapped and red, you might choose aloe butter. If you need serious moisturizing, then shea or mango butter may be perfect for you. If you want a humectant with lots of phytosterols, you might be a fan of olive butter.

So let's learn more about oils tomorrow!


Anonymous said...

Hi Susan,A friend told me about your blog and all i can say is Wow and Fantastic! I especially love your baby (Bichon frise?)what a pretty face! Your recipes and explanations on all crafts are invaluable and your generosity is much appreciated! Keep up the great work...this is one blog that I will be returning to for inspiration, learning & entertainment. THankyou Christine

SwiftCraftyMonkey said...

Hi Christine. So glad you like the blog. I'm just trying to give back a little of the joy I've had in learning these things.

My Blondie dog is actually a malti-poo, but she looks like a bichon (but has brown eyes and an adorable brown nose). She's our fur baby, although she's a serious obnox-i-con (she's adorable, then she transforms and rolls out to annoy us!)

Anonymous said...

What a great blog site!! You are great in explaining the whys and love that you share your knowledge & experience!! With the bonus of some great recipes, including ones that we can fill in the blanks. I'm new to this B&B stuff and your blog is a wealth of information!
Thanks again!!

Anonymous said...

What a great gift you are giving..
To share your knowledge, so freely..
I am new here to your blog, and already in love with your site..
In what little time I have been here, it has already been a learning experiance..

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Thanks for the kind words. I'm just trying to give back a little of what I've learned from incredibly generous people. It gives me great joy to to know its actually useful information!

BTW: I'm Swift not Swifty. People (on the Dish) get us mixed up all the time. I knew I should have changed my name...

Anonymous said...


Loving the site you have here!

You said we should consider the feel when formulating our products. But it doesn't say what feel the different butters have.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Anonymous! Could you sign off with your name in the future so we all know who you are? I think it helps to foster a sense if community.

If you look to your right, you'll see the links to lists section of the blog. Look under emollients for all the information about oils, exotic oils, butters, and esters!

SV Van Dyke-Flournoy said...

Hi Susan - Can u tell me who u get ur avocado butter from. I only see one vendor on Google search and Amazon. But, I was told by another blogger that she feels it is not pure--maybe I understood her to say vegetable (crisco) like stuff is added.



Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi SV. As far as I know, avocado butter is always an oil with hydrogenated vegetable oil (not Crisco - that's hydrogenated vegetable oil, but different). My suppliers are Brambleberry and Creations by Eden!

Megan Mischke said...

Hi, I love your blog and Ebooks (I only have one but I bet the others are just as awesome). Any thoughts on Kokum butter? I have about a pound that I don't know why I bought. I think it is close to mango butter. Also, green tea butter... it is made with hydrogenated oils and matcha powder I think. Matcha is something I drink daily could I make a green tea butter to add to my lotions? I feel like this is a bad idea on a few levels. I will probably just stick to using it fresh for face masks but what do you think? How is the green tea butter made safely? Thanks, Megan

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Megan. I've written a bit about kokum butter in these posts...
A few other butters
Lotion bars: Tweaking the waxes
Facial products - facial scrubs
And more!

As for green tea butter. It is safe to use it in our products. Take a look at this post where I go into more detail about green tea butter. As a note, do a search for more uses for it as I have used it in quite a few products in the past. (I just can't get it now!)