Friday, January 22, 2010

A few other butters...

Since I've decided to try different things in my creations this year, let's take a look at a few other butters. In the food and cosmetic industry, six butters are considered substitutes for cocoa butter - palm, illipe, kokum, sal, shea, and mango - but they do offer different qualities and fatty acid profiles for cosmetic formulators. (I'm not going over palm today and we've already seen shea and mango...)

ILLIPE BUTTER (INCI: Shorea stenoptera)
With a fatty acid profile of 20% palmitic acid (C16), 42% stearic acid (C18), 36% oleic acid (C18:1), and less than 1% linoleic acid (C18:2), illipe has a melting point of 28 to 37˚C. It is considered the best substitute for cocoa butter with similar melting points - 28˚C to 37˚C - and similar fatty acid profiles. Unlike cocoa butter, it contains about 900 ppm tocopherols and some nice phytosterol levels (about 1200 ppm with ß-stigmasterol making up about 900 ppm and avenasterol at 281 ppm). It also provides barrier protection, and offers good moisturization in the form of palmitic and stearic acid. It has a shelf life of about two years.

Try using this in a body butter in place of cocoa butter.

MOWRAH BUTTER (INCI: Madhuca longifolia)
With a fatty acid profile of 28% palmitic acid (C16), 14% stearic acid (C18), 49% oleic acid (C18:1), and about 9% linoleic acid (C18:2), it is considered another substitute for cocoa butter, but it's closer to shea butter with a melting point of 24˚C to 28˚C. It is considered a butter with strong free radical scavenging properties, although I can't find the tocopherol, phytosterol, or polyphenol amounts!

Consider using this where you might use shea butter - try whipping it or using it in a lotion bar.

Illipe and mowrah butter are often sold as the other butter, so check the INCI before buying! Either can be called Borneo tallow or Tengkaway.

KOKUM BUTTER (INCI: Garcinia indica - the picture above is of the seeds and fruit)
This butter has a much high melting point than other butters - 38˚C to 40˚C - and will make your lotions or other creations much thicker than with other butters. The fatty acid profile is similar to the other butters - 5 to 8% palmitic acid (C16), 40 to 45% stearic acid (C18), 40 to 50% oleic acid (C18:1), and 2 to 4% linoleic acid (C18:2) - but it is considered an astringent butter, on par with mango butter. Its shelf life is listed as between 1 to 2 years.

Consider using kokum butter in a lotion bar and reducing the amount of wax you include in it. I'd try 25% wax with 33% kokum butter - use even less wax with more kokum for a slightly softer bar!

SAL BUTTER (INCI: Shorea robusta)
This butter as a melting point on par with cocoa butter - 34˚C to 38˚C - but the fatty acid profile is different. With 2% to 8% palmitic acid (C16), 35% to 48% stearic acid (C18), 35 to 42% oleic acid (C18:1), and 2% to 3% linoleic acid (C18:2), it has a fatty acid profile closest to kokum or shea butter. Sal butter also contains 6% to 11% arachidic acid (C20, also known as eicosanoic acid), which you'll also find in coconut and sesame seed oils to far lesser extents. The interesting thing about arachidic or eicosanoic acid is the role it plays in hair care.

Our hair has a fatty layer on the shaft and 18-methyl eicosanoic acid (18-MEA) makes up about 40% of that layer. Can adding something with eicosanoic acid help this layer? I have no idea, but it can't hurt to try it in a conditioner and see if you like it!

MURUMURU BUTTER (INCI: Astrocarya murumuru)
Murumuru butter has a an interesting fatty acid profile with 1.85% caprylic acid (C8), 1.85% capric (C10), 47.5% lauric acid (C12), 26% myristic acid (C14), 6% palmitic acid (C16), 2.5% stearic acid (C18), 12.5% oleic acid (C18:1), and 3% linoleic acid (C18:2). It has a melting point of 25˚C to 37˚C, making it more like coconut oil than cocoa butter. (Actually it has almost the same lauric acid level as coconut oil, and almost the same melting point.)

You can substitute murumuru butter anywhere you would use coconut oil - and you'll be adding a little oleic acid as well for extra moisturizing. Lauric acid is a fantastic fatty acid for hair - it has a high affinity for hair proteins, and because of its low molecular weight and linear chain structure, it can actually penetrate the hair shaft - so try this butter in a hair care product like an intense conditioner and enjoy some awesome moisturizing benefits.

Join me tomorrow for a closer look at green tea extract!

22 comments:

Meaue said...

Thanks for the info on these butters. Now I know what I can switch out with. Not too many recipes use these (yet?) so I've not bothered to get any of these except kokum - and haven't used that yet. I love cocoa butter but also love the idea of using a different butter and now I'm learning how!!! It is so "chemistryly" wonderful!!

Aromatherapy Health said...

Susan,
I recently used some Mango butter in a recipe that I typically put Shea Butter in. The Mango butter left the cream very gritty to the touch. However it does melt on body contact, it is not aesthetic to the touch or sight and unappealing in the cream. I am using the cream but was wondering IF there is a way to avoid this from happening while still using the mango butter in the recipe. I know that Shea butter has to be melted at 165F and kept there for 20 min so crystallization does not occur. I have not found anything on mango butter concerning this characteristic. Do you know anything about mango butter concerning this?
Thanks Carol Gay

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Carol. I don't know how I missed your comment, but I did! Sorry about that. I've written a post on this topic - click here- that I hope might provide some information. From what I understand, the key is not in the melting but in the cooling down process. I always put my products in the fridge or freezer to cool down, and I haven't had problems with grains in shea or mango since I've started doing this. I know that anecdotes do not data make, but it is one suggestion that might help!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the HLB of Sal Butter?

Claire Morrison said...

Hi Susan, this is some excellent information! I'm looking for a butter that is higher in linoleic acid to use in a recipe for a soap-free face bar. It calls for Kokum and Mango (I have both) BUT, I have adult acne and am trying to avoid the oleic acid in high amounts. Any suggestions of butters that are particularly higher in linoleic acid? I'm assuming they would have a much shorter shelf life, but after searching for a couple of hours (with a bit of being sidetracked with all this other helpful info) you seem like the expert to ask! Thanks! Claire

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Clarie. You aren't going to find high levels of linoleic acid in butters because that fatty acid is liquid at room temperature, so anything high in linoleic acid can't be a butter!

A bar filled with kokum and mango butter will feel quite hard, dry, and not glidy at all on your skin. Are there other ingredients?

Can I ask a question? Why are you wanting to use oils or butters on acne prone skin? It seems counter-intuitive to me...

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know if "witch hazel oil" can be blended with other oils and butters? Without preservatives?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Anonymous. Please sign off with your name or I'll have to delete your comments. We don't allow unsigned posts around here!

Looking at your question, what is witch hazel oil? Can you provide a link or something? Witch hazel isn't usually in oil soluble form.

Mary Walton said...

Hi Susan
Thanks for the great info as usual, I have read that kokum butter does not block the pores, yet also I have read that shea and cocoa butters do block the pores. What makes kokum different. i already am using both shea and cocoa butters and love them, I don't want to change really, but I want to make a cleansing balm suitable also for combi and greasy skin so obviously don't want to use ingredients that are comedogenic. ??

Anne said...

Hey! This is really interesting. What about Cupuacu Butter? Can you add that to your butter comparison?

anjrhubb said...

Butter lady. Could someone recommend a medium to hard butter that is not grainy or too greasy?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

I've made a few suggestions above, and encourage you to check out the emollients section of the blog for write ups on other butters and oils. If you wanted a soft butter, I'd go with babassu every time!

Diligent industries Limited said...

From where i can get consultation on Cocoa butter equivalent and replacers production ?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

HI Diligent Industries. I'm sorry, but I'm not sure what you mean? You want someone to consult with your business about how to use cocoa butter equivalents? That would be a job for a cosmetic chemist. I'm not sure where you'd go to hire one, but I recommend checking out the forum at the Chemists' Corner.

Paige B said...

Susan, My two new favourite butters are cupuacu and murumuru. I would *highly* recommend them both! Murumuru is great to get similar benefits to coconut oil, but in a firmer butter. Cupuacu is so lovely! I made an amazing hand lotion that is basically a modified body butter recipe (so it could be put in a pump bottle), and it soaks in quickly and doesn't leave you with greasy palms. Love it! Mowrah butter is also nice for when you want something softer than cocoa butter.

Camirra Williamson said...

murumuru is amazing for african hair!! I used it in a whipped butter as a sealer. It is almost like a butter "silicone".. I can't describe it. its like it instantly smoothed out my hair into something amazing. I mean super defrizzed. but beware, it doesn't take much. too much and I got too much definition! Cupucacu is great too. smells like milk chocolate. When i mixed murumuru and cupucau together I seriously got the smell of peanut butter chocolate! I can't tell if cupuacu works for my hair though....

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Paige! I don't know where to get either of these butters. Where did you get them?

Hi Camirra! That sounds lovely! Did you use it neat or combine it with something?

Paige B said...

Susan, there are a number of places in the US that carries one or both, including Wholesale Supplies Plus, Ingredients to Die for, Rainforest Chica (just do a search), but the best prices I found (and where I got mine) was Exotic Butters and Oils (https://exoticbuttersandoils.com/). NDA has some at comparable prices I see, although only refined. Cupuacu is a vegetable substitute for lanolin as it absorbs moisture - even better than lanolin I think (or as good as, I can't remember, lol). As Camirra said, murumuru is marketed as a vegetable sub for silicone and has a similar profile to coconut oil so is super good for hair.

Camirra Williamson said...

Hi susan! I used it neat to get the affect. murumuru was really light. I know the chemical composition is similar to coconut oil, but i think that i like murumuru better. i have naturally curly/kinky hair and i think it makes my curls clump together more. I have been trying lots of oils and butters- too many LOL but im an oil and butter junkie. i buy mine online from parisfragrancesusa.com because they offer free shipping over $25 in the usa. and its so easy to buy that amount. paige you may want to check them out because of the free shipping.im going to try tucuma butter next. it has the same chemical composition of murumuru and coconut oil; but i want to try it because it is said to smell MUCH better, like caramel/coffe. murumuru smells like nuts to me....
i also tried bacuri butter; which has tripalmition ( im spelling that wrng aren't i??) which also absorbs into hair. made my hair feel like velvet, but the smell will knock you out! smells like earth, moss, forest, and herbs!! i got to mix that with something to combat that smell. thankfully it goes away

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Camirra! I've been enjoying your comments about your experiments, and I encourage you to keep them coming. You've convinced me to get some murumuru butter. I hate the smell of coffee, so tucuma might not be my cup of tea, but bacuri butter sounds interesting. Is it really earthy? To give you an example of what I hate, I really don't like unrefined shea, patchouli, frankincense and myrrh, or other really earthy things. I had avocado butter once, but had to throw it away as it smelled so much. I couldn't mask the smell with anything I had!

Hi Paige! Thanks for the ideas. NDA has a $100 minimum, which is out of my price range, but I think Wholesale Supplies Plus and the other places sound great!

Camirra Williamson said...

yes susan bacuri butter really is that earthy. t is the earthiest thing i have smelled. in fact when i got it i had to breath through my mouth to tolerate it. RUN AWAY FROM BACURI SUSAN LOL! if you dont like shea butter (which i actually like) you gonna gag with bacuri. it did make my hair feel amazing. the reason why i looked into it is because of the post you had about tripalmitin. it has 50-55% tripalmitin so it super great for hair. but really the smell... and it is also VERY DARK. so someone that has hair that isnt black or brown would want to wash this out as a pre treatment. but the bonus of the dark color is that if you combine it with other butters and oils in a mix (probably 20-25%) and make an amazing "tanning butter" that will leave you with a soft glow. and at the lower usage you could cover the scent a little better.

SO i tried tucuma and i think you will probably like the smell the best out of all of them! the scent is super light and really easy to cover up. it has the lightest smell out of all of them. i had to sniff pretty close to get the scent. AND it made my hair really shiney! i got the best shine from this butter, it made my hair as shiney as using an oil, but the texture of a butter... interesting find to me. i think this might be a fav

as far a murumuru goes, the smell is truely nutty and strong. they do have refined murumuru though, but i could not find refined bacuri butter.now it doesnt make me gag like bacuri, but it is a distinct smell. if mixed with cupcuacu i got a peanut butter chocolate smell. WARNING dont try to cover up this smell. i tried to cover it up with pinapple fragrance and i got a peanut butter, chocolate, AND pineapple smell XD i think it would be best to compliment the smell of these butters with maybe a chcocolate, buttercream, or graham cracker fragrance.

Im glad you are enjoying my comments! I have literlly ordered a bunch of stuff and have been trying it. i have found that after i do alot of research on an item i an make educated purchases, but how i like it really just depends if i try it! for instance murumuru, coconut oil, tucuma butter, and babassu oil have very similar chemical compositions; but i find they really give me a different feeling on my hair. tucuma butter and murumuru are less greasy, and coconut oil never gave me curl definition. and tucuma gives a non greasy shine

Paige B said...

Thanks Camirra, I'll take a look!

Susan, the Tucuma butter I got from WSP doesn't smell at all like coffee to me. The smell is mild and mostly sort of fatty, like the fatty alcohols...maybe because I'm sure it's refined? I expect refining deodorizes a lot of butters. The Cupuacu butter also smells quite mild. If you get some, let me know how you like them. I wonder if for places where shipping is high (ie. companies in the US for you), or they have high minimums, maybe you could see if there are people near you that could order with you and you all share the cost? We all have scales by now. Ordering in larger quantities is generally cheaper and you could divvy it all up between a group.