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!