Natural plant butters come from a very different origin to the dairy-based butter we spread on bread.
They share the same name, ‘butter’, because they share the same creaminess, smoothness and lubricating properties. That’s where the similarity ends …
Where do plant butters come from?
A natural plant butter, also known as a ‘beauty butter’ is a fat, extracted from plant kernels or nuts. It has the same origin as the wonderful natural plant oils that are used in skincare. The difference is that a butter is solid at room temperature, whereas an oil is liquid.
Some butters occur naturally and are obtained directly from the plant. Cocoa butter and shea butter are among this type, as well as mango, illite and hokum butters.
Others are obtained by cold pressing the seeds, kernels or fruit. The extracted wax is then blended with hydrogenated oil to produce the butter. Coffee butter, hemp butter and macadamia butter are all of this type.
Sometimes flower extracts are added to the wax and hydrogenated oil mix to produce speciality butters that are luxurious to use.
All natural plant butters contain vitamins, fatty acids and moisturising properties. Their specific benefits will vary, which is why it’s good to know the range of different butters and chose ones to suit the product you’re creating.
In particular, they vary in firmness so which butter is chosen will make a big difference to the feel and functionality of the final product.
There are a wide variety of different butters, mostly from trees grown in tropical or semi-tropical conditions (aloe, cocoa, coffee, capuacu, illite, jojoba, hokum, kukui, mango, murmur, olive, sal, shea, soy), but a few can be found closer to home such as: avocado, chamomile, hemp, lavender, macadamia, sweet almond and walnut.
Many butters can be used directly on the skin and will melt on contact with the body’s warmth. They typically sink in well and are very soothing.
They also make a great addition to balms, creams and lotions offering a rich creaminess to the final product. These may be for body and hair products, lip balms, bath products and soaps. The butters work with our natural oils in all skin types but are often particularly included in products intended for dry and sensitive skin.
Typically they are wonderfully nourishing and hydrating. Some even have sunscreening properties or are valued for the gloss they bring to a product or their protective moisture retaining nature.
Choosing the right butter
At Field Fresh Skincare we want you to know the ingredients of your skincare. Knowing them means being aware of the good they do for you and why. It also means knowing where they come from, how they grow and are produced. Understanding your skincare in this way puts you in touch with nature and truly makes your skincare a vitalising part of your life.