Butters and Waxes for DIY Skin Care
Butters and waxes are essential to natural skin care formulas because they deeply hydrate the skin, absorbing several layers down for cell regeneration and hydration.
While the specific properties of each butter and wax differ, they all contain antioxidants and nutrients that make skin more flexible and moisturized.
Natural waxes help to lock in moisture and thicken the consistency of skin care formulas. Many waxes also provide a natural SPF as well as extend the shelf life of other ingredients in a recipe.
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Beeswax • Cera alba
Beeswax is a natural wax produced by honey bees. It locks in moisture and protects skin by creating a barrier from the environment without clogging pores.
Due to it’s high levels of Vitamin A, it is also said to aid in natural healing and cell development (added bonus: it’s high melting point keeps your products from melting in transit during warmer months or climates).
Cocoa Butter • Theobroma cacao
Pure cocoa butter is one of the most hydrating butters and is full of vitamins, antioxidants, and fats that no other natural skin care ingredient can claim.
There is no real cocoa butter substitute, as it has an amazing ability to lock in moisture, provide sun protection, lighten dark spots and discolorations, and has been credited for helping to diminish the appearance of stretch marks and scars. (Again, recommended that you use an unrefined, raw option.)
Coconut Oil, 76°• Cocos nucifera
Coconut Oil comes in two forms: fractionated (liquid carrier oil…more on that in the section below) and 76° (solid). The infinite coconut oil uses make it the most popular oil in both forms due to its quick absorption, slight SPF, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
Solid coconut oil has a low melting point (of 76° F) and is added to recipes that are meant to remain a bit thicker, yet melt on contact with skin for easily application.
Mango Butter • Mangifera indica
Mango Butter is a solid, thick butter that slowly melts when applied to skin due to body heat. It is similar to shea and cocoa butter, all higher in fatty acids and antioxidants (which makes them super moisturizing).
The most praise-worthy of mango butter benefits is its ability to promote cell regeneration, making it fantastic for dealing with scarring and stretch marks. A very soothing and healing butter for numerous natural skin care applications.
Palm Kernel Oil • Elaeis guinnesis
Palm kernel oil is used in cold process soap recipes because it helps to harden the bar and also creates a lather (when combined with coconut oil).
Use of palm oil is actually a controvery in the soap-making community due to conversations about it contributing to deforestation. The version shown here is a certified sustainable option (RSPO); Lovely Greens has an interesting take on using sustainable palm oil in soap.
Shea Butter • Vitellaria paradoxa
The benefits of shea butter are far-reaching and unparalleled in skin care. It is an intense moisturizer and deeply penetrates the skin. It goes so far as to revitalize damaged skin, making it a fantastic addition to recipes for postpartum skin care recipes and mature skin formulations.
To get the most out of shea butter benefits, it is highly recommended that you use an unrefined, raw option such as this one.
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