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We've all come to appreciate what plant-based oils and butters can do for our hair and skin. They've become some of the most popular ingredients in many of our personal care products. A less common alternative is Kokum Butter. This hard, edible butter comes from the seeds of the Kokum Tree (or Garcinia indica) which grows in the warmer regions of India. Similar to Cocoa Butter, it's sometimes used to make chocolate and other confectionary treats, but it's more widely used in cosmetic applications. It's a less common plant butter that offers up its own unique benefits.
Unlike Shea, Kokum Butter is deeply moisturizing without feeling greasy. Vitamin rich and nourishing to skin, it's among the most nutrient-dense of plant derived butters.
Kokum is considered a butter (vs an oil) because it's a saturated fat, or solid at room temperature. This saturated fat is called stearic acid, and contributes a creamy feel to the end product. For instance, "shaving soaps" are usually high in stearic acid, due to the thick creaminess it adds to soap lather.
Well known for its ability to regenerate skin cells, Kokum is also said to prevent cell degeneration, or aging. Naturally anti-aging, Kokum Butter is rich in anti-oxidants, like Vitamin E, and other essential fatty acids. Anti-oxidants are beneficial, as they protect the skin against environmental stressors, which happen in small increments, each time we go outside.
I love working with Kokum Butter, and have been using it for years in both my triple-butter soaps and lip balms. It's incredibly stable, which means it's got a good long shelf life of 1-2 years. This is significant, because it means the products made with Kokum, will stay fresh for a good long time.Kokum Butter's essentially fragrance free, and its robust emollient and protective properties make it perfect for almost any skin care application.
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