Kokum Butter

What is it? Kokum butter is a very firm plant-derived butter from the seeds of the Garcinia Indica fruit. It is primarily comprised of stearic and oleic fatty acids.
INCI Garcinia Indica Seed Butter
Appearance Solid off-white butter
Usage rate Up to 100%
Texture Very solid—firmer than shea and mango butters, but not fully brittle like cocoa or tucuma. While brittle butters will snap, kokum is more inclined to crumble.
Scent The refined version has no noticeable scent.
Absorbency Speed Fast to average
Approximate Melting Point 37–40°C (98.6–104°F)
Solubility Oil
Why do we use it in recipes? Used in large amounts kokum butter can form the backbone of thick body butters, and help harden/stabilize body butter bars, shampoo bars, and other solid products. In lower concentrations it is a beautiful non-greasy emollient.
Do you need it? No
Refined or unrefined? I’ve only worked with refined, and I like it.
Strengths Kokum butter is a beautiful emollient with a non-greasy skin feel that also offers thickening/hardening to our products.
Weaknesses It can be harder to find than more common butters like cocoa and shea.
Alternatives & Substitutions Cocoa butter or tucuma butter would be my top choices, though if you have cupuacu or mango butters you could also try 90% cocoa/tucuma and 10% cupuacu/mango.
How to Work with It Include it in the oil phase of your formulations; you will likely need to melt it to work with it unless you live somewhere quite warm.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, kokum butter should last at least two years.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks Because kokum butter melts just above body temperature it is a good choice for body butters—blending with softer oils will slightly lower the melting point, giving you a product that melts on skin contact.
Recommended starter amount 100g (3.5oz)
Where to Buy it  Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier or Amazon.

Some Recipes that Use Kokum Butter

Tucuma Butter

What is it? Tucuma butter is a brittle plant-derived butter.
INCI Astrocaryum Tucuma Seed Butter
Appearance Hard off-white chunks and shards.
Usage rate Up to 100%
Texture Brittle, a bit glossy. Neat application leaves the skin looking a bit glossy and feeling smooth, soft, and a bit silicone-y.
Scent The refined version smells vaguely of fat.
Absorbency Speed Fast to medium
Approximate Melting Point 32°C (90°F)
Solubility Oil
Why do we use it in recipes? When used in higher concentrations (upwards of 50%) tucuma butter offers some firmness to our products. In something like a solid body butter bar it can provide the bulk of the hardening power, and in lower concentrations it can offer some firming to a formula.

It also offers lovely skin feel and emolliency, though this isn’t particularly unique to tucuma butter. I really likely it in body butter bars as the skin feel is great and body butter bars require a brittle butter at high concentrations to hold their shape.

Do you need it? No, but I enjoy it as an alternative to cocoa butter.
Refined or unrefined? I’ve only managed to find refined, and I like it.
Strengths Excellent no-scent brittle butter option. A fantastic option for those with cocoa allergies.
Weaknesses Can be harder to find and more expensive than cocoa butter.
Alternatives & Substitutions You’ll need another brittle butter; deodorized cocoa butter would be your best option, but kokum butter should also work.
How to Work with It Melt it into your heated oil phase; it is too brittle to cold process.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, tucuma butter should last at least one to two years.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks Tucuma butter is rich in Lauric, Myristic and Oleoic fatty acids.
Recommended starter amount 100g (3.3oz)
Where to Buy it  Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier or Amazon.

Some Recipes that Use Tucuma Butter

Cocoa Butter

What is it? Cocoa butter is the fat extracted from cocoa beans.
INCI Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter
Appearance Beige chunks
Texture Hard and brittle at room temperature—just like a good bar of chocolate. When it melts, the oil is thin and smooth, and absorbs into the skin easily.
Scent Deliciously chocolatey! You can also buy deodorized stuff that smells like mostly nothing.
Absorbency Speed Fast
Approximate Melting Point  34°C/93°F
Why do we use it in recipes? Cocoa butter will help thicken recipes without adding a wax (and even solidify if used in high enough concentrations)—check out this experiment for more information. It’s wonderfully smooth, and brings its delicious chocolatey scent to projects. Yum!
Do you need it? I’d say so! I use it all the time, and I love just taking the lid off the tub and inhaling the super delicious scent. YUM.
Refined or unrefined? I say unrefined all the way, but if you don’t like the smell of chocolate then refined is your best bet.
Strengths Amazing scent, smooth texture, it’s a rare brittle butter.
Weaknesses Not everybody loves the scent (easily solved by purchasing deodorized cocoa butter).
Alternatives & Substitutions There aren’t a lot of brittle butters out there that make good swaps; kokum butter or tucuma butter would be the best choices.
How to Work with It Include cocoa butter in the oil phase of your products. Melt it gently in a water bath along with the rest of your ingredients.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, cocoa butter should last at least two years.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks You can also purchase dark cocoa butter, but I’ve found that to be a bit of a novelty; I wouldn’t bother with it.
Recommended starter amount 100g (3oz)
Where to Buy it  Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier or Amazon.

Some Recipes that Use Cocoa Butter

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