When looking for a new moisturizer, whether it’s for your face, body, or even lips, plant-based butters are the best choice. And although many people are familiar with shea, cocoa, coconut, and even mango butter (read more). Most people don’t know about kokum butter and its benefits.
Let’s see what kokum butter has to offer.
What Is Kokum Butter
Now, you might not know about kokum butter as much as other kinds of butter because it comes from far, far away (for most people). Kokum comes from the Western Ghats mountain range in India.
It’s a unique-looking purple fruit that grows on the garcinia indica tree. Fun fact, these trees can grow as high as 18 meters, or 60 feet. So the kokum is not an easy fruit to gather.
In India, they’ll use the kokum fruit in a few ways:
- Dried in the sun to produce what they call “aasmul” which is used as a souring agent in different cuisines.
- Preserved with sugar until a syrup forms, then mixed with water and sold as a beverage.
- Made into an extract that is also used in different cuisines.
- Oil extracted from the seeds and made into kokum butter, which is then used in medicinal ointments and cosmetic creams.
So, kokum butter is the oily extract that comes out of the kokum’s seeds, similar to mango oil. It has potent medicinal properties, making it useful for many different things; let’s go over some kokum butter benefits.
Kokum Butter Benefits
Restores Dry & Itchy Scalps
Before we get into the benefits that include kokum’s medicinal properties, a theme you’ll see going throughout this article is the butter’s amazing moisturizing abilities.
Unlike other plant-based butters, kokum butter is light and absorbs very easily into the skin. That means it won’t leave you with a greasy feeling like shea butter will (check out the comparison below).
Therefore, if you have a dry, itchy, and sensitive scalp, kokum butter is precisely what you need. That is because a heavy butter might clog you up and do more harm than good.
Note: Even though kokum butter is light, you should still start with a small amount and increase incrementally to avoid clogging up your scalp.
Heals Inflamed Skin
Skin inflammation exists in many different types, whether it’s an infected cut or burn, dermatitis, psoriasis, and other skin infections. Kokum butter benefits and promotes the healing of the skin.
While there are no formal studies on this, except for Indian traditional medicine, kokum butter contains antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties that all play a significant role in healing inflammation.
Good For Acne
So we’ve concluded that kokum butter is a light and easily absorbed butter, as well as anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant. That alone should mean it’s good for acne. But there’s more.
Kokum butter is non-comedogenic, which means it won’t clog or block your pores. It also contains anthocyanins, which are a type of flavonoid that is a strong skin revitalizer.
So instead of using pore-clogging lotions and oils, you might want to try kokum butter.
Protects From Sun Damage
Since kokum butter is light enough to retain moisture but not too heavy to clog you up, it makes for a great natural sunscreen. Diluting it with a few light oils and applying it to your body will provide ample protection against the sun’s harsh rays.
Reduce Signs Of Aging
Kokum butter benefits also include a reduction in aging skin signs such as wrinkles, dryness, lack of elasticity, and fragility. That is, of course, due to the light and potent moisturizing abilities, as well as emollient properties.
The vitamins A, E, D, and F also help by nourishing the tired skin.
Kokum Butter vs Shea Butter
When it comes to kokum butter vs shea butter, the comparison is relatively easy to make. There is tremendous overlap in their benefits. And at the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference.
Kokum butter is rich in antioxidants, vitamins A, E, D, and F and has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Shea butter? The exact same. So the differences come down to:
- Kokum butter is lighter and more easily absorbed.
- It has a firmer texture.
- And it has a more mellow scent than shea’s.
Kokum Butter vs Cocoa Butter
Kokum butter vs cocoa butter is an even easier comparison to make. Even the name sounds similar! The differences come down to:
- Kokum butter is, again, lighter and more easily absorbed.
- It has a significantly shorter shelf life than cocoa butter (1-2 years compared to 2-5 years).
- You’ll most likely prefer cocoa butter’s smell.
Kokum Butter Uses
Finally, we come to kokum butter uses. Let’s say you’ve decided to get kokum butter over shea, cocoa, or mango butter. Now, what can you do with it?
Well, we went through the benefits, but now we’ll go into specific uses. Kokum butter is good for healthier hair! Ok, but how? Let’s find out.
Kokum Butter For Hair
If you want to rejuvenate and restore your dry scalp and dull hair using kokum butter, it’s very simple to do so. Try one of the following methods:
- Mix with a carrier oil and massage into your head after a shower (don’t use conditioner beforehand).
- Rub in your hands until pasty, then apply directly to the scalp and hair.
- Melt (30-40°C /90-100F) and add to your shampoo/water-based hair product.
Kokum Butter For Skin
So, how to use kokum butter for skin? Well, it’s again, pretty simple, even more so than hair.
Because kokum butter is so light and easily absorbed, as well as non-comedogenic, the best way is to rub it between your hands until it’s pasty, or melt it, and apply it directly onto the skin.
Apply only a small amount first, as it is still fatty, and you don’t want to overload your skin, but that’s the best way to do it. Some alternative ways:
- Mix with a water based moisturizer
- Dilute with a light carrier oil
- Make whipped kokum butter (melt, mix with carrier oils, whip it!, let it cool)
Kokum Butter As Lip Balm
Although we didn’t mention it in the benefits, a great use for kokum butter is lip balm. That is again, thanks to its light and easily absorbed nature.
To use it, simply rub some in your hands until pasty, and apply directly to your lips. You can also create a wonderful homemade lip balm by mixing it with beeswax or candelilla wax.
Kokum butter is an excellent all-natural plant-based moisturizing butter. It’s light and easily absorbed, with medicinal properties and a non-obtrusive smell. Are you going to get it over shea or cocoa butter? Do you have any more questions? Let us know in the comments below.
If you’re looking for another butter, check our article about mango butter benefits.