In the ever-expanding world of natural skincare, one ingredient has been steadily gaining attention for its remarkable properties—Kokum Butter. Extracted from the seeds of the Garcinia indica tree, native to the tropical regions of India, Kokum Butter is a lesser-known but potent cousin of shea and cocoa butters. This article aims to shed light on everything you need to know about this tropical marvel, from its unique features to its myriad benefits for skin and hair.
What is Kokum Butter?
Kokum Butter is a solid fat obtained from the seeds of the Kokum tree, also known as Garcinia indica. The tree primarily grows in the Western Ghats of India and produces fruits that are commonly used in traditional Indian cuisine for their tangy flavour. The butter is a by-product of these fruits and has found its place in a variety of skin and hair care products due to its rich texture and healing properties.
Unique Features of Kokum Butter
Unlike its more famous counterparts like shea and cocoa butters, Kokum Butter is relatively lightweight and less greasy. It has a high melting point which makes it ideal for use in lotions, lip balms, and salves. It's rich in essential fatty acids and non-comedogenic, meaning it won't clog pores, making it suitable even for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin.
The butter is rich in essential fatty acids like oleic acid, stearic acid, and palmitic acid. Additionally, it contains vitamin E, an antioxidant known for its anti-aging properties, and other compounds like garcinol, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits (Choudhary, M. et al., 2016).
Benefits for Skin
Moisturising and Nourishing
Due to its rich fatty acid content, Kokum Butter is an excellent moisturiser. It penetrates deeply into the skin to provide lasting hydration without leaving a greasy residue.
It is known for its ability to regenerate skin cells and reduce the degeneration of skin cells, thereby assisting in the healing of scars, burns, and other wounds (Gopalakrishnan, S. et al., 2018. ).
Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, Kokum Butter can be used to soothe and calm irritated skin, making it ideal for use in treating conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
Benefits for Hair
Promotes Healthy Hair
Just like it nourishes the skin, Kokum Butter also provides essential nutrients to the hair. It helps in revitalising damaged hair and promotes the elasticity and suppleness of the hair.
The anti-inflammatory properties of Kokum Butter also extend to the scalp. It can help alleviate conditions like dandruff and dry scalp, providing a healthier environment for hair growth.
How to Use Kokum Butter
DIY Beauty Products
One of the most popular ways to use Kokum Butter is by incorporating it into homemade beauty products. You can easily make your own body butters, lotions, and lip balms by melting Kokum Butter and combining it with other beneficial ingredients like essential oils.
For targeted treatment of dry patches or chapped lips, Kokum Butter can be applied directly to the skin.
Is Kokum Butter Better Than Shea Butter?
The question of whether Kokum Butter is "better" than Shea Butter largely depends on individual needs, skin type, and specific concerns you may be looking to address. Both butters have their own set of benefits and drawbacks, making them more or less suitable for different applications. Here is one of the major difference to consider: Kokum Butter is generally less greasy and lighter than Shea Butter, which can be beneficial for those with oily or acne-prone skin.
Kokum Butter is a tropical treasure with numerous benefits for both skin and hair. Its unique properties make it an ideal addition to your beauty regimen, and its healing capabilities set it apart from other butters on the market. Given its moisturising, anti-inflammatory, and nutrient-rich profile, it's time to consider adding Kokum Butter to your list of must-have natural beauty ingredients.