What's the Difference Between Shea, Coconut, and Kokum Butter?
Shea butter is one of the most popular botanical butters used in moisturizers, lotions, soap, and other skincare products. Filled with vitamins and antioxidants, its broad healing and moisturizing properties (especially for those with sensitive skin) are recognized around the world.
Extracted from the nut of the African shea tree, shea butter typically has a yellow color when dyed and an ivory color when raw. Natural shea butter has a mild-to-strong earthy and naturally nutty scent.
Cocoa butter is made from cocoa beans - the same beans chocolate is made with! Accordingly, cocoa butter is known for its sweet, chocolatey aroma when in its natural state. A creamy yellow color when unrefined, it tends to harden and crumble but melt on skin contact - just like chocolate. It loses its scent and color when refined.
High in fatty acids and antioxidants, cocoa butter is rich, thick, protective, and hydrating when used as moisturizer, lotion, or lip balm. It is also predominantly used by many to reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
However, those with sensitive skin or prone to acne may want to try shea butter instead.
Kokum butter, while lesser known than its skincare siblings, is gaining popularity on the skincare shelves. Full of healthy fats and vitamins, kokum butter is excellent healing properties for dry and damaged skin on the body. Kokum butter balms are used to help issues from dry/cracked elbows, lips, and soles as well as helping to heal ulcers.
Raw kokum butter is made from the seeds of the kokum tree, is grayish-yellow in color, and is naturally fragrance-free. Compared to shea and cocoa butters, it is also comparatively light in feel and absorbs quickly into the skin.