Let's Make it "Butter" Series: All about Kokum Butter and its Benefits for the Skin and Body

You’ve probably heard of cocoa butter and shea butter. Both of these natural types of butter, and other butters, have taken the skincare and self-care world by storm, but have actually been around for many years.

However, if you're someone looking for more of a lightweight butter, that still beautifully moisturizes your skin, you should try using kokum butter. This butter often flies under the radar, but is one with it's own potential benefits. 

What is Kokum Butter?

Kokum butter comes directly from the fruit kernels of the Kokum tree (Garcinia indica). These seeds are then crushed and their fat is harvested to create kokum butter. 

The resultant is a beautiful lightweight moisturizing consistency, that absorbs quickly and evenly into the skin. The coloration after harvesting is usually gray to pale yellow, and highly comprised of stearic acid, which is a saturated fat. In fact kokum butter is about 80% stearic-oleic-stearic triglycerides, and contains Vitamin E, a fat soluble antioxidant. 

Kokum is often referred to as a butter because of it's properties, it stays solid at room temperature, as it's melting point is roughly 90 degrees.

Like other natural butters, Kokum butter can be used in several different skin and health care applications. Like shea, sal and mango, kokum butter is beneficial and has attributes that makes it popular, but also very suitable to skin care regimens, according to the Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2008 

An article out of the Journal of Food Research and Technology, discusses the kokum fruit itself as having anti-oxidant, and appetite stimulate properties, capable of helping to fight cancer, paralysis, cholesterol, as well as being used to improve skin health. 

Like others on the market, with just a bit of research you can even create your own lotions, soaps, scrubs, and other self-care products with DIY recipes!  

Top Benefits of Kokum Butter for the Skin and Body:

1. Plumps Up The Skin With Fatty Acids

Kokum butter is full of fatty acids (natural lipids) that help to keep your skin looking plump and moisturized, acting as an excellent emollient. Exotic fats such as kokum butter, are used heavily in skin care because of there ability to help with skin elasticity, boost regeneration, increase hydration and restorative properties. 

Omega-3 and Omega-6 in particular, aid your skin and create a natural barrier for moisture to lock itself into, this way your skin stays protected, and looks firm! Another benefit is the weight of this oil, as it is light, and can be absorbed fairly easily into the skin, leaving a smooth, but non-greasy texture behind. 

2. Helps With Skin Healing

In addition to keeping your skin moisturized, Kokum butter is also great for skin healing. Kokum has regenerative properties that aid in skin cell growth. 

One Journal Article in 2014 referenced Kokum butter specifically as being in great demand for it's preparation in not only the cosmetic industry, but also pharmaceutical purposes for ointment creation. It is suitable for local applications of ulcers, fissures of lips, cracked hands and feet. 

Another study in 2013, looked at kokum butters effect on the management of cracked heels. The end result was that it can "significantly" effect the management of Padadari, or cracked heels. 

3. Good For People With Sensitive Skin

Not only is kokum butter lightweight and absorbable, but it may also be good for people with sensitive skin, due to it's potential antioxidant properties. One study in 2009 focused on the emerging role of garcinol, (which is harvested from Garcinia indica (kokum tree/plant), and it's potential benefits as an antioxidant as well as it's promising anti-cancer activity. 

Kokum is effective for many different skin types and is fragrance-free in it's natural form. So, people with skin sensitivity issues can put this (natural forms of kokum oil/butter) on their skin without fear of adverse reactions. 

4. Good For Getting Rid of Acne

Since Kokum butter may be used to sanitize the surface of your skin from it's touted anti-inflammatory/anti-oxidant properties (from compounds originating in kokum fruit), it's no wonder that it's usage for acne may be of some indication, however more research is needed for this specific application. 

Acne occurs when bacteria burrow into the surface of the skin (like dry skin), and the thought behind kokum is it may act as a preventative against breakout and skin inflammation. It's lightweight properties also make this a fantastic oil as far as not clogging pores.

5. Good For Your Scalp and Hair Health 

Finally, Kokum butter can also be used on your scalp and hair. Due to the moisturizing qualities (such as easy absorption, lightweight, structural stability) of this butter, make it ideal for nightly scalp treatments. 

You can also use this natural substance in your hair, helping to keep it shiny, luxurious, and healthy!

Final Thoughts!

There are many positive traits that come along with kokum butter and several other benefits of the oil itself. As always, it's important to do your research and know what you're buying as well as ease of application. 

One of the drawbacks is that, kokum can be fairly expensive (in relation to other butters) and sometimes difficult to find. 

As always, please share any of your experiences with kokum butter in our comments section to the help the community! Are there any applications you have tried with kokum butter with great results? Please share!


- https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/kokum-butter

- https://bettersheabutter.com/everything-there-is-to-know-about-kokum-butter/


- https://jakraya.com/journal/pdf/6-jfrtArticle_1.pdf

- https://www.jayumedsci.com/article/2017/2/2/105530jams2017216

- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19725977/

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