The Better Butter Test

Butters have been my passion this winter. Getting re-aquainted with lotion bars sparked off a quest for the ideal lotion bar butter.

Mango, kanga, kokum, cocoa, almond – which is best? Which is smoothest? Most moisturizing? Most easy to work with? Most wonderfully scented? Most neutral? Which butter can turn a simple lotion bar into a luxury skin care item?

To compare, a test batch of 5 lotion bars was made.

Here's how it all came together.

Apart from the butters, these lotion bars are identical and contain:
organic sweet almond oil
coco 'silicone'

I do love a short ingredients list, don't you?

Preservatives? Not necessary in these anhydrous products.

Everything was weighed up and divided into 5 portions. Here is the first half melting in unison.

Melting Methods

I have always preferred to melt waxes and butters very slowly over low heat and babysit the mixture constantly. Another (far more common) method is to melt over a bain marie (double boiler).

To keep track of which butter was where, I labelled each beaker and each mold.

Here are the cooling bars. I know I said 5 butters and there are 6 bars here. The 6th one is a mix of kanga, kokum, mango, and cocoa butters (to see if perhaps a mix of butters was better than any one single butter – and to use up a few leftover bits).

There's a reason I didn't include almond butter in the 6th bar, but I'll get into that in another post real soon.

To avoid confusion during testing, each lotion bar needed an individual container. It might not be visible here but the butter name is in small print directly beneath LOTION BAR on each label.

Can you see the subtle difference in the color of each bar?

Stay tuned for follow-ups on how the different butters fare and which one (or ones) are the best lotion bar butters. 


I'm really looking forward to reading your review on these, because I make butters with shea and cocoa butter, but my recipes are not the same, due to their different solidity. I'm especially curious how others will perform, I suspect mango of being the winner!? (Never heard of kanga,though)
Anonymous said…
I am also anxious to read the outcome. I have made lots of lotion over the years and still have not found one I LOVE. I can never seem to get proportions right for the whipped butter consistency that I want.
LisaLise said…
Hi Diva Soap - I'm as curious as you are about this one! I'm also still sourcing more butters, so there will be additional tests coming up!

Hi Anon - whipped butter is really a bucket of worms if you ask me- there are so many factors involved - right down to the temperature and humidity of the workspace. If you do a search under fats and oils you will find a whipped butter recipe with cocoa butter that I worked on for quite a while. Cocoa butter is hard to use for whipped butter, but it's actually possible to get a good result with almost any butter if you keep at it.