Plant Butters: Hardness & Melting Points


We're going to be making a lot of body butter around here in just a tick, so I thought it might be an idea to do a quick run-down of some of the plant butters worth considering.

There's a world of fabulous butters to choose from, so there's no need to limit yourself. Depending on the consistency, feel, and properties you are looking for, you can create your own perfect body butter.


Each butter has its own properties, melting point, scent, and feel. A butter is often characterized as hard, semi-hard etc. I have sectioned a few butters below by hardness (some of the upcoming recipes will specify a certain amount of 'hard' or 'soft' butter). This chart will hopefully be useful (and maybe even inspirational) for you.

Butter Chart

Below: a quick overview of skin-loving plant butters and their approximate melting points (MP). Scroll down for a list of links to posts about specific butters on this blog.

LisaLise’s Butter Plant Chart

Category Butter MP Celcius MP Farenheit
HARD Cocoa Butter 35˚ 95˚
HARD Illipe 36˚ 97˚
HARD Kokum 39˚ 102˚
HARD Ucuuba 53˚ 127˚
SEMI-HARD CupuaƧu 34˚ 93˚
SEMI-HARD Sal 35˚ 95˚
SEMI-SOFT Bacuri 35˚ 95˚
SEMI-SOFT Kpangnan 35˚ 95˚
SEMI-SOFT Mango 35˚ 95˚
SEMI-SOFT Murumuru 33˚ 91˚
SEMI-SOFT Tucuma 31˚ 88˚
SOFT Shea 32˚ 90˚
SOFT Shea Nilotica 27˚ 81˚
SOFT Kombo 43˚ 109˚


BUTTERS WRITTEN ABOUT ON THIS BLOG

Cocoa
Kokum
Sal
Kpangnan
Mango
Shea

SUPER-SOFT 'BUTTERS' 

NOTE: These are not real butters, but oils that are (generally) solid at room temperature  

Palm Kernel Oil : approximate melting point:  28˚C / 82˚F
Coconut Oil : approximate melting point: 24˚C / 75˚F

Comments

Anonymous said…
Hi Lise, thank you for this. I just bought some kpangnan butter and all I can find (besides uses, that is) are physical descriptions saying it's a cross between cocoa and shea. I needed to know the melting point and you saved the day! :) Can't wait to make a tiger balm-like lotion bar with it. Thank you again! -Ev
Lise M Andersen said…
Hey there Ev - Glad to be of service! :)
KMY said…
Great help this list. Before I print it for reference, could you add the melt point of Babassu?
Lise M Andersen said…
Hi KMY - Thanks for your kind words! Babassu isn't a butter, so it doesn't quite belong on this list. The melting point is 24 C and 76 F
;)
Anonymous said…
What butter would you recommend for the most sensitive skin? I even react to natural products..


Thanks,
Ally
Lise M Andersen said…
Hi Ally - I would probably start with shea, but that is no guarantee. Can you order sample sizes of the different butters? That would allow you to patch test. Cocoa butter is also generally well tolerated. I have what I call ridiculously sensitive skin, and mine does very well with cocoa butter, mango, shea, sal and kpangnan. Hope you find the perfect butters for you!
Lorraine said…
Hi Lise, what percentage of hard, soft and liquid oil would you use to make the perfect whipped butter? One that holds up in warmer weather, with She being the soft butter.
Thank you
Lorraine
Lise M Andersen said…
HI Lorraine - this is a great question that I can only answer with a 'start with' because there are so many variables. A whipped butter that stands up through heat would need a larger amount of hard butters to begin with. If you are talking about tropical summer heat you might need to go up to as high as 25% hard butter, where a typical European summer wouldn't require nearly as much. If you do a search on the blog there are a few butter and balm how-to's that might help give you a starting point. I hope this was some help.