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. If the name has a link, it's to a post about that butter on this blog.


Cocoa - 34˚C - 37˚C
Illipe - 38˚C - 40˚C
Kokum - 38˚C - 41˚C
Murumuru - 27˚C - 37˚C


Cupucacu - 32˚C - 36˚C
Sal - 35˚C - 38˚C
Tucuma - 28˚C - 36˚C


Kpangnan - 35˚C
Mango - 35˚C


Shea - 25˚C - 30˚C


NOTE: These are not real butters, but oils that are (generally) solid at room temperature  
Palm Kernel - 28˚C - 30˚C
Coconut - 24˚C

Next up: We make a 2-ingredient body butter!


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..

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!