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 formulas 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 Cupuaçu 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˚




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


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
LisaLise 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?
LisaLise 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..

LisaLise 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
LisaLise 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.
Unknown said…
Hi Lise I love your blog and i am learning so much from you. I have a question in regards to avocado butter Made from the avocado seed. I have steen posts om the internet that avocado butter is not Naturalis but hydroginated from avocado oil. But the suppliër i already bought a kilo avocado butter from had this certificaten sheet saying this butter is Made from the seeds. Similar to how mangobutter is made. Its called a certificate of analysis stating it is from the seeds and all specs
Have you ever tried this avocado seed butter or is it beter to stay away from using it? I already bought a kilo toen i saw these posts online saying it is considered not Naturalis but is relaxed to hydroginated avocado oil and not the seeds.
I highly appreciate your opnion.

Thanks and kind regards


in your blog any revérence yet to avocado butter Made from the seeds. Is it because it is not be considered a Naturalis sourced butter?
LisaLise said…
Hello Pauline and thank you for your comment. I have never come across an avocado butter made from the seeds - only hydrogenated avocado oil mixed with shea (or another) butter, so this is new to me and I am officially intrigued!

If your supplier has given you documentation with the product, there should be a description of the ingredients. If it is 'persea gratissima seed butter' then it is indeed made form the seeds. If the ingredients description is 'hydrogenated persea gratissima seed oil, XXXX, XXXX' then it is not a seed butter but a 'composed' butter. I hope you'll get back with another comment when you have checked. :)
Unknown said…
Thank you Lisa for this informative list..always good to have confirmation from others..doing this research has not been in vain after reading your list...
LisaLise said…
Hey there Unknown - Thanks for your kind comment!
Unknown said…
Hello Lisa,
I'm a "first timer" here, just enrolled with FormulaBotanica and I've noticed your website mentioned there.
I am glad I've found you, I've already seen some very informative and interesting comments so I wanted to say "Thank you".
I wish you a beautiful summer and all the best.
LisaLise said…
Hey there Unknown -- thanks so much for your kind words! Enjoy your formulating journey!
Unknown said…
Hello again,

Sorry for "a beautiful summer" but where I live we had some gorgeous autumn days, sunny and warm and my brain played me this time.
So I wish you a beautiful autumn :)
And my name is Ileana, I thought this info will get to you as I don't use to hide under "unknown".
All the best to you.
LisaLise said…
Thank you Ileana! Wishing you a lovely weekend :)
Unknown said…
Hello - I love this chart providing some information about the various butters. Would be a great addition if it included a column for if it is safe to ingest (thinking use in lipbalms) and if it is non-comedigenic.

Thanks and appreciate you insight and knowledge!!

LisaLise said…
HI Mandy thanks for your kind words and the great suggestion which just made my to do list :D