Butters are often used in personal care product recipes. They lend richness and moisturizing qualities to lotions and creams, they stiffen a recipe so that it can be applied in a specific manner, and they lend nourishing properties to hair and skincare products. These characteristics make butters indispensable, especially to those who make their own products at home.

While the butters could be used interchangeably, knowing the specific qualities of each allows you to decide which butter is best suited for a certain recipe. Take a look at the descriptions listed below, then check out our list of DIY Body Care Product Recipes, and get started making your own products at home!

Shea Butter

Derived from the seed of the Mangifolia tree, rich shea butter is best known for its skin-healing properties. While it forms a moisture barrier like other butters, shea butter is also known to aid in treating various skin conditions. Its non-comedogenic property makes it an excellent choice for skin care recipes used on the face, as it allows the skin to breathe rather than clogging the pores.

Shea butter can have a slightly stronger odor than other butters, but the odor is easily overcome when using herbs and essential oils. It is something to keep in mind if an unscented product is preferred.

Cocoa Butter

Cocoa butter's rich properties create a barrier between sensitive skin and the surrounding environment, allowing the skin to retain moisture. Cocoa butter is known to soften and deep-condition skin. Cocoa butter can be used in hair care products, too, lending the same properties to keep hair healthy.

Cocoa butter has a delicious and pleasant aroma, making it an excellent choice for use in creams, lotions, salves, balms, and makeup.

Mango Butter

Obtained from the seed of the mango tree, mango butter is often used in soap making as well as personal care product and makeup recipes. Mango butter is fairly hard, but once melted, it lends an excellent lubrication to products such as lotions and body butters.

Mango butter softens and soothes skin; it is an excellent addition to lip balms, salves, lotions, and more.

How to Use Butters

1. Add to Homemade Body Care Recipes

It's easy to incorporate the moisturizing properties of butters into a variety of homemade body care products. Try these recipes to get to know each butter better:

2. Add to Melt and Pour Soap Bases

Butters can be added to melt and pour soap bases, for extra moisture. Or choose a base with the butter already included:


3. Use Homemade Hair Care Products

Use in hair care products such as Dreadlock Cream, great for dreads or super thick hair.

4. Use in Homemade Cosmetics

Homemade cosmetics are the perfect place for skin-nourishing ingredients like butters. Make your own Eyeliner or Lipliner Pencil in a variety of colors.