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Craftovator Academy

The 10 Best Oils and Butters to Use for Bath and Body Products

by Kimberly Duran 02 May 2022 0 Comments

Have you ever wondered which oils and butters are most beneficial for your skin? Which oils and butters would be most beneficial to your products?

When you first start your journey into making your own bath and body products, it’s common to find yourself sitting for hours, researching which ingredients would be most beneficial and what properties each would bring to your products. With all this research, you may be left feeling overwhelmed and overloaded with information.

You may find that particular oils or butters are great for one thing but not for another. If you are wanting to formulate multiple products, it can then become quite costly to purchase dozens of different ingredients.

Today, we have compiled a list of our Top 5 Butters and Top 5 Oils, detailing their skin benefits along with the properties each bring to different products. Hopefully, having this information all in one place can help guide you into making informative decisions when trying to formulate your recipes.

Our Top 5 Recommended Solid Butters

Looking for an excellent butter for your homemade bath and beauty products? Our top 5 list is a great place to start.

1. Coconut Unrefined Oil

INCI Name: Cocos Nucifera

Many people use coconut oil on their skin and hair as a natural moisturizer or conditioner. Coconut oil is full of fatty acids and is known for its antimicrobial and moisturising properties. While it is solid at room temperature, you’ll find it will simply melt when in contact with the skin.

Rich in antioxidants that help prevent aging and damage to our skin and hair, it also has antibacterial and antifungal properties that help keep our skin healthy. Another quality of coconut oil is the fact that it contains Vitamin E and Vitamin A, which can contribute to anti-aging properties and reduce damage caused by free radicals and the sun.

Studies have shown that coconut oil can improve the moisture content of dry skin and reduce the symptoms of eczema. You’ll find that it can be used in a wide range of cosmetic applications due to its stability & its ability to soften the skin when applied to the body.

Here are just a few more reasons you might want to consider using coconut oil in your products:

  • Helps to keep skin soft and supple without being greasy
  • Can be used by itself as a first step cleanser or a make-up remover
  • Fantastic for whipped body butters and massage bars
  • In cold process soap, coconut oil has super cleansing properties that produce a great bubbly lather
  • When it comes to hair, using coconut oil helps maintain moisture and prevent protein loss
  • Full of fatty acids that help nourish chapped lips, dry cuticles and brittle nails
  • Excellent for body scrubs, scalp treatments, to condition hair, body butters, cold process soap, lip balms, Bath bombs and so much more
  • Anti-bacterial & antifungal properties

Unrefined coconut oil is white or ivory in colour and has a slight coconut aroma. If you would prefer this natural scent to not be present, then you may wish to try our Coconut Refined Oil instead.

Buy Coconut Unrefined Oil here

2. Sheanut Unrefined Butter

INCI Name: Butyrospermum parkii

Shea butter is much loved for its healing properties and has been used as a cosmetic ingredient for centuries. Its high concentration of vitamins and fatty acids, combined with its super spreadable consistency make it an excellent product for smoothing, soothing and conditioning your skin.

Made from the nuts of karite nut trees that grow in the savannah regions of West and Central Africa, it’s a particularly effective moisturiser because it contains so many fatty acids. These fatty acids are needed to retain skin moisture and elasticity.

Here are a few more reasons we included Sheanut Butter in our Top 5 solid butter list:

  • Absorbs rapidly into the skin
  • Packed with skin loving nutrients
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Hydrates and protects dry skin
  • Contains no chemical irritants known to dry out the skin
  • Helps to boost collagen production and promotes cell regeneration
  • Contains Vitamins A and E. Each of these vitamins play a vital role for your skin
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Suitable for Cold process soap, melt & pour bases, body butters/balms, lotions, lip care, hair care, bath truffles/melts, bath bombs and so much more

Bear in mind that when using it in cold process soap at around 10-15%, around 4-9% of that will be unsaponifiable, giving you an excellent moisturising bar of soap. You can use up to 100% of shea butter in balms and salves.

Unrefined Shea butter has a nutty odour and can range in colour from creamy off-white or ivory to yellow or beige. If you would prefer an odourless, whiter butter then our Sheanut Refined Butter would suit you better.

Buy Sheanut Unrefined Oil here

3. Cocoa Unrefined Butter

INCI Name: Theobroma Cacao seed butter

Cocoa butter is a natural product that has many excellent benefits for your skin when applied topically. Cocoa butter can be used as a standalone product or in combination with other ingredients to create different skin care products.

Often considered one of nature's ultimate moisturisers, cocoa butter is extracted from whole cocoa beans that are harvested from the cacao tree. What gives chocolate its melt in the mouth consistency, also feels delightfully smooth and creamy on the skin.

One of the reasons we chose Cocoa Butter in our list of favourites is that it is one of the most stable fats known and it contains natural antioxidants that prevent rancidity. This rich, solid butter full of naturally beneficial nutrients is widely used for its emollient benefits. It has a place in many body butters, hand creams, massage blends in the marketplace, melting beautifully into the skin.

Here are a few more reasons we’ve named Cocoa butter as one of our top 5 butters:

  • Contains natural Vitamins K & E which helps protect the natural collagen in the body, allowing skin to appear more plump, smooth and youthful
  • Fantastic moisturising agent for the skin
  • An excellent butter to add to many skin care products, especially good for balms, lip salve, soap, bath bombs, body butters and solid massage bars
  • The butter is able to give deep, lasting hydration that doesn’t feel greasy or sticky

In cold process soap, Cocoa butter is typically used up to 15% and adds firmness and moisture to the bar. One thing to bear in mind is that this butter is very hard in consistency so when you are adding this to creams and lotions, it might be necessary to gently warm the butter until the texture can be incorporated into the final product. Use a hand blender and create a vortex with your cream or lotion then drizzle your melted butter to fully incorporate into your batter.

Unrefined cocoa butter has a strong cocoa odour and can range in colour from ivory to brown. If you would prefer an odourless cocoa butter that is a little paler in colour, then Cocoa Deodorised Butter may be a better option.

Buy Cocoa Unrefined Oil here

4. Mango Butter

INCI Name: Mangifera Indica Seed

Mango butter, with its luxurious emollient feel, is rich in antioxidants, vitamins A and E and makes a great ingredient for skin care products.

A relatively new ingredient introduced into the cosmetic industry, and cold pressed and rendered from the seed kernel of the Mango tree, this highly prized butter creates an exceptional quality base ingredient for both body care products and soap making recipes.

Mango Butter has beneficial moisturising properties for lotions as well as acting as a mild lubricant for the skin. It shares similar properties to Shea and cocoa butter making it an exotic and fun alternative for toiletry products.

Here are just a few more reasons why we’ve included Mango Butter in our Top 5:

  • Rich in essential fatty acids
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Has skin softening, soothing and moisturising properties
  • Contains antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties
  • Leaves a protective barrier on the skin
  • Hydrating and nourishing

This is a great choice of ingredient if you’re making body butters and lotions, solid lotion bars, balms and salves as well as hair care and soap. In cold process soap, the butter contributes to the hardness of a bar and helps produce a smooth silky conditioning lather.

Buy Mango Butter here

5. Palm Refined Oil

INCI Name: Elaeis Guineensis

Rich in Tocotrienols (members of the vitamin E family), Palm Oil is a useful ingredient in any homemade beauty formulations. Vitamin E is often used in treating skin ailments and it’s often found in many anti-aging products.

Palm oil is also one of the least expensive and most popular oils worldwide, accounting for one-third of global plant oil production.

Use it in shampoos and soaps for its ability to remove oil and dirt from hair and the skin or use it in conditioners, lotions and creams for its deep moisturising properties making the skin soft and subtle.

Here are a few more reasons we’ve chosen Palm oil for our Top 5 list:

  • Rich in Oleic Acid and Palmitic Acid
  • Strong antioxidant
  • Penetrates deep into the skin’s layers
  • Used in many cosmetics for its skin conditioning properties
  • Excellent emollient
  • Provides deep moisturising properties in lotions and creams
  • Suitable for all skin types

Palm oil is solid at room temperature but has a low melting point of 30°C. When using it in cold process soap, we’d normally recommend a usage rate at up to 30%. This will help to create a great lather and produces a harder bar of soap.

Buy Palm Refined Oil here

Our Top 5 Recommended Carrier Oils

If you’ve been researching carrier oils for your homemade beauty products, our top 5 list are the ones you’ll definitely want to consider first.

1. Olive Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Oil

INCI name: Olea Europaea Fruit Oil

Whilst extra virgin olive oil has many nutritional benefits when consumed, it also makes for a fantastic ingredient in many skin and hair care products.

A bland oil that may be blended with stronger oils, refined olive oil is the olive oil obtained from virgin olive oils by refining methods that do not lead to alterations in the initial glyceridic structure. It is often used as an antioxidant which may help towards premature aging of the skin.

Deeply moisturising and a great additive to many products, it works superbly as an ingredient in your formulations or on its own. With great moisturising properties, it’s the perfect additive to your creams, lotions, scrubs, face masks, make up removers and hair care products, and produces a beautifully mild, creamy lathered cold process soap.

In fact, olive oil is one of the only oils that can be used as a single ingredient in soap. 100% Olive oil soap is traditionally known as Castile soap.

Here are a few more reasons why we love olive oil and why it’s made our Top 5 list:

  • A rich fatty acid profile
  • Rich in vitamins A,D and K
  • Great antioxidant
  • A very stable oil and it will not impact your formulation aroma
  • Great for nourishing and moisturising your skin
  • Creates a very mild creamy cold process soap
  • A great moisturising ingredient that works well in most applications

You can use up to 100% in cold process but for more experienced makers, we recommend using our Olive BP73 Refined Oil. The refined Olive oil will reach trace a lot faster than an Extra virgin Olive oil.

Buy Olive Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Oil here

2. Almond Sweet Cold Pressed Oil

INCI name Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis

Almond oil is packed with nutrients like vitamin A, essential fatty acids, proteins, potassium, and zinc and most importantly, rich in Vitamin E, one of the most important antioxidants there is. It’s also excellent for nourishing dry skin and helping to soothe inflammation.

Sweet almond oil is made exclusively via cold pressed extraction from sweet almonds. The cold pressed method mean that oil retains all of the beneficial nutrients and antioxidants.

Because it is packed full of nutrients, it makes it an ideal additive in many skin and hair care applications. It’s a perfect ingredient in creams, lotions, body butters, face serums, lip care, hair conditioning, scrubs, soap and bath bombs, massage oils and much more.

We love so many things about almond oil but here are a few more reasons why it’s made our Top 5 Carrier oil list:

  • Suitable for skin prone to eczema and psoriasis and can also be used to soothe sunburn
  • Full of antioxidants, ideal to slow down the ageing process
  • Full of Vitamin A, essential fatty acids, proteins, potassium, zinc and Vitamin E
  • Ideal for dry and sensitive skin
  • Suitable for many skin and hair care products
  • Light weight, nearly odourless and light in colour
  • Absorbs quickly, leaving the skin hydrated and silky smooth

If you’re using sweet almond oil in cold process soap, we’d recommend usage up to 20% which will produce a rich conditioning lather.

Buy Almond Sweet Cold Pressed Oil here

3. Jojoba Seed Golden Cold Pressed Oil

INCI name: Simmondsia Chinensis

One of Jojoba oil’s finest properties is its ability to help balance your skin's natural sebum production, giving you harmonious, hydrated skin, the natural way. This light textured oil benefits from moisturising properties that are very similar to the natural oils that your skin produces.

Our jojoba oil is rich in essential fatty acids, Oleic, Erucic and Eicosenoic Acid, and high in Vitamin E, giving it anti-oxidant properties which are beneficial for anti-aging and protective properties for the skin.

We love this oil for face, body and hair care applications but it’s also perfect for creams, lotions, scrubs, hair conditioning, lip care, bath bombs, massage bars/oils, soaps and so much more.

You can also apply Jojoba oil directly to the skin for acne, psoriasis, sunburn, and chapped skin. It can also be used topically to encourage the regrowth of hair.

This ‘wonder oil’ has many excellent properties and here are just a few more reasons why it’s made our Top 5 list:

  • Stimulates collagen production
  • Helps to shield skin against UV damage
  • Hydrates dry skin and helps regulate sebum production of oily skin while soothing sensitive or inflamed skin
  • Extremely moisturising
  • Vitamin E has anti-inflammatory properties and can help to balance sebum levels
  • Antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral
  • Does not clog pores
  • Suitable for all skin types

Unrefined jojoba oil appears as a clear golden liquid at room temperature with a slightly nutty odour. If you’re planning on using Jojoba oil in cold process soap, we’d recommend a usage at no more than 10% as it can leave your soap feeling quite oily.

Buy Jojoba Seed Golden Cold Pressed Oil here

4. Argan Deodorised Cold Pressed Oil

INCI name: Argania spinosa kernel oil

Full of Vitamins including A & E, antioxidants to help reduce aging of the skin, omega-6 fatty acids and linoleic acid, we love argan oil for its many benefits. It’s perfect for serums - easily absorbed and reducing greasiness, improving the appearance of oily facial skin.

Mainly used in skin and hair care applications, argan oil can be used in face creams, lips care and glosses, shampoos, hair treatment, moisturizers, and soaps.

It’s produced from the kernels of the argan tree that is endemic to Morocco and since the early 2000s, argan oil has been increasingly used in cosmetics and hair care preparations.

With so many benefits, its little wonder it’s made our top 5. Here are a few more of its excellent properties:

  • Deeply moisturises hair for a silky look
  • Nutrient-Rich for healthy nails
  • Pleasant Fragrance
  • Non-Greasy, fast-absorbing and long-lasting
  • High levels of fatty acids which makes it ideal for reducing skin blemishes and stretch marks
  • Rich in Vitamin E, Phenols & Carotenes, the best antioxidant, and anti-ageing agents for softer, younger-looking skin
  • Boosts cell production of both skin and hair

If you’re using argan oil in cold process soap, we’d recommend usage up to 10% which should help to produce a rich lather in your soap.

Buy Argan Deodorised Cold Pressed Oil here

5. Rosehip Seed Refined Oil

INCI name: Rosa rubiginosa seed oil

Rosehip oil is reported to have been used since the times of the Ancient Egyptians, prized for its moisturising properties. Rosehip oil is most widely used in face treatments as it’s unlikely to clog pores and forms the basis of many natural acne, anti-aging and scar reduction treatments.

Produced from the seeds of the Rose plant, this oil is golden in colour with a neutral scent. We love that it’s an excellent source of skin nourishing vitamins and essential fatty acids which are important for keeping the skin soft, smooth and radiant.

Rosehips are known to have a vast vitamin C content, making it incredibly popular in formulations and is best applied directly to the face & body. It’s the perfect ingredient in your face, body and hair serums as well as face masks, creams and lotions. You can also use it in bath bombs, bath salts and soap.

Here are a just a few more reasons that Rosehip oil has made our top 5 favourites:

  • Full of essential fatty acids making it deeply moisturising
  • Vitamins including vitamin C have great antioxidant properties helping to protect against premature aging
  • Super hydrating for the skin
  • Light weight and quickly absorbed into skin
  • Best suited to dry dehydrated skin

We’d recommend up to 10% usage if you’re making cold process soap with Rosehip Seed oil

Buy Rosehip Seed Refined Oil here

There are so many other products that are wonderful to add to your bath and body products. Want to check out our full range? We’re sure our selection of Solid oils & Butters and Carrier Oils will be perfect for you.

Considering making your own natural nourishing lip balm? Why not check out our tutorial here.

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