On this page you can find information about the types of ingredients we use at Sensi Cosmetics.

* Carrier Oils

* Natural Butters

* Natural Waxes

* Other ingredients

IN ESSENCE...
“Carrier Oil” is a term given to base oils that dilute essential oils before topical application, as the latter are much too potent to apply directly to the skin.

Despite also being referred to as vegetable oils, not all Carrier Oils are derived from vegetables; many are pressed from seeds, nuts, or kernels.

Carrier Oils are also referred to as “fixed oils,” due to the fact that they do not quickly evaporate from the skin’s surface and remain “fixed” on the skin.

A Carrier Oil is a vital aspect of an aromatherapy massage or a natural cosmetic, as it can affect the benefits and usefulness of the essential oils and the color, scent, therapeutic properties, and shelf life of the final product, respectively.

Each Carrier Oil is comprised of different components that exhibit distinct characteristics, such as color, viscosity, and penetration speed, while offering therapeutic properties.
 
 
WHAT ARE CARRIER OILS?
Carrier Oils have been used since the time of ancient Greece and Rome when aromatic oils were used in massages, baths, cosmetics, and medicinal applications. In the 1950s, Marguerite Maury, the first person to use individually prescribed combinations of essential oils for the individual’s desired therapeutic benefits, began diluting essential oils in a vegetable Carrier Oil and massaging them into the skin by using a Tibetan technique that applies pressure along the spine.

“Carrier Oil” is a term generally used in the contexts of aromatherapy and cosmetic recipes for natural skin and hair care.  It refers to base oils that dilute essential oils before topical application, as the latter are much too potent to apply directly to the skin.

Despite also being referred to as vegetable oils, not all Carrier Oils are derived from vegetables; many are pressed from seeds, nuts, or kernels. Carrier Oils have also earned the moniker “fixed oils,” due to the fact that they remain fixed on the skin. This means that, unlike essential oils, they do not quickly evaporate from the skin’s surface or have the strong, natural scent of plants, which makes them ideal for controlling essential oil concentration and reducing the strength of an essential oil’s aroma without altering its therapeutic properties.

A Carrier Oil is a vital aspect of an aromatherapy massage or a natural cosmetic such as a bath oil, body oil, cream, lip balm, lotion, or other moisturizer, as it can affect the usefulness of the massage and the color, scent, therapeutic properties, and shelf life of the final product, respectively. By providing the lubrication required for a massage, the light and non-sticky Carrier Oils effectively allow the hands to glide easily over the skin while penetrating the skin and carrying the essential oils into the body. Carrier Oils can also prevent the potential irritation, sensitization, redness, or burning that can be caused by the undiluted use of Essential Oils, Absolutes, and CO2 Extracts.

 
 
COMPOSITION OF CARRIER OILS
Each Carrier Oil is comprised of different components that demonstrate distinct characteristics, such as color, viscosity, and penetration speed, while offering variable combinations of therapeutic properties; thus, they have valuable effects even when used on their own. Carrier Oils generally contain components such as fat-soluble vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients that improve the look and feel of skin and hair by adding moisture, soothing irritation, and reducing the effects of dryness. The choice of a Carrier Oil is dependent on the desired result.

Though not all the constituents listed below apply to all Carrier Oil varieties, these are the main constituents in most varieties:

 
MINERALS are known to:

Brighten dull complexions
Protect against environmental stressors
Balance oil production while remaining gentle on sensitive skin
Encourage exfoliation
Firm and tighten skin for a smoother appearance
Maintain skin’s moisture level
 
VITAMINS are known to:

Maintain and repair vital skin tissue
Control acne
Reduce lines and wrinkles
Hydrate skin to promote a healthy glow
Exhibit anti-inflammatory properties
Even out skin tone
 
STEROLINS are known to:

Reduce age spots
Repair sun damaged skin
Minimize the appearance of scars
Moisturize and soften skin and hair
 
OLEIC ACIDS are known to:

Maintain the softness, suppleness, and radiance of skin and hair
Stimulate the growth of thicker, longer and stronger hair
Reduce the appearance of aging, such as premature wrinkles and fine lines
Eliminate dandruff and thereby support hair growth
Boost immunity
Exhibit anti-oxidant properties
Prevent joint inflammation, stiffness, and pain
 
LINOLEIC ACIDS are known to:

Moisturize hair and promote its growth
Facilitate wound healing
Be an effective emulsifier in the formulation of soaps and quick-drying oils
Exhibit anti-inflammatory properties
Soothe acne and reduce chances of future outbreaks
Promote moisture retention in skin and hair
Make oils feel thinner in consistency, thus being beneficial for use on acne-prone skin
 
VITAMIN E is known to:

Exhibit anti-oxidant activity, which delays the appearance of the symptoms of aging such as wrinkles
Repair and improve the appearance of damaged tissue
 
LECITHIN is known to:

Soften and soothe the skin and hair
Keep dry, brittle skin and hair hydrated, thus restoring the moisture and luster
Increase circulation and thereby enhance the health and strength of the hair and skin
 
PHYTOSTEROLS are known to:

Boost collagen production
Relieve skin of sun damage
Promote the growth of newer, firmer skin
Boost immunity
Reduce the appearance of scars and other unwanted blemishes
 
ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS are known to:

Produce and maintain the skin's natural oil barrier
Hydrate skin to promote a supple, youthful appearance
Nourish cells and eliminate bodily toxins
Protect skin by creating an antimicrobial barrier against harsh environmental elements
Moisturize skin to prevent the premature signs of aging
Reduce water loss through the skin’s surface
Enhance the texture and softness of skin and hair
 
SELENIUM is known to:

Exhibit anti-oxidant activity
Slow the appearance of wrinkles
Facilitate the healing of burns, wounds, and other uncomfortable skin conditions
 
MEDIUM-CHAIN TRIGLYCERIDES are known to:

Eliminate harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi
Offer intense moisture
Condition the hair and eliminate dandruff
Boost hair growth
 
PALMITOLEIC ACID is known to:

Delay the appearance of premature aging
Moisturize and tighten the skin
Promote the growth of shiny hair
Enhance the brightness of the complexion
Boost the growth of healthy-looking nails
Enhance skin elasticity to prevent symptoms of premature aging, such as wrinkles
 
 
EXTRACTING CARRIER OILS
Although true Carrier Oils are obtained mostly from nuts and seeds, there are a few exceptions to this –  Coconut Oil, for example, is extracted from its 'copra,’ which is the white inner flesh, and Jojoba Oil, which is actually a liquid wax, is extracted from a shrub that has leathery leaves. To obtain oils from nuts and seeds, they undergo one of the following processes: Cold Pressing, Expeller Pressing, Oil Maceration, and Solvent Extraction.

 
 
COLD PRESSING is a chemical-free process that involves placing the nuts or seeds in a horizontal press that has an 'expeller,' which is a rotating screw. The screw drives the nuts and seeds through a barrel-shaped hollow and compresses them until the high pressure squeezes out the oil, which seeps out through the opening, while the ‘meal,’ or the debris, remains inside the barrel. The oil is then filtered, resulting in the finished product. Due to the absence of solvent residues in Cold Pressing, the outcome is cleaner, purer oils that are higher in natural colors and scents.

Due to the friction that is created, some heat is produced during this process, despite its name; however, this heat causes little damage to the oil. The hardness of the nuts or the seeds being pressed determines the temperature of this produced heat. The harder the nuts or seeds, the higher the required pressure to extract their oils, which results in higher friction and thus higher heat.

 

 
 
EXPELLER PRESSING is a mechanical processing method of extraction that is similar to Cold Pressing in that it involves the use of a hydraulic press that generates heat. It is important to note that all Cold Pressed Oils are Expeller Pressed, but that all Expeller Pressed oils are not unavoidably Cold Pressed. Oils that have undergone only Expeller Pressing have not been processed to maintain low heat levels and this can potentially damage an oil’s delicate nutrients. If the temperature rises above 120 ᵒC (250 ᵒF) it is no longer considered to be Cold Pressed and is rather called Expeller Pressed.

Expeller Pressing is more commonly identified by the abbreviation RDB, which stands for “Refined, Deodorized, and Bleached. Expeller Pressed oils are typically RDB, which stands for “Refined, Bleached, and Deodorized.” This refinement process helps to remove impurities, improve the color or texture, or stabilize the shelf life, making these oils suitable and economical for use as cosmetic bases.

Refining involves introducing the oil to a weak base solution to turn the free fatty acids into soap. It is centrifuged and washed with water until the pure oil remains.

Bleaching involves removing or improving the oil’s color and clarity by passing it through an earth or clay and filtering the oil. Deodorizing removes unpleasant or strong odors by vaporizing the oil and vacuuming its volatile aromatic substances.

Another refinement process is Winterization, which involves cooling a Carrier Oil and filtering it to remove the solid crystallized portions in order to achieve a lighter, clearer oil.

  

  
 
OIL MACERATION is used for botanicals that do not hold a sufficient amount of oil to be obtained through the pressing methods. One of the advantages of this method is that the resulting oils retain the pleasant fragrances of the botanical matter used, and these scents can be imparted to skincare products.

A Macerated Oil is a vegetable oil that is used in the same manner as a solvent or a base oil in order to extract the fat-soluble properties of other botanical materials and become infused with their therapeutic properties. For this reason, a Macerated Oil is sometimes referred to as an Infused Oil. The most commonly used base oils are Olive or Sunflower Oils.

When infusing herbs, dried botanicals are used in order to prevent the risk of microbiological infection from wet botanicals. First, plant material is bruised and soaked in the base oil for a set extent of time. Sometimes low heat is applied to the base oil to facilitate infusion. The plant material is then filtered to eliminate any traces of plant matter, resulting in the final product that will contain the therapeutic properties of both the vegetable oil and the infused botanical material. The same base oil can sometimes continue to be infused several more times with additional plant material.

Refined oils are ideal for use in natural cosmetics, as oils with dark colors and strong odors can negatively impact a finished cosmetic product.

 
 
SOLVENT EXTRACTION is a method that is applied to Carrier Oils in the same way it is applied to essential oils. It involves soaking botanical material in a solvent such as Ethanol, Petroleum Ether, Hexane, or Methanol. The cell membranes of the plant matter are ruptured and its oils are synthesized with the solvent. The solvent is then filtered out and the resulting oil is bottled. A low concentration of solvent residues can remain in the oil, thus preventing it from being 100% pure. (Sensi Cosmetics do not use oils extracted with this method)

 
 
CARRIER OIL CONTRAINDICATIONS
Peanuts fall into the category of legumes and are, therefore, not considered to be “true” nuts; however, like true nuts, they continue to share in the potential to cause allergic reactions, regardless of their concentration. Because nut oils generally do not contain the proteinaceous part of the plant, which would cause the allergic response, they are usually not allergenic, but it is highly recommended that Peanut and nut-derived oils be avoided by those with nut allergies, as an oil’s purity cannot be guaranteed. Instead, these oils can be substituted with other hypoallergenic oils.

 
 
QUALITY OF CARRIER OILS
A high-quality Carrier Oil will be as natural and as unadulterated as possible and it will ideally be Cold Pressed. Organic Carrier Oils are most commonly perceived to be of the highest quality, but even these will eventually go rancid over time. The quality of an oil can be determined by the following factors: Aroma, Method of Extraction, Consistency and Rate of Absorption, Natural Fatty Acids and Tocopherols, and Shelf Life, among other characteristics.

 
AROMA Typically, Carrier Oils are either odorless or they have mild, distinctive aromas that are faintly nutty, sweet, and/or characteristic of the nut or seed from which they are derived.

 
METHOD OF EXTRACTION The ideal Carrier Oil for use in natural products is a Cold Pressed (Raw), Organic, Unrefined, Extra Virgin oil. Carrier Oils that are truly “raw” will not have been heated more than 45 ᵒC (110 ᵒF). Carrier Oils that are unrefined will have been filtered to eliminate dust or small particles without compromising the oil’s nutrients, vitamins, and fatty acids. Extra Virgin Carrier Oils will have only been pressed one time.

 
CONSISTENCY AND ABSORPTION The consistency of various Carrier Oils can be either thick or thin. The choice of either viscosity is a matter of personal preference. The intention behind using the oil will also be a determining factor in preference for consistency. For example, a light oil with fast absorption and an absence of a greasy residue would be a high-quality oil for oily skin or hair, as it would penetrate the skin quickly without clogging pores. On the other hand, a rich, deeply moisturizing oil is of better quality for treating severely dry and damaged skin or hair.

 
NATURAL FATTY ACIDS AND TOCOPHEROLS Carrier Oils contain beneficial and restorative fatty acids that lend the oils their nourishing and moisturizing properties. These are the constituents that offer regenerative and stimulating properties to promote the look and feel of younger, fresher, and healthier hair and skin. Tocopherols such as natural Vitamin E act as natural preservatives. Some Carrier Oils have a high nutrient content but are too rich to use on their own or their odors are too overpowering. In these situations, they can be diluted in other Carrier Oils (e.g. Richer oils can be combined with lighter, odorless oils). To customize and create the ideal Carrier Oil, several can be blended to also change or combine their therapeutic properties before application.

 
SHELF LIFE Carrier Oils that are high in unsaturated fatty acid content will generally have a shorter shelf life and can last up to 6 months, whereas oils with a longer shelf life can last 1-2 years. To maintain an oil’s quality and maximize its shelf life, it should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. Carrier Oils with natural antioxidant properties, such as those with high Vitamin E or Lauric Acid content, have longer shelf lives, as these constituents either prevent oxidation or slow down the process. Other Carrier Oils can be combined with these anti-oxidant Carrier Oils to have their shelf lives extended.  

 
 
STORING CARRIER OILS
Many rules for storing essential oils also apply to storing Carrier Oils. Specifically, they should be stored in cool, dark places away from strong and direct light, especially sunlight. Although refrigeration is acceptable for most oils and although it helps preserve freshness there are some oils, such as Avocado, that should not be refrigerated, as this can negatively affect some of the oil’s significant, delicate constituents. After refrigeration, some oils may appear to be solid or cloudy, but their clarity will be restored once they return to room temperature.

Some Carrier Oils become rancid rapidly, but their shelf lives can be extended by adding 1% of Vitamin E (Natural) Oil, which acts as a preservative. This is an especially good idea when using Borage, Evening Primrose, Flaxseed, and Rose Hip Carrier Oils, among others.

 
 
TYPES OF CARRIER OILS
Carrier Oils can be categorized by their solidity: Hard and Soft

 
HARD OILS are solid at room temperature. To use them, they must be melted into a liquid state. Hard oils add firmness to a finished product, and without a sufficient amount of a hard oil, a product such as a soap bar will feel soft or sticky. The most popular hard oils are: Palm and Coconut.

 
SOFT OILS are liquid at room temperature. They add nourishing and moisturizing properties to a finished product. Without a sufficient amount of a soft oil, a product such as a soap bar will be brittle and will begin to crack. The most popular soft oils are: Olive, Canola, Rice bran, and Sweet Almond.

 

 
 
CARRIER OIL PRICES
Carrier Oil prices depend on the types of plants from which they are derived, whether the plants are endemic or exotic, their botanical names, their therapeutic values, whether they undergo organic processing, the quantity being purchased, and the supplier it is purchased from.

 
 
CARRIER OILS USES & BENEFITS
Although seemingly counterintuitive, it is necessary for essential oils to be diluted in order to work effectively, and this is why Carrier Oils are required. Applying essential oils “neat,” that is without dilution, can lead to skin sensitization or allergic reactions caused by the concentration of essential oils, rapid evaporation of the beneficial yet volatile essential oils from the skin’s surface due to the absence of an oil to help them penetrate deeper into the skin, and the inability of essential oils to be spread across a wider area of skin. While there are a few exceptions to the fact that essential oils will harm the body if applied neat, it is best to dilute them with a Carrier Oil before use, otherwise, the resulting bodily harm will make waste of the essential oil, the effort, and the money spent. Aside from enhancing skin’s absorption of essential oils, Carrier Oils offer therapeutic properties through their beneficial components, including nourishing constituents that our bodies cannot produce on their own, such as essential fatty acids.

 
 
CARRIER OILS GUIDE
 
OIL TYPE/MAIN CONSTITUENT    BENEFITS    CARRIER OILS

THIS TYPE OF OIL...

Nut Oils    IS REPUTED TO (BE)
Extremely emollient and soothing for sensitive, dry, inflamed and sore skin
Efficient in face mask treatments for acne-prone skin
Stimulate circulation
Anti-inflammatory
Facilitate wound healing
Maintain skin tightness and elasticity
LOOK FOR
Almond
Hazelnut
Macadamia
Walnut

Seed Oils    
Condition skin to rejuvenate complexion, especially in mature or prematurely aging skin
Repair damage caused by dryness
Soothe itching and discomfort caused by burns
Reduce appearance of scarring
Baobab
Black Currant
Borage
Broccoli
Carrot

Fruit Oils    
Gentle and nourishing
Light in texture to moisturize without leaving a greasy residue
Reduce the appearance of aging skin
Suitable for sensitive skin
Cleansing and softening
Exhibits anti-oxidant properties
Apricot
Avocado
Grape Seed
Peach Kernel
Olive

Essential Fatty Acid Oils    
Hydrate and soothe itchy, dry, inflamed, and acne-prone skin
Anti-inflammatory, Anti-bacterial, Anti-fungal, Anti-septic
Balance essential fatty acid deficiency and skin’s oil production
Balance hormones
Demonstrate reparative and astringent properties that facilitate wound healing
Argan
Babassu
Calendula


 
 
CARRIER OIL ABSORPTION RATES
 
ABSORPTION RATE    FINISH ON SKIN    CARRIER OILS

 

VERY FAST    THESE OILS ARE
Considered to be drying, because they are quickly absorbed by skin and do not leave a greasy residue

High in polyunsaturated fats
LOOK FOR
Hazelnut (CP)
Rosehip (Extra Virgin, CP)

FAST    
These light oils are quickly absorbed by skin but leave a smooth, silky finish. Skin will feel moisturized rather than greasy
Apricot Kernel (CP)
Camellia Seed (CP)
Grape Seed
Meadowfoam
Safflower
Canola
Fractionated Coconut
Prickly Pear
Broccoli Seed

AVERAGE    
These oils leave a silky feeling on the skin
Hemp Seed (Unrefined, CP)
Jojoba (CP)
Argan
Babassu
Raspberry Seed
Sesame

SLOW    
These oils could feel gummy or waxy before they warm up to body temperature. They tend to leave skin with a slight oily residue
Carrot (Macerated, CP)
Pomegranate (Refined, CP)
Sea Buckthorn (CO2)
Black Currant Seed
Tamanu (Madagascar, CP)
Avocado (Refined, CP)
Castor
Oat
Flax Seed (CP)
Sweet Almond (Sweet Virgin, CP)
Kuikui Nut (CP)
Olive (Extra Virgin, CP)
Sunflower (CP)

VERY SLOW    
These oils may need to have gentle heat applied to them before use. They tend to feel heavy on the skin and leave a thick, oily, and moisturizing barrier on the skin but are absorbed by the skin eventually

Higher in saturated fats and have a longer shelf life than those that dry quickly
Evening Primrose (CP)
Neem (CP)
Palm (Refined, CP)
Borage (Unrefined, CP)
Coconut (Refined, CP)
Macadamia Nut (CP)
 

Natural Butters

IN ESSENCE...
Natural cosmetic butters are derived from the extracts of natural sources such as seeds/kernels, beans, and nuts.

Butters are thicker than creams and lotions, because they do not contain water. Their fatty acid profile gives them their solid consistency at room temperature.

When added to natural product formulations and emulsions, butters are known to contribute viscosity, stability, and sometimes hardness.

The quality of a butter can be determined by its aroma, method of extraction, consistency and rate of absorption, natural fatty acids and tocopherols, and sun protection factor (SPF), among other characteristics.
 
 
WHAT ARE BUTTERS?
Natural cosmetic butters are derived from the extracts of numerous natural sources including seeds/kernels, beans, and nuts. They can be applied to the preferred area directly or after being incorporated into spa, cosmetic, or massage formulations, such as lotions, creams, soaps, lip balms, or salves, among other natural products to which they can be added. Butters melt on contact with body heat, adding additional softness and smoothness to skin and hair to relieve dryness, roughness, breakage, and irritation.

 


 
These ideal emollients are composed of varying amounts of active ingredients, fatty acids, solids, and semi-solid fat oils; thus, each butter exhibits distinct activities by virtue of its unique anti-inflammatory, soothing, moisturizing, and antioxidant properties. When added to natural product formulations and emulsions, they are known to contribute viscosity, stability, and sometimes hardness.

 
 
COMPOSITION OF BUTTERS
Though not all the constituents listed below apply to all butter varieties, these are the main constituents in most varieties: Essential Fatty Acids, Vitamins, Proteins, Minerals, Antioxidants, Polyphenols, Phytosterols, and Tocopherol.

 

ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS are known to:

Produce and maintain the skin's natural oil barrier
Hydrate skin to promote a supple, youthful appearance
Nourish cells and eliminate bodily toxins
Protect skin by creating an antimicrobial barrier against harsh environmental elements
Moisturize skin to prevent the premature signs of aging
Reduce water loss through the skin’s surface
Enhance the texture and softness of skin and hair
 

VITAMINS are known to:

Exhibit anti-aging properties
Enhance texture and tone
Fade and minimize the appearance of wrinkles and dark spots, such as under-eye circles
Smooth roughness
Strengthen and tighten skin’s protective outer layer to lock in moisture and protect against irritants
Protect against the harsh effects of UV radiation, such as redness, swelling, and dryness
Nourish and thicken hair
Reduce inflammation of the scalp, thereby preventing hair loss
 

PROTEINS are known to:

Repair and generate new tissues and cells
Slow the onset of the premature signs of aging, such as wrinkles and thinning hair
Contribute to the body’s immunity and to the strength and development of muscles
 

MINERALS are known to:

Protect against the stresses and harsh effects of environmental elements
Promote exfoliation
Balance and regulate oil production and moisture levels, especially for oily and sensitive skin and hair
Exhibit antioxidant properties
Tighten and smooth for a youthful appearance
Promote the growth of stronger hair that is thicker, hydrated, and lustrous
 

ANTIOXIDANTS are known to:

Boost circulation as well as cell metabolism, thereby calming inflammation
Tighten and tone the skin to prevent the appearance of wrinkles, blemishes, and scars
Plump out skin to smooth the look of fine lines and to blend in the newly developed skin
Improve the health of damaged skin by encouraging the growth of new cells for a rejuvenated look
Strengthen hair and maintain its health to prevent hair loss
 
POLYPHENOLS are known to:

Exhibit antioxidant activity
Increase hair growth
Show anti-aging properties, especially by reducing effects of UV-related damage
Exhibit photoprotective properties that help guard against UV radiation, harmful bacteria, oxidative stress, and harsh environmental conditions
Facilitate the renewal of skin cells
Prevent the breakdown of collagen, thereby restoring skin elasticity
Increase moisture levels for smoother skin and hair
 

PHYTOSTEROLS are known to:

Maintain cell structure, repair skin, and promote cell regeneration
Facilitate healing of dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, scars, sunburn, wind chapping, and wounds
Exhibit photoprotective properties / reduce photosensitivity
Facilitate skin cell metabolism and collagen production
Exhibit anti-inflammatory properties
Prevent itching and irritation
Boost immunity
Reduce hair loss and increase hair growth
 

TOCOPHEROL is known to:

Protect skin and hair against pollutants and harmful UV radiation
Tighten skin for a firmer look that diminishes signs of aging
Show natural preservative properties in skin care cosmetics and formulations
Moisturize and condition
Exhibit anti-inflammatory activity, which slows the look of aging
Facilitate the faster healing of wounds
 
 
EXTRACTING BUTTERS
Natural cosmetic body butters are blends of various oils that are made from beans, nuts, or seeds/kernels. The two main components of a butter are the minerals from their natural ingredients and the oils that carry the minerals to the areas of application. The combination of minerals and oils creates a barrier against harsh elemental factors that have drying effects. Butters typically do not contain water. If butters contained water, they would be emulsions, which are commonly known as “lotions.” A lack of water content also prevents the butters from needing synthetic chemicals to work as preservatives. The resultant texture of a butter can vary from soft and whipped, to semi-solid, to hard and solid.

 
 
CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR BUTTERS
Cosmetic butters should not be ingested and should not be stored within the reach of children, in case of accidental ingestion. Before the application of any butter, a patch test should be conducted on the inner arm or other generally insensitive area of skin, using a pea size amount of the butter to check for sensitivities. An absence of an allergic response within 48 hours indicates that the butter is safe to use.

Some butters may have adverse effects on skin that is prone to sensitivities, such as acne, as they tend to have a thicker, heavier, oilier, and longer-lasting finish on the skin compared to other emollients. Accordingly, body butters are best suited to skin that is dry, chapped, or broken. Individuals with allergies to the natural sources from which butters are derived are at a higher risk of developing an allergy to the butters themselves and should avoid their use. For example, individuals with nut allergies should avoid using butters sourced from nuts.

Potential side effects of cosmetic butters include skin irritation, hives, itching, rashes, swelling, and adult acne. In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent these side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.

 
 
QUALITY OF BUTTERS
Organic butters are most commonly perceived to be of the highest quality, but even these will eventually go rancid over time. The quality of a butter can be determined by the following factors: Aroma, Method of Extraction, Consistency and Rate of Absorption, Natural Fatty Acids and Tocopherols, and Sun Protection Factor (SPF), among other characteristics.

 
AROMA Typically, butters are either odorless or they have mild, distinctive aromas that are faintly nutty, sweet, and/or characteristic of the plant material from which they are derived.

 
METHOD OF EXTRACTION The ideal butter for use in natural products is a Raw, Organic, Unrefined butter. Butters that are unrefined will have been filtered to eliminate dust or small particles (with few exceptions) without compromising the oil’s nutrients, vitamins, and fatty acids. Conversely, many cosmetic formulations require butters that are odorless so as not to interfere with the scents of the fragrance/essential oils that are added. For this purpose, Refined/Deodorized butters would be suitable.

 
CONSISTENCY AND ABSORPTION The consistency of various butters can be either thick or thin (hard or soft). The choice of either viscosity is a matter of personal preference. The intention behind using the butter will also be a determining factor in preference for consistency. For example, a light butter with fast absorption and an absence of a greasy residue would be a high-quality butter for oily skin or hair, as it would penetrate the skin and hair quickly without clogging pores. On the other hand, a rich, thick, deeply moisturizing butter is of better quality for treating severely dry and damaged skin or hair.

 
NATURAL FATTY ACIDS AND TOCOPHEROLS Butters contain beneficial and restorative fatty acids that lend the butters their nourishing and moisturizing properties. These are the constituents that offer regenerative and stimulating properties to promote the look and feel of younger, fresher, and healthier hair and skin. Tocopherols, such as natural Vitamin E, act as natural preservatives. Some butters have a high nutrient content but are too rich to use on their own or their scents are too overpowering. In these situations, they can be diluted in other emollients (e.g. Richer butters can be combined with lighter, odorless natural products). To customize and create the ideal butter, several butters can be blended to also change or combine their therapeutic properties before application.

 
SUN PROTECTION FACTOR (SPF) Some butters are naturally comprised of components, such as particular minerals, that offer protection against the sun’s UVB radiation. By reflecting or scattering UV rays, they prevent the rays from penetrating and burning the skin. When skin is damaged due to overexposure to the sun, this leads to premature signs of aging, such as wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, and a leathery texture to the skin. Although it is not advisable to use cosmetic butters as replacements for other sun-protective agents, they can be used in combination with other products as part of a larger strategy to prevent photodamage.

 
 
STORING BUTTERS
Butters that are high in unsaturated fatty acid content will generally have a shorter shelf life and can last up to 6 months, whereas butters with a longer shelf life can last for at least 1-2 years. Natural cosmetic butters should be stored in the same manner as carrier oils; to maintain a butter’s quality and maximize its shelf life, it should be kept in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. Butters with natural antioxidant properties, such as those with high Vitamin E content, have longer shelf lives, as these constituents either prevent oxidation or slow down the process.

 
 
TYPES OF BUTTERS
Butters can be categorized by their solidity, which ranges from Hard to Soft.

 
SOLIDITY

 

BUTTER
 

PROPERTIES
 

Hard    Suggestions...
Cocoa – Pure Prime Pressed/Crude
Babassu – Refined
Murumuru – Refined 
Sal Seed – Refined
Shea – Crude – Ghana
Cupuacu – Ultra Refined
This type of butter (is)...


Firm
Does not melt easily on skin contact
Not easily absorbed


Brittle
Similar to wax in texture
Needs to be chopped rather than scooped
Requires more exertion to be rubbed in, compared to a typical emollient with a soft, creamy texture
Will not dehydrate skin
Does not require preservatives to stop disintegration


Semi-Hard/Medium
 

Suggestions...
Kokum – Refined
Cocoa – Organic
Cocoa – Ultra Refined – Deodorized
Shea Organic – Crude – Ghana
Shea Organic – Refined – Ghana
This type of butter (is)...
Not hard, not soft
Softer than Cocoa Butter
Melts on skin contact
Slightly firm texture


Semi-Soft
 

Suggestions...
Shea – Refined – Deodorized – Ghana
This type of butter (is)...
Softer than Cocoa – Pure Prime Pressed/Crude and Mango

Soft    

Suggestions...
Shea
Shea – Ultra Refined
Soy
Mango – Ultra Refined
Cocoa
Tucuma – Refined
Ucuuba
This type of butter (is)...
Spreadable
Melts quickly and readily on skin contact
Smooth and creamy
 
 
BUTTER PRICES
Butter prices depend on the types of plants from which they are derived, whether the plants are endemic or exotic, their botanical names, their therapeutic values, whether they undergo organic processing, the quantity being purchased, and the supplier it is purchased from.

 
 
USES & BENEFITS OF BUTTERS
Butters each have distinct combinations of properties that make them unique in form and function. The common factors shared by all butters includes their high emollience and their versatility, which allows them all to be used in a wide range of ways – massage, cleansing, softening, soothing, moisturizing, wound healing, protecting – on various parts of the body – hair, face, hands, and feet.

All butters can be applied to the skin directly or in blends to address issues of dryness, rashes, peeling, blemishes, wrinkles, itching, blistering, wound healing, cracking, roughness, stinging sensations, inflammation, aching, and fatigue, among other conditions. Butters are reputed to promote skin and hair health while contributing rejuvenating and regenerative properties.

For direct application to the skin, the ideal time to use butters for optimal absorption is when skin is damp after a shower. Additionally, butters can be applied to skin just before sleeping, as the length of the sleep cycle will allow the butter to penetrate into the skin more effectively for better hydration. Most natural butters melt on skin contact and will be absorbed quickly into the deep layers. Often concentrated, butters do not need to be applied in large amounts. Rather, it is best to begin by smoothing a pea-size amount of body butter across the preferred area of skin before gradually applying the same amount to other areas.

Natural butters can be added to cosmetic formulations as a base for moisturizers, or they can be added to other body butters to add more luxurious moisture.


 
A GUIDE FOR USING BUTTERS
Cosmetic butters may be used in several inventive ways; however, the comparison chart below highlights the more common types of butters and suggests ways in which they can be used on a regular basis.

 
BUTTER TYPE/MAIN CONSTITUENT
 

BENEFITS
 

BUTTERS
 

Nut Butter
 

This type of butter is reputed to (be)...
Hydrate thirsty skin
Reduce the appearance of blemishes, scars, and cellulite
Soothe acne, eczema, insect bites, sunburn, frostbite
Soften and smooth the skin
Condition hair to leave it soft and lustrous
Ideal for any skin type
Boost skin’s collagen production and elasticity
Ideal for use in face masks
Ideal for use on any skin type
Have a wide range of uses, including skin care, dry rash care, massage creams, and sun protection
Look for...
Shea

 


Seed Butter/Kernel    This type of butter is reputed to (be)...
Moisturizing without being greasy
Promote the look of plump and firm skin
Facilitate the regeneration of skin
Rejuvenate the skin by reducing the signs of aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines
Ideal for use on dry, itchy, flaky skin
Offer skin protection against the harsh effects of environmental elements such as UV radiation
Soothe skin afflicted with irritation caused by bites, stings, blisters, and rashes
Have antioxidant effects
Balance skin’s oil production
Stimulate hair growth
Ideal for use on all skin types, especially oily skin
Look for...
Mango
Babassu – Refined
Kokum
Ucuuba
Cupuacu
Murumuru
Sal Seed
Tucuma

 


Bean Butter
 

This type of butter is reputed to (be)...
Nourish, soften, and moisturize skin
Reduce discoloration and even out skin tone
Protect skin against the harsh effects of environmental elements
Look for...
Cocoa
Soy
 
 
ABSORPTION RATES OF BUTTERS
 
ABSORPTION RATE    FINISH ON SKIN    BUTTERS


Fast    These butters...
 
Are light, soft and quickly absorbed by skin but leave a smooth, silky finish.

Skin will feel moisturized rather than greasy.

These butters are ideal for use as/in cleansers.

Suggestions...
Kokum 
Cocoa

Cupuacu 
Shea
Tucuma 

 


Average
 

These butters...

Leave a silky feeling on the skin    Suggestions...
Mango

Cocoa

Murumuru 
Sal Seed

 


Slow
 

These butters...

Tend to feel heavy on the skin. They may leave a thick and oily moisturizing barrier on the skin and are not recommended for those with skin sensitivities such as acne. Alternatively, some may leave the skin feeling velvety without the greasy residue (e.g. Babassu, Shea) These butters are all absorbed by the skin eventually.    Suggestions...
Cocoa 
Babassu 
Shea
Ucuuba
 

What are real waxes?


Natural waxes belong to the bigger group of lipids. ( Lipids are molecules that contain hydrocarbons and make up the building blocks of the structure and function of living cells. Examples of lipids include fats, oils, waxes, certain vitamins (such as A, D, E and K), hormones and most of the cell membrane that is not made up of protein). Lipids are present in every cell of the human body and are the main part of the cellular membrane. It prevents the cells from being leaky by surrounding them the perfect way.

They are a blend of hydrocarbons and fatty esters (an ester of a fatty alcohol and a fatty acid). These vegan waxes are derived from leaves, peels and fruits of different plants or are separated from plant oils by de-waxing. This process involves physical separation and no chemical reactions are involved.

After separation,vegan waxes are usually purified, deodorized (these are still physical procedures with no chemical reactions involved) and sometimes bleached (this might be a chemical reaction). Waxes are usually available in different grades according to their colour, melting point range, physical form. They are also often available in different purities for different applications, such as industrial, food, cosmetics or pharmaceutical applications.

Because these ingredients are derived or extracted from a plant or a plant oil, they are true waxes. Their INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) name leaves no doubt about it. Cera or wax is a part of the INCI name – examples include Oryza Sativa Cera and Oryza Sativa Bran Wax, which are the INCI names for rice bran

 ARROWROOT POWDER


Arrowroot powder is a starchy substance that’s extracted from the root of a tropical plant known as Maranta arundinacea. When the arrowroot is harvested, it looks similar to other underground tubers such as cassava, yucca or kudzu, which are oblong in shape.

But important to note is how the starch is extracted, which is unlike cornstarch. Arrowroot powder is extracted in simpler, more traditional methods, without the use of high heat or harsh chemicals.

Sometimes arrowroot powder is known as arrowroot flour or arrowroot starch and they’re all the same thing. It’s simply a white, powdery starch that’s naturally gluten-free, grain-free, vegan and paleo-friendly.

Is arrowroot good for your skin?
Arrowroot absorbs oils/sebum beautifully and is also promotes natural healing as it penetrates the skin. Rubbing some into skin before bed and in the morning can reduce oil production, soften skin and dry out/heal blemishes. 5. ... It reduces odours, moisturises the skin and helps to eliminate toxins

Arrowroot powder does not steal the natural moisture of the skin. Rather, it softens and penetrates the surface layer of the skin and makes it easier for moisture and other active skincare ingredients to go deeper into the skin. Arrowroot also helps in drying out and eliminating issues like rashes, blemishes, and sores gently.

Arrowroot Skin Benefits:
Arrowroot is a great herbal remedy for treating various skin problems. It can be beneficial for your skin in the following ways.


Treatment Of Small Pox And Gangrene:
Arrowroot is an herbal treatment for small pox and gangrene that can cause skin infection and itchiness.
Baby Powder:
In South America, arrowroot starch is used as a baby powder. It is a lightweight, white powder, which, when applied to the skin, gives a soft and smooth feel.


 Used In Moisturizers And Talcum Powders:
Arrowroot starch is used in talcum powders and moisturizers as a thickening agent. When used in cosmetics, it enables active ingredients to penetrate the upper levels of your skin as it has great moisture-absorbing qualities. Arrowroot is often used in body powders to make your skin silkier and smoother. It softens your skin by enabling it to absorb moisture.


Treatment Of Skin Problems:
Arrowroot powder is light, soft and absorbent. It is used in making body powders. When applied topically, it helps dry blemishes, rashes or other sores, or wounds.


 Treatment Of Athlete’s Foot:
Arrowroot is used to control moisture while dealing with foot problems such as athlete’s foot. Since it does not possess anti-fungal properties, it is used for moisture control only.


 Healing Qualities:
Arrowroot has great healing qualities. It is made into a poultice and applied topically to treat rhizomes, ulcers and wounds. In Africa, it is used as a source of nourishment and for treatment of sunburns.


Arrowroot Hair Benefits:
Arrowroot is widely used in cosmetic products as a thickening agent. Though not much is known about its benefits for hair, its nutritional value does make it beneficial in hair care.

Jojoba Seeds

Jojoba Exfoliant is a natural exfoliant made from ground Jojoba seeds. They rinse off easily and are 100% biodegradable.