Let’s Make it “Butter” Series: Kokum Butter And It’s Benefits For The Skin And Body

by | Soap Making

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Kokum Butter Benefits:

Surely, you’ve crossed paths with the likes of cocoa butter and/or shea butter. Specifically, these “butters, have taken the skincare and self-care world by storm. However, these are not new to skin care usage. Additionally, they are not the only ones. Notably (flying under the radar) is a butter like, Kokum butter. A beautiful moisturizer, indeed. Oftentimes, noted for its lightweight feel. Here, we discuss kokum butter benefits, but first…

kokum butter benefits

What is Kokum Butter?

Kokum butter comes directly from the fruit kernels of the Kokum tree (Garcinia indica). These seeds are then crushed and their fat is harvested to create kokum butter. 

The resultant, is a beautiful lightweight moisturizing consistency. Additionally, one that that absorbs quickly and evenly into the skin. After harvesting, the coloration is usually gray to pale yellow, and highly comprised of stearic acid. Stearic acid is a saturated fat. In fact, kokum butter is about 80% stearic-oleic-stearic triglycerides. Furthermore, it contains Vitamin E, a fat soluble antioxidant. 

Kokum is often referred to as a butter because of it’s properties. For example, it stays solid at room temperature, it’s melting point is roughly 90 degrees.

Like other natural butters, Kokum butter can be used in several different skin and health care applications. Like shea, sal and mango, kokum butter has attributes that makes it popular, but also very suitable to skin care regimens, according to the Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2008.  

An article from the Journal of Food Research and Technology, discusses the kokum fruit itself as having anti-oxidant, and appetite stimulate properties, capable of helping to fight cancer, paralysis, cholesterol, as well as being used to improve skin health. 

Similarly to other natural butters, Kokum has become a popular choice for DIYer’s creating their own lotions, soaps, scrubs, and other self-care products. 

Related Article: Let’s Make it “Butter” Series: All about Mango Butter and its Benefits for the Skin and Body

Kokum Butter Benefits For The Skin and Body:

Plumps Up The Skin With Fatty Acids:

Kokum butter is full of fatty acids (natural lipids) that help to keep your skin looking plump and moisturized, acting as an excellent emollient. Exotic fats such as kokum butter, are used in skin care because of it’s ability to aide in;

  • skin elasticity,
  • boost regeneration,
  • increase hydration and restorative properties. 

Omega-3 and Omega-6 in particular, help create a natural barrier for moisture to lock itself in. Thus, helping protect your skin, giving it that firm appearance. Another benefit is the weight of the oil. Kokum butter is lightweight. Furthermore, it absorbed fairly easily into the skin, leaving a smooth, but non-greasy texture behind. 

Potential to Help With Skin Healing:

In addition to keeping your skin moisturized, Kokum butter may have some potential in healing. Kokum has regenerative properties that aid in skin cell growth. 

One Journal Article in 2014 referenced Kokum butter specifically as being in great demand for it’s preparation in not only the cosmetic industry, but also pharmaceutical purposes for ointment creation. It is suitable for local applications of ulcers, fissures of lips, cracked hands and feet. 

Another study in 2013, looked at kokum butters effect on the management of cracked heels. The end result was a “significant” effect on the management of Padadari, or cracked heels. 

Used On People With Sensitive Skin

Not only is kokum butter lightweight and absorbable, but it may also benefit individuals with sensitive skin, due to antioxidant properties. One study in 2009 focused on the emerging role of garcinol, (which is harvested from Garcinia indica (kokum tree/plant). Specifically, it’s role as an antioxidant and promising anti-cancer activity. 

Kokum is effective for many different skin types and is fragrance-free in it’s natural form. Individuals with skin sensitivity issues can utilize Kokum butter on their skin, without fear of adverse reactions. 

Potential to Support Reduction in Acne:

As beforementioned, the suggested antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties of Kokum butter (from compounds originating in kokum fruit) shine light on it’s potential as an acne fighter. Kokum butter may just provide a sort of sanitizer-type effect on the skin. However, more research is needed for this specific application. 

Acne occurs when bacteria burrow into the surface of the skin (like dry skin). The thought behind kokum is it may act as a preventative against breakout and skin inflammation. It’s lightweight properties also make this a fantastic oil for skin application, while not clogging pores.

Good For Your Scalp and Hair Health:

Finally, Kokum butter can also be used on your scalp and hair. It’s moisturizing qualities (such as easy absorption, lightweight, structural stability) of this butter, make it ideal for nightly scalp treatments. 
You can also use Kokum in your hair, helping to keep it shiny, luxurious, and healthy!

Final Thoughts!

Kokum butter is an amazing additive to skin care applications. Additionally, it may provide relief for some skin conditions. Like any oil or butter, results are very subjective and personal for each individual.

A potential drawback of kokum is the cost, (in relation to other butters). Kokum butter can also be difficult to find at times, based on personal experience. So using it in DIY applications, is sometimes trickier then Shea or Cocoa butter.

As always, please share any of your experiences with kokum butter in our comments section! Are there any applications you have tried with kokum butter with great results?


  • https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/kokum-butter
  • https://bettersheabutter.com/everything-there-is-to-know-about-kokum-butter/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2792546/
  • https://jakraya.com/journal/pdf/6-jfrtArticle_1.pdf
  • https://www.jayumedsci.com/article/2017/2/2/105530jams2017216
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19725977/
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you use them to purchase items, then we may earn a small commission. Hope you find something that you like!
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