Hair and skin looking a bit lack luster? Since our bodies produce less collagen as we get older, these things can happen. But luckily, nature has all we need to restore a youthful, lustrous glow. One of our newest favorite natural beauty ingredients is kokum butter.
Plant oils and butters like cocoa, shea, and coconut are pretty popular in the beauty world, and for good reason. They help to restore the skin and repair and protect hair from damage caused by aging, heat, chemical treatments, and more. Kokum butter, though lesser known, works in a similar way with its own unique properties.
Native to the tropical regions of India, kokum trees produce seeds and fruits that are used for a variety of medicinal and beauty-related purposes. The gray or yellowish butter is derived from the fruit of the tree. It’s solid at room temperature (thanks to a type of fat in it called stearic acid) much like shea butter, but melts fairly easily once applied to the skin.
Many beauty products contain kokum butter for good reason. Thanks to its fat content, its a great moisturizing agent for the skin and hair. On top of this, it’s a powerful emollient (meaning that it’s great for softening the skin), antioxidant, and antibacterial. Emollients are known for reducing the signs of skin aging like wrinkles and fine lines, and some Ayurvedic experts suggest that kokum butter is an especially powerful anti-ager.
Kokum butter is also not quite heavy as shea or cocoa butter, so it’s easy to use on every part of the body without that greasy, sticky feeling. One study even found that it was effective in relieving and softening cracked heels.
Kokum butter is considered non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog your pores like cocoa butter, which shouldn’t be used on the face. And since it also helps regulate bacteria on the skin, some suggest that it’s is the ideal moisturizing option if you suffer from acne.
Since it’s not greasy and doesn’t clog pores, it’s also a great option for a healthy hair and scalp treatment. A dry, irritated scalp can cause hair to become brittle and fall out. Treating your hair with moisturizing kokum butter may help prevent hair loss and restore shine and luster to your locks!
Kokum butter doesn’t have a scent, so it’s a great option if you’re sensitive to fragrances which shea and cocoa butter are known for. To use kokum butter, buy your own online (we love this one from Better Shea Butter, $14.45, Amazon).
You shouldn’t heat kokum butter as it damages the chemical composition of the fats in the butter. Instead, slice the butter and apply it directly to your skin as a moisturizer after a shower, allowing it to melt in your hands beforehand. You can also melt it in your hands and apply it directly to your hair from room to tip, focusing on the roots and ends. When using it as a hair mask, allow the kokum butter to remain in your hair for at least 30 minutes or as much as overnight, then wash as usual.
We hope you enjoy this natural anti-aging beauty treatment as much as we have!
We write about products we think our readers will like. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the supplier.
This story originally appeared on our sister site, Woman’s World.