What Is Body Butter?

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Last updated on: 07/01/2020 at 11:16 am

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what is body butter

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Body butter. Just saying those words evoke a sense of what it does for your skin. Silky, smooth, and delicious. Deeply nourishing, intensely fragrant, and usually all-natural. All of the words used to describe body butter are as lavish as its title.


But what is body butter, exactly? Whether you’ve never heard of it or you just want to know more about what it’s made of and what are body butter’s benefits, we’re going to break down everything to do with this skincare product.



If your skin is lacking the essential nutrients that keep it strong and hydrated, body butters are your answer.


Body butters are nutrient-dense, cream-like skincare products that help keep your skin hydrated. We say cream “like” because they’re not exactly a cream, nor are they a lotion. Creams and lotions are water-based skincare products. They employ carrier oils to deliver ingredients to your skin, and it’s these added ingredients that provide hydration.


Butters, on the other hand, contain little to no water. Derived from nutrient-dense nuts, plants, and fruits like palm, shea, coconut, and mango, they’re naturally packed with essential fats and minerals. These nourishing plant and nut oils nurture and protect your skin.


But the way body butter hydrates is a bit different. Full of occlusive agents, body butter creates a barrier on your skin, and that protective barrier locks in moisture.


Way thicker and usually way more natural than other body moisturizers, body butters are a rich alternative to conditioning your skin. They’re typically found in jars rather than bottles because they need to be scooped out and wouldn’t work with a pump.



Body butters are good for a lot. To keep it simple, we’ve narrowed it down to 10 of its top benefits.



Body butters are better at nourishing your skin than lotions and creams. This is largely due to the vitamins and nutrients that are naturally found in these plant-based products. Use it all over your body or concentrate on problem patches on your elbows, knees, and feet.



The thickness of body butters helps them form a protective layer over your skin. Not only does that lock in moisture, it also protects your skin from dirt, debris, free radicals, and other environmental compounds in the air that aren’t great for your skin.



Body butters contain vitamins C, E and A, as well as minerals and antioxidants. You’ll find these in some of the best anti-wrinkle creams and serums on the market – but body butter contains them naturally.


Body butters that are made from shea have added wrinkle reduction power. That comes from the oleic and stearic acid found in shea. These acids work to help boost collagen production, which our body stops producing as we get older and which contributes to our skins elasticity, texture, and composition.



Body butter has a unique ability to restore pH balance to your skin. Combined with the fact that its small molecular consistency melts and absorbs in your skin quickly, body butter is capable of soothing everything from a simple rash to eczema and psoriasis. Plus, with no added fragrance, parabens, or other potentially irritating ingredients, it’s safe on even the most sensitive skin types.



Those same soothing properties and ability to revitalize your skin make this the perfect skincare when you get too much sun. It’ll help your body heal from sun burn and eliminate any sign of chapped skin as it gets back to normal.



Completely ridding of stretch marks and scars is difficult without procedures that are a bit more invasive. But body butter’s high nutritious content that includes vitamins and fatty acids, can help revitalize and improve your complexion, up to and including stretch marks and scars.



If you live in a climate that experiences winter, you know how the weather has an impact on your skin. The protective layer that body butters provide are particularly helpful for protecting your skin against the cold and dry winter weather.



One of the biggest benefits of body butter is how natural they are. Although many conventional creams and lotions contain nourishing ingredients similar to what’s naturally found in body butter, they’re also overloaded with synthetic fragrances, preservatives, microbeads, and other harsh or even toxic chemicals. With body butters, you get all the nutrients without those extras.



A byproduct of its naturalness, most body butters are also cruelty-free and vegan. They also tend to be more environmentally friendly because they aren’t petroleum-based.



Body butters aren’t as expensive as they should be considering everything they offer. In fact, they’re really easy on the wallet.



While body butters can help with dry skin, they do it a bit differently than creams and lotions. They’re what’s known as occlusive. Meaning that instead of delivering hydration from the outside, they work to form a protective barrier on our skin that seals moisture in. If your dry skin is due to a lack of natural hydration, then they might not be the best thing for moisturizing.


In addition, body butters aren’t the best for oily skin because of that same protective barrier. The same way they lock in moisture means that they lock in oil, which can lead to breakouts. But that shouldn’t be a problem if you’re only using them on your legs and arms.



More than just a moisturizer, body butter can be used in your hair and even as a makeup remover. Below, we describe 4 ways to use body butter, so you make the most of your purchase.



Body butter can be used day or night. But, because of the way it works, one of the best times to use it is after a shower. As we mentioned, body butter works to seal moisture in… and what better time to seal in moisture than after taking a shower?


Pat your body dry with a towel and then take a generous scoop of butter. Apply it directly to your skin, gently massing it with firm and broad strokes until it’s absorbed. Try and do this within 5 minutes after showering to maximize the amount of moisture you lock in.



If you have particularly dry skin on your hands and feet, you can use body butter as a moisturizing treatment. Apple a generous amount to your hands and feet before going to bed.


To lock it in for an even better result, put on gloves or cotton socks. If you do this 2-3 times per week, you’ll notice your skin getting super-smooth, super-fast.



If you have a natural body butter on hand, you can apply a small amount to the tips of your hair (never to the roots – that will make it greasy). Wash it out with warm water and watch how it takes dry or stressed ends back to silky smooth. It also adds a beautiful fragrance that you won’t be able to get enough of.



Body butter is to your skin what actual butter is to food-rich, creamy, and delicious. But it works differently than other moisturizers. It adds a protective barrier to the skin to lock in moisture – and that same protective barrier is full of nutrients and vitamins that keep your skin nourished.


Trish Keatings
Published on: 07/01/2020 Last updated on: 07/01/2020

Trish Keatings is Lead Writer at The Youthist since 2018. Her writing career began after graduating from the University of Saskatchewan with a Master of Arts Degree, where she focused on Political Studies. Trish is currently traveling the world and fills her free hours with yoga, meditation, wellness workshops, and eating her way through new cuisines. With a passion for all things beauty and skin, she is particularly inspired by holistic and ayurvedic approaches to health and personal care. A student of these philosophies herself, she enthusiastically explores her passions through her writing and finds no greater joy than taking her readers along with her.

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