Benefits of Kokum butter for Skin and Hair (With Free Body Butter Recipe)

As the Indian summers have given way to monsoon, the climate has turned humid. While body butters are a great way for skin care in dry weather, they might be too heavy nowadays, especially for oily skin. For such situations, Kokum butter is the ideal solution. It is a hearty, mildly fragrant butter that melts at body temperature and gets readily absorbed in the skin, without clogging pores. Kokum Butter is obtained from fruit kernels of Kokum or Mangosteen (Garcinia Indica) tree. The kernels are rich in fatty acids and are used to generate a rich body butter. It can be used by itself as a skincare ingredient or in various beauty recipes.

Properties of Kokum butter (the geeky stuff)

Kokum butter is one of the most stable fats and remains solid at room temperature. It melts on contact with human body. It has a smooth texture and faint aroma. It is rich in citric acid and vitamin E and is a very good emollient. It is anti bacterial, anti inflammatory and anti oxidant. It is also an excellent moisturizer. Kokum butter is non-comedogenic and is readily absorbed in the skin. So, it can be used generously on skin and hair without worrying about clogged pores or greasy appearance. It is also great for sensitive skin. These properties make it an excellent skin and hair care ingredient. Therefore Kokum butter is a popular ingredient to be used in various skincare applications like body butters, lotions etc.

Uses of Kokum butter

Some of the benefits of Kokum butter for skin and hair are as follows:

  1. Dry skin treatment: Kokum butter is an excellent emollient, anti oxidant and moisturizer. It can be applied in pure form on dry skin. Since it is not greasy, it can be applied on face and body as a moisturizer. It gets readily absorbed in the skin and hydrates it, giving a soft supple and smooth skin. Pure Kokum butter is a good day time moisturizer, even for sensitive skin, as it is natural and free from chemical additives.
  2. Care for chapped lips: Kokum butter is a deep moisturizer that nourishes skin without clogging pores. It can be used as a lip balm to cure chapped lips effectively. It helps lips to stay soft and smooth.
  3. Anti Aging: The anti oxidants present in kokum butter make it capable of preventing wrinkles. It keeps skin hydrated and improves skin tone and elasticity. Thus it helps in maintaining a youthful skin.
  4.  Cracked heels treatment: The deep moisturizing of kokum butter can be used to treat cracked heels and a regular application makes heels smooth and keeps cracks away.
  5.  As a hair and scalp treatment and conditioner: Kokum butter is great for hair too. It has restorative properties and treats dry and damaged hair. It makes hair roots and follicles strong. It oxygenates scalp tissue and makes nutrients available for them to utilize. Thus it helps in preventing hair loss and promotes hair growth. It rehydrates dry and damaged hair without making them greasy. It moisturises hair and prevents breakage. It can be blended with coconut oil to be massaged on hair and scalp thoroughly before shampoo like hair oil. It can also be used as a conditioner after hair wash on hair tips to get shiny, manageable hair. Pure Kokum butter can be used by itself as a skin moisturizer and hair conditioner. It can be also used in various beauty recipes like hair oils, lip balms, lotions, soap bars,body butters etc.

DIY whipped Kokum Body Butter:

You can make this incredibly simple Kokum body butter at home and enjoy a beautiful, glowing and smooth skin.

Requirements:

Kokum Butter – 1 ½ cup

Refined Cocoa Butter – ½ cup

Avocado Oil – 6 tbsp

Essential oil – 1 tbsp.

Tapioca Starch – 5 teaspoons

Vitamin E – 1.5 teaspoons

Preparation:

Melt kokum butter and cocoa butter in a bowl. Add avocado oil and refrigerate till the mixture begins to set. You can choose to add your favourite essential oil for fragrance and added benefits (e.g lavender or calendula.) Add tapioca starch and vitamin E. Whip this mixture until light and fluffy and fill in a jar. This little sweet jar of goodness is all yours to enjoy!

4 Reasons For Body Odour & How To Prevent it

Every individual has a unique smell which was designed by nature to act as a marker for identification. At a subconscious level, we relate to each other through this distinct smell. Our instant liking or disliking a person and various instinctive interactions are based upon this particular individual smell. Newborn children to their mothers, new lovers, animals to their caretakers, hitherto unknown, bond with each other, owing to individual body odour largely. So we see that body odour, in its most basic definition is not only quite natural, it is also a prerequisite to social interactions.

Many a times, though, body odour mars social reputation too. Excessive sweating and offensive body odour can be a stigma that may lead to social isolation and depression.

Sweating is a natural process which is in fact necessary for us. Through sweating, various wastes and toxins are removed and it is our in built cooling mechanism too. Our body sweats through two types of sweat glands: eccrine and apocrine. While sweat from eccrine glands is watery and helps cool down the body, apocrine glands secrete a thicker sweat. Apocrine glands are present in arm pits, areola, groin and eyelids. These remain dormant till puberty and are mainly responsible for the particular body odour of an individual.

The sweat from apocrine glands is rich in fats and proteins which are favourite food for bacteria harbouring on the skin. Bacteria break down the components of this sweat into amino acids which causes body odour.

It is interesting to know that sweat in itself is odourless.

Body odour intensity and smell can be different depending upon various factors.

Intense and offensive body odour may be caused due to any of the following reasons:

1. Stress

When you are stressed, the sweat that you release comes from apocrine glands. This sweat is thicker as opposed to eccrine sweat and promotes bacterial growth. The bacteria break down the sweat into smelly compounds. Thus stress is a major cause of body odour.

2. Diseases and hormonal changes

Sometimes illnesses cause a person to sweat more and smell differently. Hormonal changes like menopause cause more sweating while conditions like kidney disorders, diabetes etc change the smell of the sweat and may result in offensive body odour. Many medications might cause more sweating and body odour too.Trimethylaminuria is a rare genetic disorder that causes an embarrassing, fishy body odour.

3. Inappropriate foods and drinks

Hot and spicy foods like chillies cause more sweating. Foods like garlic, onions and many vegetables from crucifer family like broccoli tend to make the sweat smelly and piquant. This is because these break down into odour causing sulphides which are later released through sweat. They cause body odour and bad breath. Diets rich in proteins and low in carbohydrates are also a major cause of body odour due to this reason. Alcohol is another cause of body odour. Alcohol enters bloodstream and can be smelled in breath and sweat. It breaks down to produce really nasty smells.

4. Poor personal hygiene

Using unwashed clothes especially undergarments and socks multiple times without washing can trap dirt and germs which multiply when they come in contact with moisture. These bacteria and dirty clothes together not only are the reasons for persistent body odour, they may also cause skin infections.

Following tips might be helpful in getting rid of bad body odour:

1. Bathe with warm water regularly

The bacterial activity on sweat is the main cause of body odour. Bacteria found on the skin flourish in moisture and break down proteins found in sweat which causes body odour. Washing regularly with warm water removes bacteria and dead skin and thus limits bacterial activity. Due to this reason, using a good antibacterial soap helps in reducing body odour. A few drops of tea tree oil added to the bath water are helpful in curbing bacterial growth and Body Odour.

2. Wash clothes, footwear and socks

Wash clothes especially socks and undergarments regularly. Wear fabrics which are made of natural fibers like cotton, wool, silk etc. These are breathable fabrics which absorb sweat and limit body odour. Choose footwear that allow air to pass through and keep your feet dry. Use antibacterial talc on feet before wearing closed shoes in hot weather.

3. Care for armpits

Observe good care of armpits and keep them clean. Overall, armpits contribute most to the body odour. Armpit hair hinder the evaporation of sweat and give bacteria more opportunity to flourish and act on apocrine sweat. Through good personal hygiene and grooming, you can avoid bad body odour. Shave armpits regularly, wash them with warm water and antibacterial soap and dry them well. Use good quality natural deodorants that take care of body odour effectively and keep you fragrant all day long without resorting to chemicals.

You can also detox your underarms regularly to reduce odor. 

4. Food habits

Eat a well balanced diet to keep body odour at bay. A diet that has correct proportions of carbohydrates, proteins and fats not only helps reduce body odour, it is also good for overall health and nutrition. If you have excessively bad body odour and bad breath, try to avoid piquant foods like onions, garlic, mustard etc and you just might have the solution to your problem.

5. Seek medical help

If you find sudden change in amount or smell of sweat, you should see a doctor. It might be an indication of diabetes or hormonal disorders.