What Is the Best Body Butter for Black Skin?

It is not easy to choose the best body butter for black skin, so in this post, you can find the ones that are carefully selected based on their ingredients to suit darker complexion.

The best body butter for black skin is the one that has a formula with beneficial ingredients (plant oils, ceramides, retinol, glycerin, panthenol, etc.) and without alcohol, essential oils, and fragrance.

best body butter for black skin

So, it is important to note that the body butters below fit that description of best body butter for darker complexion.

Argan seed oil has moisturizing properties due to the presence of vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps to improve water retention in the skin. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties help to treat skin conditions like psoriasis and rosacea.

Acne is another skin condition that argan oil helps to treat because it can regulate the production of sebum. Studies have shown that it increases skin’s elasticity which means that argan oil has anti-aging properties and that it can prevent and treat stretch marks early on.

Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter

Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter - Immediate, Lightweight, and Long-Lasting Nourishment to Soften and Hydrate Skin (240ml/8.0oz, Unscented)

Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter has a very rich formula without parabens, sulfates, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, mineral oils, and formaldehyde. Now you might wonder why all of this is in the first sentence. That is the case because the absence of those ingredients is very important for something you are applying to your skin, the largest organ that absorbs everything.

This butter has a lightweight texture that absorbs quickly and hydrates the skin leaving it soft, smooth, and glowing. It is suitable for all skin types, especially for dry and very dry skin.

Oils in this body butter have a comedogenic rating of 0-1 (squalene and sunflower seed oil), except for argan seed oil and shea butter. If you are dealing with oily and acne-prone skin, be careful because of the presence of argan oil and shea butter which have a comedogenic rating of 2-3 (can be mildly comedogenic for some people, but fine for more people).
Comedogenic means that certain ingredients can clog pores leading to the formation of whiteheads (noninflammatory acne) which leads to the formation of inflammatory acne.

Josie Maran butter has an unscented version, so if you don’t enjoy scented products or if you have sensitive skin, this product is for you. Another good thing about this body butter is that a little bit goes a long way.

Ingredients that make this body butter worthy of your attention are:

Avocado oil according to studies has a lot of benefits for the skin. It is rich in beta-carotene, protein, lecithin, fatty acids, and vitamins A, D, and E which moisturize, repair sun-damaged skin and increase collagen production. Other benefits of avocado oil include replenishing dry skin, calming itchy skin, hydrating, moisturizing, protecting against skin damage, and wound healing.

Squalene is emollient that is a natural component of sebum and can strengthen the skin barrier and retain moisture. It is great for black skin because using it over time can reduce skin pigmentation and help to repair sun-damaged skin.

Sunflower seed oil is suitable for all skin types because of its quick absorption and comedogenic rating of 0. Benefits for the skin include preventing skin damage due to the presence of antioxidants, unclogging pores by removing dead skin cells from them, hydrates and soothing the skin, and minimizing signs of aging.

White tea extract is rich in antioxidants which means that it has the ability to reduce oxidative stress on the skin that leads to the development of wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. Another benefit of white tea extract that stands out is fighting free radicals that cause inflammation on the skin. Other benefits include reducing breakouts and enhancing the overall health and appearance of the skin by giving it a smooth look and feel.

Glycerin is one of the best ingredients for skin of color because of its benefits. Its importance for black skin lies in the fact that it can reduce irritation from other ingredients, which is very important for preventing hyperpigmentation. Also, it is the best humectant on the market according to a study from 2016, which makes sense because it has less molecular weight than hyaluronic acid. It is very important to note that there is no need for separate products because glycerin on its own, especially in DIY recipes (which are often not formulated well) can be dehydrating.

The presence of anti-inflammatory ingredients in this formula is another reason why this body butter can be characterized as the best body butter for black skin.

You may wonder why anti-inflammatory ingredients are important for black skin. That is the case because any inflammatory condition on the skin can lead to hyperpigmentation. Inflammatory skin conditions include acne, dermatitis, etc.

It contains aloe vera leaf juice which also can hydrate, revitalize and reduce acne and dermatitis. Another anti-inflammatory ingredient is panthenol which also reduces transepidermal water loss and hydrates the skin.

As you can see Josie Maran body butter contains various ingredients that are beneficial for the skin of color. Those ingredients include oils, humectants, and anti-inflammatory ones.

If you want to learn more about oils that will be great for your skin, you can visit my previous post about the best oils for black skin.

It is very important to note that this body butter has a clean at Sephora seal. You can be guaranteed that a brand’s products are made without certain ingredients that might be detrimental to human health or the environment, as well as those that customers are worried about when you see Sephora’s Clean seal.

Best Body Butter for All Skin Types

Shea butter is beneficial and safe for all skin types. It is very low in allergens, so there is no medical literature documenting allergy to topically applied shea butter. It is mostly used for its moisturizing properties because of its ability to restore lipids in the skin, create moisture, and reduce transepidermal loss by holding in moisture.

It has a comedogenic rating of 2-3 which means that it can be comedogenic for some people, but it should be fine for most people because of the balancing effect between oleic and linoleic acids and it is easily absorbed into the skin. Shea butter has very important benefits for black skin, it is anti-inflammatory which helps to reduce irritation (less chance for post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation).

Shea butter is anti-microbial, and anti-fungal and can prevent breakouts because it helps the skin to restore moisture and minimize drying out. This is very important for people with acne because usually they use products that are too stripping and reduce natural oils in the skin which gives a signal to the skin to produce more oil, so shea butter can help to restore the natural balance of oils in the skin.

Other benefits of shea butter include boosting collagen production, promoting cell regeneration, and reducing the appearance of stretch marks and scarring

Kiehl's Creme De Corps Soy Milk and Honey Whipped Body Butter Cream

Kiehl's Creme De Corps Soy Milk and Honey Whipped Body Butter Cream, 8 Oz

Kiehl’s Creme De Corps with Soy Milk and Honey is lightweight, hydrating, and quickly absorbing body butter. It is very important to note that this butter also has a clean seal in Sephora, although there is no unscented version, so if you are someone with sensitive skin keep an eye on it. The scent is very light, won’t clash with perfume and it is not overwhelmingly feminine so guys can take advantage of it. It is not greasy, and it doesn’t transfer from skin to clothing.

On the list of ingredients, there can be found benzyl alcohol, which belongs to the group of alcohols that are safe for the skin and necessary preservatives that are used to create high-quality and long-lasting products.

Other ingredients that make this formula are:

Jojoba butter makes a great ingredient for body butter. It contains compounds that are like those found in the natural collagen of the skin. Jojoba butter is suitable for all skin types and has a lot of benefits. Studies have shown that jojoba butter deeply moisturizes the skin by disabling the evaporation of water. It is rich in nutrients like vitamin E, vitamin B, and antioxidants which make it great for treating many skin concerns.

Jojoba butter has an anti-aging effect due to its ability to deeply moisturize the skin which helps to slow down the appearance of signs of aging. Because of its similarity to skin oils, it is very easy on the skin and absorbs quickly. Also, it helps to balance out oil production without promoting acne or other skin problems and has an antibacterial effect. Jojoba butter is very gentle and for that reason, it is often recommended for people with sensitive and dry skin. The anti-inflammatory properties of jojoba butter are a great way to fight dry skin, chaffing, and chapping.

Soy milk has many benefits, whether in your glass or applied topically. It helps to fight hyperpigmentation by inhibiting extra production of melanin in the skin and reduces redness by calming the skin down. Soy milk can help to treat damage caused by photoaging which means that next to hyperpigmentation it also can help to minimize signs of aging due to the presence of antioxidant compounds.

It also contains squalene, whose benefits for the skin you can find above, in the section about Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter.

Best Body Butter for Black Skin With Hyperpigmentation

In your search for the best body butter for black skin, including retinol in your body care routine can be a game changer. It is one of those ingredients that can help your skin to perform better overall and has a lot of benefits for the skin of color.

So, because of its benefits, there is no reason to restrict the use of retinol just for your face. Retinol increases cell turnover which means that cells are produced more rapidly on the basal layer, so they come to the surface faster.

This means that there is less time for melanocytes to transfer melanin to the cells around it, so there is a reduction in hyperpigmentation. If you are someone that tends to heal with hyperpigmentation, then this body butter is just for you because retinol in it can reduce the risk of hyperpigmentation.

Not only that it can improve signs of photoaging (wrinkles or sunspots), but it also improves skin texture and helps to deal with thinning crepey skin which happens as we age by increasing collagen production in the deeper layers of the skin. Another benefit includes strengthening the skin barrier which protects from irritating things getting in (less irritation, less hyperpigmentation) and from losing water.

How to use body butter with retinol?

It is important to note that you need to use sunscreen when using retinol. Even though it reduces the damage that occurs due to sun exposure, it smooths out the skin which allows the sun to come into the skin in a more concentrated manner which makes skin more” sensitive” to the sun.

There are places on the body where you should not apply retinol. Don’t apply it anywhere you have skin folds or skin-on-skin contact, like armpits and inner thighs because friction makes irritation very likely, especially with retinol. Also, be careful when using it on the neck because the skin on the neck is thin and retinol can irritate it. So, don’t use it on the neck at all or use a tiny amount.

Another important thing to remember is that you should not overdo it. It is enough to use once or twice a week at the most. Retinol is one of the ingredients that don’t show their side effects right away. You can use it for some time excessively and show no irritation, but all of a sudden your skin is burning. So, it is better to use it conservatively and gradually to avoid that effect.

Paula's Choice Retinol Skin-Smoothing Body Treatment

Paula's Choice Retinol Skin-Smoothing Body Treatment, Shea Butter, Vitamin C & E Lotion, Moisturizer for Discoloration, Loss of Firmness, Uneven Tone & Texture, 4 Ounce

Since it is very hard to find body butter with retinol that doesn’t have fragrance, I have decided to include this body treatment, which contains shea butter, on the list of the best body butters for black skin. The skin of color needs to avoid fragrance because it can cause irritation that will lead to hyperpigmentation.

This body treatment can be used anywhere on the body (chest, arms, or legs, except for the parts that are stated in the section How to use body butter with retinol). It can be used to treat stretch marks on the body, because “retinol is one of the few things that has the ability to improve the look of stretch marks on the body by boosting up collagen production in the deeper layers of the skin.

Since Paula’s Choice Retinol Body treatment has a very powerful formula, it can help to reduce the appearance of uneven skin tone, moisturize, enhance texture, fight discoloration, and make skin appears dramatically smoother and firmer. Its formula is lightweight and suitable for all skin types.

A combination of natural butter and oils with retinol and antioxidants makes this formula very effective. Besides shea butter, it also contains:

Grapeseed oil is a great choice for skin of color because it has anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and antioxidant properties. Due to these properties, it can help to treat breakouts, improve skin moisture and softness, even out skin tone, and reduce signs of photoaging.

Evening primrose oil is plant-based oil with anti-inflammatory properties. “It’s a very thick oil that helps improve skin’s moisture by reducing transepidermal water loss, or TEWL,” says Farhang, which means that it is great for dry skin. It has a comedogenic rating of 2, which means that it can be comedogenic for some people, so be careful. For more information bout evening primrose oil, you can visit this link.

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that is also found in our skin oil. It acts as an antioxidant that helps to protect skin cells from damage. Besides protecting cells from damage, it also stops the skin from losing moisture and softens the skin.

Vitamin C is an oxidant that helps to protect the skin from free radicals (toxins) and improve the skin’s overall appearance. It can lessen the appearance of wrinkles, dark spots, and acne, as well as delay the onset of early skin aging and UV damage.

A combination of vitamin C and vitamin E makes this product more effective because these two antioxidants work better when they are paired.

Josie Maran Pro-Retinol Argan Oil Butter

Josie Maran Pro Retinol Argan Oil Body Butter (8oz Unscented) - Vitamin E Skincare Lotion - Hydrating Face Care Cream - Pure Organic Scar Moisturizer Treatment - Natural Stretch Mark Remover Serum

Josie Maran Pro-Retinol Argan Oil Body Butter has a pro-retinol formula that is milder than retinol and can be a great substitution if you are hesitant about using retinol on your whole body. Pro-retinol means that there is less chance that it will irritate your skin and cause redness, which retinol can do. But don’t get too comfortable with the pro-retinol formula, you should follow the directions form above and try to avoid overdoing it.

This hydrating body butter helps to protect the skin’s moisture barrier, stimulate collagen production, and reduce dryness, dullness, loss of firmness, and elasticity.

Pro-retinol in Josie Maran Pro-Retinol Argan Oil Body is pink algae, that helps to protect skin from environmental damage and has a clean at Sephora seal.

This Josie Maran body butter has a similar formula to their Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter. Besides pro-retinol, which is kind of superstar of this body butter, it also contains argan seed oil, sunflower oil, avocado oil, glycerin, shea butter, aloe vera leaf juice, allantoin, squalene, and white tea leaf extract.

So, if you want to learn about these ingredients, you can find their description at the beginning of this post, in the section about Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter.

Best Body Butter for Dry Black Skin

Ceramides are very important for people with darker complexion because those skin types have less ceramides, so the skin becomes drier and duller faster. Since ceramides are lipids that hold water in the top layer of the skin, lack of those can lead to faster transepidermal loss (water evaporation from the skin especially in the winter or if you have air conditioning) and dry skin. Dry skin equals irritated skin that cannot tolerate active ingredients like retinol and more wrinkles.

Using ceramides leads to juicy and plump skin and a healthy skin barrier. They are skin-identical ingredients which means that they will not cause irritation and that you can use them more than twice a day.

They are also very important for eczema-prone skin because studies have shown that people with eczema have less ceramides, so the lack of ceramides is the reason why eczema affects the skin of color. If you are wondering which brands you can use for eczema-prone skin make sure to read my post “Is CeraVe good for eczema”.

Aveeno Skin Relief Intense Moisture Repair Cream

Aveeno Skin Relief Intense Moisture Repair Body Cream with Triple Oat & Shea Butter Formula, Helps Relieve & Restore Extra-Dry Skin with Long-Lasting Moisture, Fragrance-Free, 11 oz

It is very hard to find body butter with ceramides, so I have included an affordable repair cream that is fragrance-free and contains both ceramides and shea butter.

Aveeno Skin Relief Moisture Body Cream helps to hydrate dry skin and provide soothing relief.

It contains isopropyl Palmitate which is an emollient that has a comedogenic rating of 3-4, so be careful if you have acne-prone skin.

This body cream has a great formula to moisturize dry skin and improve the skin’s natural moisture barrier. Besides ceramides, it also contains glycerin, Cetyl alcohol which is emollient (making skin feel smooth), and dimethicone, an occlusive silicone that fills in fine lines, gives skin a plum look, softens scars, and increases elasticity.
Aveeno Skin Relief Moisture Body Cream also contains a triple oat complex. Triple oat complex includes:

Oat kernel extract acts as a natural skin cleanser, helps to clear away oil and debris from the skin, reduce pore size, effectively combat dull skin, lightens, and enhances tone, and improves the texture of the skin.

Oat kernel flour is a powdered form of oat kernel extract that has similar benefits. It is a very good ingredient for dry, irritated, dull, and eczema-prone skin due to the presence of anti-inflammatory beta-glucan, nourishing lipids, and carbohydrates that moisturize the skin.

Oat kernel oil functions as an occlusive and a humectant, absorbing and holding onto moisture in the skin because of its high polar lipid content, which includes ceramides. Also, it is a fantastic option for skin types that are prone to acne because it is non-comedogenic and can even lessen the visibility of papules, blackheads, and lesions, but look for it in a product that is specifically formulated for acne-prone skin.

This post is written and managed by Dr. Amina Patel

Dr. Amina Patel - Specializing in Black Skin

I’m Amina Patel, and my fascination with skincare began with a deep curiosity about the intricacies of black skin. With specialized research and an unwavering dedication, I’ve delved into the nuances of melanin-rich skin and its unique needs. Through my research, I aim to shed light on the best practices, debunk myths, and provide tailored advice to empower individuals with black skin to embrace their natural beauty. Based on this I usually research and write about skincare brands, products and best practices for black skin.

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