Our Ingredients: Mango Butter

In this series, we'll explore the history, common usage, and modern applications of each plant based ingredient in the Cardiff line.

What is mango butter?

Mango butter, similar to shea and cocoa butter, is the byproduct of cold-pressed seeds. In this case, the pressed seeds come from the Mangifera tree, which produces mangos itself. Typically a soft yellow or white color, mango butter is extracted from dried mango kernels via hydraulic press or chemical solvent. Solvent extractions are usually much more involved and require fruit / seed drying, manual beating and crushing to release the desired product. 

Mango butter is semi-solid at room temperature, but melts into the skin with ease at about 90 to 108 degrees Fahrenheit. Largely composed of fatty acids like stearic acid and linoleic acid, mango butter is considered a complex fat. Mango butter also contains: Palmitic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Arachidic Acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E. And although many of their ingredients are the same, the conversation on mango butter vs. shea butter usually comes down to three points that highlight their distinctions. 

Mango butter vs. Shea butter

  • Nearly scentless / strongly scented
  • Lower melting point / higher melting point
  • UV protection / no UV protection

While shea butter is known for its signature scent — similar to cocoa butter — mango butter is almost nearly scentless and can be used with other essential oils to create different scented products. Slightly richer in oleic acid, mango butter is also faster to melt and absorb than its counterparts. Uniquely, mango butter is thought to provide some degree of UV protection as well. With this considered, mango butter has made a home for itself in the body care industry in the form of sun balms / lotions, hair products and other moisturizers. 

History

Mango butter production is based heavily in the climate conditions, influencing when the Mangifera tree flowers. Flowering begins anywhere from December to March, depending on location in India. From there, fruits usually ripen in April and May and produce the seeds that will soon become mango butter. Popular in Asia and Southeast Asia, mangos are used in traditional medicine for their moisturizing qualities and ability to promote healing especially, when using mango butter for skin. 

Deeply rooted in the country’s culture, mango trees have been harvested in India for thousands of years. Mangiferae weren’t introduced to the Western Hemisphere until around 1700, eventually traveling up to the Americas. Initially, mango butter actually gained traction as an alternative to cocoa butter in a confectionary context. However, as time went on, and more research was done on the complex fat, it was clear these same complementary ingredients displayed potential as an effective element for cosmetics and skincare. 

Current use

The use of mango butter has grown significantly over time, traveling across the globe to provide its valued properties to a variety of products. However, many primarily use mango butter for skin-related purposes. Containing a large variety of natural acids and vitamins, the butter is known to leave skin feeling soft, supple and radiant

It’s for these same reasons mango butter can help treat or prevent UV’s effects on the skin, specifically vitamins A, C and E. Also rich in fatty acids, mango butter has become a popular ingredient in hair products like conditioner, masks and oil sprays to add shine and strength. 

Mango butter can currently be found in a variety of products including:

  • Baby creams
  • Body lotions / butters
  • Sun protectant
  • Suncare treating balms
  • Lip balms
  • Hair conditioners
  • Hair masks
  • Heat protectants
  • Anti-wrinkle / aging treatments

Mango butter benefits

The more research done on mango butter, it seems the more potential benefits it may provide with use. As it ends up on the ingredient list of more and more skincare products, many have pondered “Does mango butter lighten skin?,” “Can you eat mango butter?,” etc. Not to worry, there’s a plethora of information on the unique seed butter.

As previously discussed, mango butter fits most comfortably in the skincare realm due to its high vitamin and fatty acid contents. Simply used topically, the butter nourishes the skin and — over time and with consistent use — can reduce the appearance of fine lines and dark spots; yes! Melting right into the skin, it can protect it from environmental stressors that can cause irritation and UV overexposure. 

Mango butter is able to provide a nice boost to the skin thanks to its soothing and cleansing properties. Skin suffering from dryness, eczema or dermatitis may find comfort in the butter for these same reasons. By moisturizing the skin, more cells are able to regenerate and create a supple look without any heavy layers of creams or gels. And, because mango butter doesn’t leave a greasy residue, it can also be used beneficially in hair care products. Sealing in moisture and preventing breakage, the butter makes hair feel soft and smooth.

In a more medicinal context, using mango butter for skin has the potential to eliminate certain impurities, making it a great choice for skin that’s irritated by a burn, itch or scar / stretch mark. Thanks to its non-comedogenic (anti pore-blocking) properties, the butter can even benefit acne-prone skin that’s accustomed to clogged pores. And while mango butter sounds tasty enough to take a lick during application, don’t. The butter is just like shea and cocoa butter in this regard, and although the name makes it sound appetizing, is much more suited for external use. 

Mango butter’s many moisturizing components have allowed for the classic, but trendy skincare ingredient to make its way into an abundance of cosmetic and skincare products. With that being said, customers should always be thoughtful when purchasing and using such natural butters, moisturizers, etc. — purity and quality are of the utmost importance for any benefits to present themselves.