Mango butter is the lesser-known cousin to shea butter and cocoa butter. We say “cousin” because it’s often used in the same context pertaining to skin and hair care.
What many do not realize — though it shouldn’t be too shocking considering its source — is that mango butter is edible as well. In fact, you may see it included in the ingredients of many over-the-counter chocolates.
That said, there are many questions surrounding mango butter: what is it? How is it made? What does it smell like? What is “refined” mango butter versus “unrefined”? And what’s this business about mango seed butter and “cold-pressed” mango butter?
In the following article, we will be addressing questions like these as well as some of the major benefits associated with it. Let’s begin!
The Properties of Mango Butter
Mango butter is compared to cocoa and shea butter for its moisturizing qualities, or rather how it moisturizes. These three butters are able to do their thing without leaving a greasy film. More on that in a moment.
Mango butter itself comes from the mango seed. So when you hear “mango butter” or “mango seed butter,” the terms are pretty much synonymous. The primary method of extraction is from the seed itself, and it is brought about through cold-pressing.
Cold-pressing uses a hydraulic press to rend fluids from a source object as opposed to heat or other methods.
Refined and unrefined butters are available. Refined butters incorporate additional chemicals and additives to achieve desired effects and consistencies. Unrefined butters are whipped solely from the fats that are extracted from mango butter, resulting in a more raw substance.
Both forms are safe and sold over-the-counter, but if you do not prefer or trust the chemical-added manufacturing processes, you’ll want to stick with unrefined butters. These generally are the “safer” forms you will want to stick with if deciding to use it as an edible food source.
On Storage and ‘Going Bad’
When it comes to aroma, you don’t want mango butter to smell like anything. A mild odor or none-at-all is the preferred state, and it will not smell anything like the mango fruit because, remember, it’s extracted from the seed before it has a chance to fully develop.
If it does start to exhibit a powerful odor, then it’s likely time to throw it out. To extend the life, consider refrigerating. But keep in mind, this can affect consistency.
Generally speaking, you can get about 18 months out of your mango butter from the time it’s purchased until the last dollop, though that shrinks to 4-6 months of heavy use when kept at room temperature.
In the next section, we’ll be examining the many benefits. If you have an interest in skin and hair especially, you’ll want to read on.
The Beauty Benefits of Mango Butter
The mango fruit itself is highly edible (as in, freakin’ delicious), and it contains a number of health benefits that can play into your health and wellness.
We’ll discuss some of the more common ones later in this piece, but for now, let’s focus on the primary reason you probably bought mango butter in the first place — great-looking hair and skin.
There are 16, in particular, that you won’t want to live without. Let’s continue!
1. A ‘Plumper’ Look
When it comes to the look and the elasticity of your skin, the word “plump” is a welcome compliment. Using mango butter regularly will ensure that your skin maintains that look. It does so thanks, in part, to high linoleic and oleic acid content.
Additionally, it’s loaded with vitamin C. Aside from its clear protections for the immune system, vitamin C is prolific when it comes to generating collagen. It is collagen that carries most of the weight for providing that fuller look you want from a beauty product.
2. Treats Dry Skin
Dry skin is a common problem for many across the country, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. That’s partially because the human body slows oil production as it ages, resulting in more dried-out skin.
Throw allergy seasons and colder temperatures on top of it, and you’ve got a perfect storm for itchiness, which only tears and damages the skin more.
Mango butter is highly-absorbent, nourishing and enriching the skin year-round. Regular application will keep your skin glowing, and, more importantly, it will ease the discomforting urge of clawing your legs to death during certain seasons of the year. (Looking at you, Old Man Winter.)
3. Ironing Out Fine Lines and Wrinkles
Mango butter is valued for its fatty acid and mineral content as well as being a rich source of antioxidants. These qualities, and particularly its quantity of vitamin A, make it a popular anti-aging product.
It can both prevent and smooth out fine lines and wrinkles that create the weathered look we all must contend with as we get older.
4. Soothes Skin from Sunburn…
The environment is rife with stressors that can wear out and damage the skin. One of the most common is the sun itself. This can lead to “sunburns,” or stinging redness that overtakes areas of the skin exposed too long to UV rays.
Beyond just being really uncomfortable and painful, sunburns also increase your risk of developing skin cancer, according to the website SkinCancer.org.
While there is an argument to be made for mango butter in relation to fighting cancer — thank you, antioxidants — it can at the very least take the sting out of the sensation and nourish the skin back to its normal level of health.
And with unrefined versions of it, you don’t have to worry about the underlying effects of additive chemicals.
5. …And Frostbite
The Centers for Disease Control notes that, from 1999 to 2011, a total of 16,911 deaths occurred in the U.S., with an average of 1,301 per year due to exposure to excessive cold.
Frostbite is one of the many dangers that come from such exposures, and it can lead to long-term skin damage or even amputation.
Unless you live in locations with particularly harsh winters, this may not be a concern. And in extreme cases like the aforementioned, you need to seek immediate medical attention.
That said, mango butter can help skin damage from the cold and soothe the pain in much the same manner — and owing to the same reasons — as with sunburn.
6. Calms Itching from Insect Bites
The same anti-inflammatory qualities that make mango butter a great source of support when addressing sunburns make it useful for insect bites as well.
Different species create different types of reactions. You’re not going to have the same reaction to a tarantula bite as you would a brown recluse spider, for instance.
While it’s possible you wouldn’t need medical attention at all for the former — in spite of its horror movie size — you’d almost certainly want to see a doctor for the latter.
Mango butter, or any other balm, can only do so much, so don’t expect it to stave off infection for more venomous insects and creepy-crawlies.
But if you simply need relief from the swelling and itching, it can do a lot to reduce inflammation and get you back to a normal state of health.
7. Also Hits Poison Ivy
More than four in five people are allergic to poison ivy, sumac, or oak. For most of us, the mere act of brushing up against it will result in splotches of itchy skin that can make it feel like slow, deathly torture.
You can get a number of chemical-added treatments that aggressively attack the infection, or you could just wait it out as most poison ivy rashes go away in about 7-21 days. But who wants to live with that?
Unrefined mango butter is a more chemical-free alternative that can ease the inflammation.
8. Heals Minor Wounds
With mango butter, you also can use it on minor wounds to facilitate the healing process. This works especially well when mixing with essential oils like clove, eucalyptus, frankincense, and lavender.
Let’s be clear, though. This is for nicks, scrapes, and cuts. For deeper wounds, and this should go without saying, seek medical attention. Also, do not take it on yourself to treat the wound without first discussing the best options with your doctor.
9. Moisturizes Hair
Mango butter’s high vitamin and mineral content combines to balance the production of sebum. This assists the scalp in two especially helpful ways. For people with overly oily scalps, it acts as an effective absorbent substance.
For those who deal with dry scalp, the absorption factor allows hydration without that aforementioned “greasy” quality.
What does that translate into for look and feel? It a) softens the hair, and b) coats the hair from environmental damages. That is why you can find shampoos made from mango butter in pretty much any health and beauty salon or anywhere that sells finer cosmetics.
10. Treats Eczema and Psoriasis
Eczema is a condition that affects just north of 10 percent of the U.S. population. Children especially are susceptible to it. It takes the form of rashes and flakiness with accompanying itchiness, usually around the “bendable” areas of the body (i.e., knees, elbows, etc., though certainly not confined to those regions).
Psoriasis also is a common skin condition, producing around 3 million new cases in the U.S. each year. It manifests in the form of red patches covered in thick and scaly skin. Sufferers of psoriasis also may experience dry, cracked, and bleeding skin; itching, soreness, or burning; and swollenness or stiffness of the joints.
Thickened nails may appear as well.
A mango butter topical can help in the repair of these damaged areas and tamp down the inflammation that occurs when the body reacts to either condition.
11. Works Well as a Cleanser
In addition to its use in shampoo formulas, mango butter is used in a number of full-body applications through bar soaps and body washes.
It has ultra-moisturizing qualities, blends nicely with other ingredients, and is a milder solution for common skin irritations and conditions. Also, if you’re bothered by heavy scents, it has a largely odorless formula.
This is a benefit for the millions of Americans who experience fragrance sensitivities, which generally manifest through respiratory, nose, and eye symptoms.
12. Good Substitute for Other Allergy-Causing Butters
Do any search involving the words “mango butter,” and it will eventually lead you down a rabbit-hole that puts you in contact with shea and cocoa butter — more popular counterparts that cover many of the same bases.
However, cocoa and shea butter aren’t for everyone, and a not insignificant number of people report allergic reactions each year.
Fortunately, mango butter tends to be a great alternative for people who can’t tolerate the others, and
13. Improves the Appearance of Scars and Stretch Marks
Dealing with stretch marks is a problem often associated with pregnancy — obvious reasons — but it’s also an issue that men and women struggling with weight gain have to contend with.
The unfortunate thing about stretch marks is that even if you do the work and lose the weight, the darn things hang around to make you uncomfortable with your progress.
Thankfully, there are a number of options that can help you conceal and improve the appearance of stretch marks. Mango butter is at the top of the list, but other options include the following:
- Cocoa butter
- Vitamin E
- Bio c-elaste
- Shea butter
There are other special formulas on the market that can be effective, but make sure you read ingredient labels so you know what you’re putting on your body.
14. Great Choice for a Lip Balm
During the colder months of the year, it’s common for the skin around lips to grow dry, flaky, and cracked. In some cases, the lips will even split and bleed. This can be quite painful or uncomfortable.
A number of lip balms are effective in fixing the problem, but not many offer the same level of purity. And when you’re dealing with a minor open wound like split lips, it is a relief to have an option like mango butter in your pocket.
15. Helps Prevent Acne
Acne is so common that it’s considered a rite of passage, of sorts, for teenagers anticipating their first prom. We can all relate to wondering if that major blackhead will go away in the days leading up to it.
The hope is that if you can just get through high school, and it’ll all go away and pretty much take care of itself.
But what many high schoolers don’t realize is that acne is a problem that can follow you into adulthood, and in extreme cases, it can result in permanent facial scarring.
In fact, it is estimated that 80 percent of people ages 11-30 will experience acne at some point. The issue gets easier to deal with as you age because oil production slows.
The key to addressing acne in an effective manner is to find a solution that hydrates without clogging your pores since acne is caused by blockages that become inflamed.
Mango butter has that consistency where other specially-formulated acne medications fail. That’s because it absorbs better through the entire surface area.
16. Edible Qualities That Play Into Skin and Hair Care
While this last point isn’t as much about mango butter directly, it does produce a major impact that affects your health and beauty needs.
While mango, shea, and cocoa butter are not thought of as edibles, mango lends itself to consumption, at least in its pure form. As mentioned earlier, it is used in chocolates, and you can derive a number of benefits from taking it in that form.
At the same time, simply incorporating more of the mango fruit into your diet can assist in boosting the benefits that you can get from direct application of mango butter.
That’s because mangos are rich in the major vitamins, contain impressive fiber content, and feature helpful antioxidants like zeaxanthin, which is an especially effective vision enhancer.
Other issues mango can help to address include the following:
- Cancer: the antioxidant content of mangos make it effective for battling the effects of certain types of cancer. In mango butter form, it may be able to help prevent or address skin cancers.
- Cholesterol: elevated LDL counts can lead to clogged arteries, high blood pressure, and the development of heart disease. Heart disease is one of the top three major killers in the U.S., and it’s also a major issue internationally. Thanks to the high fiber content, mangos have been known to lower cholesterol. Consuming mango butter could have the same effect.
- Skin: we’ve spent a lot of time discussing how mango butter helps the skin, and it’s logical that eating said butter could produce a similar effect. Even if that’s not the case, you can still get a skin benefit out of the mango fruit. That’s because eating it improves circulation throughout the body, and good circulation is good for the skin. Also, the vitamins and minerals contained in each bite of mango help with collagen production.
- Diabetes: added sugars can lead to the development of diabetes, but “good” sugars (aka natural sugars) like what you find in mangos and their derivatives help satiate the body’s need for the fiber and vitamins needed to maintain healthier glucose levels without having to resort to medications.
- Sexual activity: again, it’s all about circulation, circulation, circulation. Healthy sexual activity — that is, length and quality, depend on healthy blood flow. There’s a real love connection between the heart and the sexual organs, so foods that promote quality heart health tend to have a positive effect on performance.
- Digestion: good fiber content leads to easier digestion, but with mangos, it also helps to control poor food choice urges. If you’re getting the fiber you need and not mucking it up with added sugars and excessive eating, then your digestive system will work better.
- Heat stroke: mango’s ability to hydrate and cool the skin as well as its stellar absorption qualities can prevent the development of heat stroke.
- Immune function: the antioxidant content found in mangos (and mango butter) may assist the functionality of the overall immune system, thus helping you fight off infections or prevent them altogether.
Possible Side Effects
While side effects with mango butter are extremely rare — after all, it’s derived from one of the healthiest fruits known to humankind — there may be some who experience adverse reactions. It’s a short list, but here are some of the more common reports:
- More rapid heartbeats
- Increased urination
You’ll notice that each of these tend to share something in common — they are associated with a certain degree of hyperactivity that can be brought on by overloading on sugar.
Mangos and mango butter are natural sources for sugar, so if you notice any of this happening, limit the use and monitor results.
Also, if you have any concerns beyond this, make sure you take them up with your doctor. Before signing off from this section, let’s just make one thing clear. Mango butter does not have any known risks for pregnant or nursing mothers.
Feel free to talk to your doctor to be sure, but if this is something you want to use before, during, or after your pregnancy, you should be good to go provided there are no harmful chemicals added to the specific formula you’ve chosen.
Also, keep in mind that not all products are created the same. Mango butter is one option. You also can get powders and oils derived from the mango tree. Read labels and understand what you’re about to put in or on your body before doing so.
Hopefully, this has helped you to feel more knowledgeable about the benefits of mango butter. Have you ever used it? What were the results that you experienced? Feel free to share your comments below.