Mango butter, which is extracted from the de-shelled fruit kernel of the mango tree, may not be as well known as shea butter or cocoa butter but it is also a great emollient for skin and hair.
This powerful moisturising ingredient is rich in oleic acid and stearic acid. These fatty acids act as emollients that soften and soothe the skin and hair. The higher fatty acid content in mango butter also makes it a more intensive moisturiser than shea butter and cocoa butter, making it suitable for those with dry skin.
High in antioxidants and Vitamins A, C and E, mango butter heals wounds and regenerates skin. It offers protective effects against UV radiation and helps with rashes, insect bites, eczema and skin irritations. Mango butter also helps heal and protect the skin from damage caused by sunburn and frostbite.
Mango butter is an effective moisturiser for dry skin, helping to restore the skin’s protective barrier and replace moisture loss. Due to it’s high antioxidant content, mango butter is also anti-aging. Triterpenes present in mango butter help heal and prevent skin aging, reduces the look of lines and wrinkles and helps keep your skin healthy.
Like shea butter, mango butter can also be used as a hair whip to protect the hair and scalp from sun damage and to reduce breakage, dryness and frizz.
Mango butter provides the hair with minerals and vitamins to help keep it strong and healthy, helping it to lock in moisture, impart shine and make hair soft. The vitamins in mango butter can help with hair growth and the regenerative properties of this butter can help repair your hair.
Mango butter, which has a slight sweet scent, is often mixed with oils to make it easier to apply to skin and hair. Although not as readily available as shea butter or cocoa butter, when purchasing mango butter look for unrefined mango butter.
Refined mango butter will lack some of the vitamin content and natural properties of mango butter in its rawest state. When a butter is refined, it has been passed through a filtering system and treated with chemical solvents to alter the vitamin content and natural properties, as well as its colour, texture, and aroma.
Like shea butter, mango butter is quite hard at room temperature. Try mixing unrefined mango butter with a light carrier oil such as almond oil and mixing a few drops of essential oil such as lavender.
Mango butter is available from health food stores and Amazon
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. Follow Rosa on Twitter.