No doubt you’ve used cocoa butter or shea butter at some point, maybe for stretch marks or to relieve super dry skin. They’re both staples in the skin care world.
But there's a new butter that's making a name for itself in the natural skin care world, and we didn't want you to miss out on these benefits.
If you’ve had mango pieces on your salad, a mango smoothie, mango in your stir-fry, or just mango just by itself, you already know how refreshing and luscious it is. But have you tried mango butter, made from the seed of the fruit?
What is Mango Butter?
As with most natural fruits, the seed has just as many benefits as the flesh. The mango seed can be formed into a powder, oil, or butter, depending on how it’s processed. Typically, the butter is cold-pressed from the seeds, and is said to be similar to cocoa and shea butters, in that it’s moisturizing without being greasy.
The mango itself comes from a tropical fruit tree (the Mangifera) native to South Asia, though the trees are cultivated in a number of locations now for their fruits, including India, China, Brazil, and Mexico. They grow up to be 130 feet tall with evergreen leaves and small white flowers. The fruit ripens in the summertime, and is usually a variety of yellow-orange color with a single flat pit that houses a single seed.
Beyond being an amazing skin care ingredient, mango butter is sometimes used in cooking, as an alternative to regular butter, and in baking recipes.
Health Benefits of Eating Mangoes
Like most fruits, mangoes have a number of health benefits. They’re rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, and are also good sources of fiber.
Their real gift lies in their antioxidants. They contain zeaxanthin, which helps protect the eyes from macular degeneration, and beta-carotene, which helps reduce the risk of a number of health conditions, including asthma.
Research on mango has also found that it may have potential in preventing heart disease and diabetes. A 2009 study, for instance, found that overweight and/or obese participants who took 150 mg of mango seed extract twice a day before meals experienced significant improvements in body weight, body fat, waist circumference, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, blood sugar, and inflammation. An earlier 2005 study found similar results, with participants taking a mango seed extract decreasing their body weight and cholesterol levels.
A more recent 2014 study found that making mangoes a part of your regular diet could help you lower blood sugar levels. Participants consumed 10 mg freeze-dried mango (about the same as half a fresh mango) for twelve weeks. After the study period was over, participants had reduced their blood sugar levels significantly.
Researchers believe that some of these effects may be due to a unique bioactive compound in mangoes, called “mangiferin.” This natural plant polyphenol has strong antioxidant, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and many other activities. According to a 2013 study, mangiferin may also have anti-allergic, memory-improving, and radioprotective properties (against various forms of radiation, including gamma, x-ray, and UV).
Mango Seed Butter Skin Benefits
In skin care, we flock to mango butter for its moisturizing essential fatty acids. It’s rich in oleic acid, a mono-unsaturated omega-9 acid; and stearic acid, a saturated fatty acid. These are ingredients that the skin readily recognizes, takes up, and uses to help add moisture to the skin and tightens and firms.
Here are some of the other ways mango benefits skin:
- Plumps the skin: Because it’s rich in vitamin C, mango butter can help encourage a more plump and tighter look. It also promotes a firmer appearance on skin.
- Natural source of vitamin A: Vitamin A is one of the natural ingredients that encourages a revitalized, glowing look. Since mango butter is a natural source of vitamin A, it helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and increasing skin’s overall youthful look.
- Treats dry skin: Dry patches, flakiness, and even sensitive skin can benefit from daily application of mango butter, which goes to work deeply moisturizing. Oh, and don’t forget your lips—mango butter works great as a lip balm.
- Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles: Mango butter provides a more lasting type of moisturization, which can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles down the line.
- Protects from environmental stressors: This is a great perk with mango butter—when you apply it to your skin you carry around an extra bit of protection. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wear sun protection, though!
- Soothes: Mango butter helps soothe skin.
- Calms insect bites and poison ivy: If you got bitten or were exposed to poison ivy on your last outing, reach for your mango butter. Its properties can help calm the itching and stinging so your skin can relax.
All this, yet mango butter is gentle on skin, and perfectly suitable for sensitive skin. We suggest you give it a try—and don’t forget that your eyes will love it in our anti-aging eye cream!
Do you use mango butter for your skin? Please share your story with our readers.
Lipids in Health and Disease – IGOB131, a Novel Seed Extract of the West African Plant Irvingia Gabonensis, Significantly Reduces Body Weight and Improves Metabolic Parameters in Overweight Humans in a Randomized Double-blind Placebo Controlled Investigation
Lipids in Health and Disease – The Effect of Irvingia Gabonensis Seeds on Body Weight and Blood Lipids of Obese Subjects in Cameroon
EurekAlert! – New study: Emerging Research Indicates Mangos May Lower Blood Sugar in Obese Adults