Ingredient Love: Mango Butter

As a dry-skinned gal by nature, I love body butters.  Sometimes DIY is the way to go since I’m sensitive and picky about scent.  I usually work with shea, which I still love, but picked up some mango butter a while ago on a whim.  And that turned out to be a fabulous idea.

Don’t dismay if you aren’t into DIY.  You can use mango butter straight, and it’s pretty easy to find a jar online or in your local spot for healthy skin products.  The butter comes from the seed of the mango, and seems to vary in consistency, ranging from similar to shea to more like cocoa butter, depending on where I’ve bought it.  I found the batch I purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs was gritty, so I heated* it double-boiler style and smoothed it out with a hand blender before pouring it into glass jars to set.  Used alone, it has virtually no scent and melts right into the skin.  It mixes well with other butters and various oils.

So here’s what really blew me away about mango butter.  It does a better job of healing irritation than anything else I’ve used.  Everything from cuts and scrapes to irritation from hair removal to those random patches of dry, aggravated skin disappear in short order with its use.  I just smooth it on, feel soothed, and a bit later the inflammation is gone.  And get ready for this: those angry underarms from your natural deo will cave to mango butter.

Maybe it’s the high concentration of fatty acids or vitamins A, C and E.  But it feels like magic.  Mango butter doesn’t clog my pores the way cocoa butter does, and for those with nut allergies that may be sensitive to cocoa and shea butters it’s the perfect alternative.  I’ve got lots more in store for my mango butter when I have more time.  I’m thinking lip balms, and I’m going to perfect one of my deodorant recipes.  Best DIY mistake I ever made was blowing my measurements, running out of shea butter and having to make a batch with mango butter instead.

It seems like mango butter is appearing as an ingredient in clean cosmetics more and more.  What have you used with mango butter?

*DIYers note: don’t let your butters get too hot, just melt to the point where you can stir it easily.


First published on NMDL in October 2013.

17 Responses to “Ingredient Love: Mango Butter”
  1. Ally says:

    I’m fortunate to have Mountain Rose Herbs right here in town, which means that I purchase often from them. This spring I tried mango butter for the first time, deciding to pick it up along with my shea and cocoa butters. I really love that it’s aroma-free, it’s a lovely alternative! I’ve used it straight and DIY’d into body butters.

  2. Lindsay says:

    Awesome! I’ll have to sub mango for shea next time I make up a batch of deo (my recipe is similar to yours but I also include glycerin and aloe). What do you think of this post about angry pits?
    Could aloe have the same effect? I forgot deo on a trip once so I whipped together a makeshift batch with what I had and it solved the angry pits. At the time i thought it was due to extra coconut oil in the mix but I think I put in more aloe than I normally do as well. Perhaps that was what did the trick! I’ll have to experiment with that.

  3. minnow says:

    thanks for this post, rebecca! i too am very dry and prone to irritation so this is super helpful info. i’ve never tried mango butter on its own before but one of my all-time fave body oils is “balance” by hellomellow, and it contains mango butter. no other body oil seems to soak in as well or heal my chronically dry patches as thoroughly…must be the mango butter. lately i’ve been having a tough time with crazy dry lips (it’s santa ana winds season here in LA), so maybe i’ll DIY some mango butter balm!

  4. Rebecca Bailey says:

    @Lindsay, yes, that Crunchy Betty post is interesting. When I first read it, I had already come to the conclusion about pH and pits, and had stopped using soap (just non-soap cleanser or shampoo). I find that alone keeps me balanced and much less likely to have irritation. I can’t abide the ACV Betty recommends, but it’s a good solution for those who don’t mind it. I don’t think aloe can perform like ACV for pH, though I really don’t know for sure. I’m not surprised, though, that it’s soothing to add the aloe and glycerin. Love the DIY adventures!

    @minnow, been getting the wind up here in Oakland too, crazy allergy/dry season. The mango butter is especially nice on a nose irritated from all the kleenex!

    @Ally, so jealous about proximity to MRH! I need to order another batch of mango and play with a winter butter recipe. I did some fooling around with shea butter and meadowfoam oil that I like.

  5. therese says:

    Sounds like time to put together a MRH order. I am excited for a better solution to my dry skin. Yes those Santa Anas are brutal on our skin. Thanks for the review.

  6. Suzanne says:

    Hi Rebecca,
    I absolutely love Mango Butter. I tested cocoa, shea and mango for our Skin Savior Balm and mango was the best choice for that formula. Very healing and I did notice a difference/results so I made it one of the star ingredients in our balm. It does get grainy/gritty more easily than the other two butters but it will easily melt between your fingers or as you recommend, heat it up and pop it in the fridge and they go away easily. Thank you for profiling this wonderful ingredient that doesn’t get enough love!

  7. Steff says:

    @Rebecca: If you don’t already, you should sell your DIY products! :)
    I’ve seen mango butter before in many health shops I’ve gone to. I’ve always loved coconut oil but sometimes you just need that thicker, richer texture especially with the changing seasons.

  8. I’ve been curious about mango butter but have never tried it! Thank you! I just wish it smelled like mangos- I was starting to have a tropical fantasy :)

  9. Naomi says:

    Interesting! I’m not much for DIY but am taking more and more of an interest in trying out a few things.

    @Suzanne – funny, I have often said that I don’t know what it is that sets your Skin Saviour balm apart from all of the others I’ve tried and now I’m thinking it is your choice of the mango butter. Whatever it is, Skin Saviour simply sits at the top of my list for moisturising and soothing.

  10. Tosha says:

    I love Mountain Rose Herbs, everything that I have bought from them has been of great quality. I have been ordering from them since 2007. I haven’t used mango butter in awhile, I will have to try it on my little guy’s rashes. It would also be great in a homemade cleansing balm.

  11. D.E. says:

    I tried Mango Butter way back in the late 1990s with Carol’s Daughter line, so the virtues of Body Butter are definitely not new to me.
    I also love Avocado Butter and of course, old reliable Cocoa Butter, that my Mother used to slather on us kids in our childhood, is always great.

  12. Ruth says:

    I can’t wait to try mango seed butter. Btw, have you tried just not using any deodorant altogether? I haven’t used it in months and I actually sweat less now under my arms than when I wore antiperspirants.

  13. Amy says:

    I use mango butter all the time in my DIY beauty products!!! Works great and is perfect for my friends with nut allergies!

  14. Elizabeth says:

    I use mango butter in my homemade lip balms and body butter sticks and love it. I can also use it on my face (mixed with other oils) in the winter when I need something to help keep the moisture in. Sadly, shea butter does not do well on my face and causes me to break out. In a pinch, I’ve also just grabbed a generous pinch from my formulary cabinet and used it as a moisturizer after shaving, but I find the butter alone to be a bit crumbly and slow to absorb.

    One thing to be careful of: Mangoes are related to cashews, so those who are allergic to cashews should use caution when trying mango butter. I had to remove the homemade lip balm from my cashew-allergic sister’s holiday gift bag because I wouldn’t want her to react.

  15. Silvy says:

    Oo what perfect timing!
    I DIY’d a moisturizer for a co-worker’s wife for Christmas and have been using it on my face ever since! I may have to incorporate mango butter next time, though I’m so digging the effect of my whipped shea butter concoction. Finally my face feels hydrated this winter!

    Though, it’s not as whipped as I’d like. Maybe I added too much butter and not enough liquid oils? Any pointers on making whipped butters more smooth?

  16. Rebecca Bailey says:

    @Silvy, I think the most important thing with whipping is patience – which is why I’ve not mastered it! I think you are supposed to let it cool, whip, cool more, whip more, etc. I get around general graininess by cooling my mixes fast in the fridge or freezer (smaller containers helps too).

  17. Jessica says:

    When I reformulated Stark’s “gf” balm a couple of years ago, one thing that changed was the inclusion of mango seed butter. I. Love. That. Stuff. Grainy and slightly temperamental to work with, yes, but along with all the amazing skin benefits, is that it has this really unique feel and absorbency to it. It almost has a dry-oil feel to it which is one reason I actually don’t like it on it’s own, but rather love love love how it works with oilier butters and oils.

    Mangoes….just when you thought they couldn’t get any better, right?

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