Mango Butter - The Perfect In-Betweenie

Mangoes account for just about half of all tropical fruits produced worldwide. The fruit is rich in vitamin C and a fave in numerous dishes, but it is inside this delicious treat that we find the source of what we're focusing on today. Mango butter is made from the seed kernel inside the flat pit of the fruit.

I've been working with mango (INCI: Mangifera indica) butter in various formulas since last Fall. Texture-wise, it's much softer than cocoa butter, and somewhat firmer than shea. The scent is mild, delicate, and unobtrusive – perfect for mixing with other ingredients. In short, mango butter is the perfect in-betweenie.

Quality Stuff For Skin

Mango butter has a light texture that is great to work with, but this mellow-yellow ingredient also has a generous amount to offer in the way of epidermal nourishment. The butter contains a generous portion of phytoesterols that work to help encourage the skins microcirculation as well as barrier function. The natural content of oleyl alcohol makes it a great emollient. Mango butter also boasts a natural content of a squalane and polyphenols such as catechin, epicatechin, propyl benzoat – antioxidants and free radical scavengers that all help stimulate collagen synthesis. Built-in antioxidant qualities help the skin restore its lipid composition (read: helps the skin rehydrate). Finally, it's also anti-inflammatory. Mango butter doesn't even stop there – it also loves hair.

Hair Happiness

Mango butter is rich in stearic acid, making it an ideal partner for damaged, coarse, coily or frizzy hair. Applied neat, mango butter will add shine, moisturize, and help prevent split ends. Compare mango (below on the left) with shea butter (on the right) and it's clear that the texture of mango butter is a bit more 'crumbly', but it has properties to offer that may outdistance shea in the way of hair nourishment. It also has a price tag to match, as it is a bit pricier than shea.


Although it is almost as temperature sensitive as shea, mango butter has proven to be a tad easier to work with than I expected. So far I've used it several products that are under development: a new cream, a lotion, a cleansing bar, a body frappé, and as part of a base mixture for a conditioner. I'm not really having any luck finding any downsides. I predict mango butter will be one of my staples from now on.

Upcoming LisaLise Products With Mango Butter

Melt-in Mango Frappé – a brand new whipped body butter – is undergoing testing as we speak. Like the original body frappé, this one has gotten thumbs up from my testers and may soon surface in a giveaway. Stay tuned!


Stephanie said…
Sounds like a great addition to my butter collection! Can't wait to see all you do with it :)
LisaLise said…
Thanks Stephanie, I'm pretty excited about everything I've been working on. I love it when things come together and just function, and several if these new products have down just that,. I promise to update! :)
Jossie said…
We have a lot of mangoes in Nigeria. Please how can we harness this wonderful product that is now only waste. In other words, how can I make mango butter from the seed kernel?
LisaLise said…
Hi Jossie - That is a great question! I have never done this myself, but found this link when I googled it. I have no idea if this will work, but it's a place to start.

Here's the link:

And here's what the answer said:

1. Collect the seeds of fully ripe mango or fully grown raw mango during the mango season. The seeds of ripe mangoes are best.

2. Keep the seed in a shady, warm area to dry. It takes about a week for the seed to completely dry. The seeds will be hollow when you tap it and when you shake the seed you can hear the kernels shaking inside. In that stage, store it in containers. This can be stored for a year.

3. When needed, break open the hard shell and take out the kernels.

4. It is these kernels which have medicinal properties.


Rub the kernels with 1/4 tsp. of water in a "chandana kal" ( the stone which we use to make sandal paste). Add water in drops and rub till you get a spoon of paste. This paste is called "the butter" and has immense medicinal properties.

Good luck!