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Mango butter is the fatty acid cold-pressed from mango seeds. Its properties and even chemical structure are similar to cocoa and shea butter, and it is used for many of the same purposes. The natural form of mango butter is semi-solid and non-greasy, and it is used as a moisturizer for hair and skin as well as an ingredient in cooking.
Raw mango butter is rich in oleic acid, a mono-unsaturated omega-9 acid, and stearic acid, a saturated fatty acid. Its natural ingredients act as emollients to add moisture to and soothe dry skin and hair. Emollients play an important role in adding moisture to skin and improving its elasticity and ability to heal itself. Mango butter is a common product in many commercial soaps, lotions, and even cosmetics. It may also be included in shampoos, conditioners, and hot-oil treatments for hair.
Another common use for mango butter is as a replacement for cooking oils, butter or margarine in a person’s diet. This oil or butter has omega-9 fatty acids, which are important to a healthy diet. The mango is native to southern Asia, and the butter or flour made from mango seeds is consumed on a regular basis.
Mango butter may also help fight the common effects of injury to the skin and aging. Stretch marks, fine lines, and rough skin have all been reportedly alleviated by regular use of mango butter. Scars may also be reduced with regular use. Another common topical use is as a healing aid for minor cuts, rashes, and sunburn in place of other healing ointments. As a salve, mango butter can be warmed slightly and then slathered onto a wound; it then should be covered with a bandage or other sterile covering.
Usually, using this body butter as a moisturizer on a daily basis is considered safe. In its raw state, however, mango butter is fairly hard and, therefore, difficult to apply or spread. Once it is warmed, it liquefies and may be easier to use, but to make a constantly-usable product, it is typically mixed with something else like coconut oil or shea butter. This process can be done with a hand mixer at home. Pre-made mango butter creams and products can usually be purchased at drug or beauty supply stores.