It’s no secret that both shea and mango butter are beneficial for the skin and hair.

The use of shea butter for beautification purposes dates back to the time of Cleopatra, who used it to protect her skin from sun damage. And mango fruit has extensive use in ancient medicinal and skin care practices. 

Now, you may be wondering about which one to pick, and that’s why we are here with our guide to mango butter vs. shea butter. So, let’s dive in!

What Is Mango Butter Made Of?

Pure mango butter is extracted by processing and refining the seed kernels of tropical mango trees. It’s essentially white in color and has a soft solid-like appearance with a thick texture. In fact, solid mango butter (kept at room temperature) looks very similar to its shea counterpart and melts almost immediately upon coming in contact with the skin. 

Talking about its composition, mango butter has more fatty acids than other similar butter like shea and cocoa butter. These include stearic and oleic acids, which have soothing properties. 

It also has vitamins A, C, E (1), as well as several antioxidants. These, in turn, contribute to its nourishing and moisturizing properties, making it a beneficial ingredient for hair and skin care. 

What Are The Benefits Of Mango Butter?

The regular application of mango butter on the skin can help you with:

  • Soothing and moisturizing dry skin
  • Protecting the skin against the harmful UV rays
  • Treating skin conditions like eczema, dermatitis, or rashes
  • Treating frostbites, insect bites, and sunburns
  • Detoxifying the skin to remove the buildup of pollutants and impurities
  • Reducing the appearance of wrinkles and acne scars
  • Achieving a smooth shave (when used as a shaving cream)

Likewise, the benefits of using mango butter for hair include:

  • Restoring moisture of the scalp and promoting the generation of skin cells
  • Boosting healthy hair growth
  • Shielding the hair and scalp from UV radiation

What Is Shea Butter Made Of?

If you’re into skincare and makeup, you’d know that shea butter is one of the most common and popular ingredients used for manufacturing such products. Extracted from the nuts of the shea tree, it can be used as a topical and edible substance. Not only that, but shea butter is also used in the production of decor items like candles.

The constituent compounds of shea butter include vitamins A, E, and F. While vitamin A and E infuse it with antioxidant properties for repairing the skin, vitamin F renders vital fatty acids that help keep the skin soft and rejuvenated for prolonged periods. Moreover, the cinnamic acid makes it an effective anti-inflammatory.

One thing to note here is that unrefined shea butter has a nutty smell, which may not be as pleasing as the sweet fragrance of mango butter. However, the good news is that the former doesn’t last for long once the butter is applied to the skin.

What Are The Benefits Of Shea Butter?

The most sought-after benefits of shea butter for the skin are:

  • Skin moisturization (especially for chafed skin)
  • Soothing irritated skin resulting from psoriasis or eczema
  • Minimizing acne scars
  • Boosting natural collagen production to reduce stretch marks, wrinkles, and fine lines
  • Protecting skin cells from UV radiation, environmental, and free radical damages

For the hair, shea butter can:

  • Revitalize the strands by repairing damage and stiffness
  • Soothe dry or irritated scalp by protecting its natural oils
  • Repair split-ends, prevent breakages, and act as a natural moisturizer
  • Prevent sun damage while keeping harmful pollutants and free radicals at bay
  • Prevent chlorine and saltwater-related damages

Mango Butter Vs. Shea Butter For The Skin

Although both shea butter and mango butter have very similar properties, there are some subtle differences between how these two work for treating different skin conditions. So, we will now walk you through the details of how they can help deal with two common skin issues, viz., acne and eczema.

Using Mango Butter For Acne

One of the biggest advantages that makes mango butter suitable for acne-prone skin is its non-comedogenic nature. This means that its application on the skin, even on a regular basis, won’t clog pores or aggravate existing breakouts.

Furthermore, the combination of linoleic acid, oleic acids (2) as well as vitamin compounds make it extremely effective for healing damaged skin, reducing scars, and soothing inflammation. And the best part is that mango butter has a lighter feel compared to shea butter, meaning it won’t make your skin feel greasy or heavy.

That said, the stiff texture of raw mango butter makes it slightly difficult to work with, so you may have to put in more effort to ensure that it’s properly absorbed into the skin.

Using Shea Butter For Acne

Shea butter can act as an intense moisturizer for acne-prone skin, as it also keeps the pores from clogging. It has fast-absorbing properties that leave your skin feeling soft and fresh. Moreover, its anti-inflammatory properties treat acne and the resulting inflammation or redness in a short span.

Much like mango butter, shea butter can help reduce the intensity of acne marks and dark spots, in addition to promoting the regeneration of skin cells. However, it may be a little too heavy for some people, especially when applied in large amounts or too frequently.

Using Mango Butter For Eczema 

The hydrating and moisturizing properties of mango butter make it a fit for treating the dryness, inflammation, and redness associated with eczema. Additionally, the trio of vitamin A, C, and E aids the cell regeneration process to eliminate skin rashes, dry patches, and scars.

Using Shea Butter For Eczema

Shea butter absorbs into the skin quickly, thereby forming a protective barrier that prevents water loss to retain optimum moisture. Not only that, but it also has effective anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties that will promote healthy skin.

Mango Butter Vs. Shea Butter For The Hair

Both mango butter and shea butter products can do wonders for your hair, primarily because they’re made of similar compounds.

For example, the presence of essential fatty acids like palmitic acid (3), linoleic acid, stearic acid (4), etc., help them keep the hair strands protected from environmental damages. Similarly, they can be used interchangeably to moisturize the scalp and soften the strands for smoother-looking hair.

Mango butter, in particular, can strengthen the hair follicles and infuse adequate moisture into the hair strands for controlling frizz. On the other hand, shea butter has excellent moisturizing properties that can help treat dry and itchy scalp to promote better hair growth.

What Are Some Other Factors To Consider?

Aside from the source of extraction and benefits, there are a few other factors that you should consider before choosing between the two. And we will discuss them in the following sections. 

1. Longevity

As you may have already figured out, both mango and shea butter have similar benefits. So, if you want to substitute one for the other and are concerned about storage, then let us tell you that mango butter has a long shelf life, longer than shea butter. You can even store it for up to a year without worrying about getting it spoiled. 

2. Texture

Although mango butter is comparatively less greasy, it’s harder to break down or apply on its own. That’s why we’d suggest using it with your favorite carrier or essential oils, as this will make the texture smoother and also help distribute the fat for an even application.

However, shea butter can be used with or without such oils, as it’s naturally soft and can be easily broken down with a spoon or fork.

3. Melting Point

If you live in colder regions, then mango butter may be a better option for you as it has a lower melting point. Hence, a mango body butter (that’s infused with carrier oils) will be easier to apply than shea or other such kinds of butter, which tend to solidify in low temperatures.

DIY Body Butter

Before we move on and tell you about our verdict, here are two easy DIY butters that you can prepare at home with mango and shea butter. 

1. Mango Butter Messaging Cream

This multi-purpose mango butter messaging cream can be used to nourish mature skin, boost its natural healing ability, and reduce dark spots.

Ingredients List

  • Any essential oil – 35 to 40 drops
  • Mango butter- 1 cup
  • Fractionated coconut oil- 1 teaspoon

Preparation Method

Use a hand or electric mixer to whip and soften the mango butter, and add the coconut oil. Then add the essential oil of your choice and mix everything thoroughly. Transfer the mixture to a clean container and let it sit for some time. Apply it a few times a day to the affected areas.

You can even tweak this mango butter recipe to transform it into the base for DIY lip balms. Simply replace the coconut oil with vitamin E or sweet almond oil to lighten and moisturize dry lips.

2. Shea Body Butter

Want a shea body butter that nourishes the skin, eliminates dark spots, and relieves pain at the same time? Then this shea butter recipe will definitely fit the bill.

Ingredients List

  • Essential oils- 40 to 45 drops
  • Organic shea butter- 2 ounces
  • Beeswax- 1 ounce
  • Green clay- ⅕ teaspoon

Preparation Method

Heat the organic shea butter and beeswax together to soften them. Remove them from the heat once they melt completely and add the green clay after a couple of minutes. Once this mixture has cooled down a bit, add the essential oils. Remember that mixing essential oils with hot shea butter can render the former useless.

Set this butter aside in a clean container and let it cool completely before applying it to the required areas a few times daily. The beeswax will help relieve pain, while the shea butter will keep your skin moisturized and minimize the signs of aging. 

Can You Make Shea And Mango Butter At Home?

You can make whipped shea butter at home by softening raw shea butter and adding your favorite carrier and essential oils, which makes it easy to apply. You may even consume the raw butter to treat conditions like constipation and aid the digestion of minerals. Aside from that, it can be added to desserts for achieving a creamier and smooth texture.

Similarly, you can add essential oils or any other butter (like cocoa butter) to make DIY body butters, hair conditioners, or lip balms. But one thing to note here is that you should be careful enough not to burn the butter while softening it.

Can They Cause Side Effects?

You may develop certain side effects like allergies, inflammation, and rashes upon the application of mango or shea butter. Hence, we’d strongly recommend conducting a patch test in the underarm area.

Apply some raw butter (or the mango and shea-butter-based product) under your arms and let it stay for 48 hours. If you don’t develop any allergies, then it’s safe to use. However, people with skin conditions should consult a medical professional beforehand.

Likewise, pregnant women should seek medical help before using them, as the fragrance may cause nausea or other related problems. 


So, should you use mango butter or shea butter for your hair and skin?

If you ask us, we’d say that this decision depends on your personal preference. Both mango and shea butter contain rich fatty acids and antioxidants that can deal with various skin conditions, especially the ones resulting from aging. 

Furthermore, they can boost the natural collagen production of the skin to prevent stretch marks and the loss of flexibility. Similarly, their regular application can tackle damaged hair, dry scalp, and hair loss.

But here’s a pro tip that may ease the confusion: opt for mango butter if you’re allergic to nuts and choose shea butter if you’re allergic to mango. 

We will see you next time. Till then, take care!






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