Mango Butter vs. Shea Butter - What's The Difference?

Mango Butter vs. Shea Butter - What's The Difference?

You may notice I use mango butter in a lot of my products. It's come to my attention that not many people are aware of this ingredient or its benefits. 

Mango butter comes from the dried seed of the mango fruit itself.

It’s pressed to extract the ‘fat’ and then processed; in doing so, the natural fat of the mango seed is extracted and used for many purposes, one of which is to make mango butter. 

Shea butter emanates from the Shea tree. Similarly to mango butter, shea butter comes from the shea tree’s seed. 

As both Shea and Mango are natural forms of butter, they are both very moisturizing. Natural butters such as these can be overly moisturizing actually, depending on your skin type, leaving the skin feeling greasy and smothered. 

So let’s look at it factually.

To understand greasiness means to look at the fat content of the butter. Therefore, weight for weight, mango butter contains less fat than shea butter, which in theory, means Shea butter would feel greasy (er) on your skin.

Much like the greasiness topic, mango butter tends to absorb quicker compared to shea butter. This is, again, because of the fat content. If you were to smear a fingertip of shea butter on your skin, it wouldn’t melt immediately. It might last a good few seconds. Mango butter, on the other hand, would sink in pretty quickly due to having less fat in it. This is preferable to some people and would suit those whose skin is perhaps oily or combination in behavior. 

Skin Benefits:

Shea butter is deeply moisturizing and leaves the skin feeling soft, smooth, and hydrated. It improves the elasticity of the skin and is great for dehydrated or aging types. It contains anti-inflammatory compounds which are helpful in healing the skin in cases of sunburn, skin damage, and pigmentation.

Mango butter is also moisturizing but is lighter in texture than shea butter and absorbs more readily. It, too, has anti-inflammatory properties and is believed to prevent pores from getting clogged up – helping the skin breathe better and feel revitalized when applied. 

Hair Benefits:

Shea butter, when used on the hair, offers deep moisturization, which is great for dull, dry, frizzy ends. It helps with manageability, meaning your hair should behave better and look healthier once applied. It’s also great for scalp health, adding much-needed moisture at the roots, which helps reduce the risk of dandruff.

Mango butter is helpful in helping the hair retain moisture while having a softening effect which lasts several days. It’s popular to use as a detangling agent and, in the same way, could be useful as a styling butter, helping tame frizzy ends and keep the hair where you want it!

Difference in Scent:

The scent of both shea and mango butter varies somewhat, depending on the quality of the butter, the manufacturing process, the age of the butter, and what it’s stored in. And, of course, versions of both can be purchased, which have added fragrances in too, making it even more confusing!

To put it simply, if you were to buy pure, organic versions of both, you’d find that the shea has a very distinct yet mild, nutty scent. Mango butter has little to no scent at all. Some describe what faint scent it has as almost sweet, but overall, it’s very faint.

Ultimately, there are some similarities between shea butter and mango butter, but really, neither is better than the other. It all depends on which you prefer, what you want to use it for, and the availability of it. I mostly use organic mango butter because I just prefer the less greasy feel and not as strong of a scent! 

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