Working With Mango Butter

Formulating With Mango Butter

Mango butter is a beautiful soft cosmetic butter that has a non greasy, satiny skin feel and quick absorption rate. It is similar in texture to shea butter, but without the greasiness that shea butter imparts.

Mango butter can soothe, moisturise and protect skin and hair, and because of its fast absorption rate and matte feel, it's the perfect butter for summer! 

So without further ado,let’s dive in to how you can work with it:



No, unfortunately mango butter does not smell like the mango fruit, sorry! It has a neutral scent.



Mango butter is a butter/fat and is therefore oil soluble. 

If you want to combine it with water or water based ingredients and actives, you will require an emulsifier to mix them together, as oils and water don’t mix without some help.

Usage Rate

Mango butter can be used just on its own, so up to 100% usage rate, but most of the time you will be mixing it in with other ingredients to make balms, butters and moisturisers.

The usage rates of butters in these products varies wildly, anywhere from 3% to 50%. It is dependent on the formula and other ingredients.

Mango Butter Plays Well With

Mango butter is a ‘solid oil’ so it works well with all other kinds of oils and butters. Try making butter blends with mango butter and a few other kinds of butters.

Mango butter pairs well with  Vitamin E oil and  lecithin.

And when combined with an  emulsifier, you can make beautiful creams with it.

How To Work With Mango Butter

Like any butter, in most cases you will need to melt the mango butter down to work with it. Heat it until liquified, then mix in other oils if desired, allow to cool, and then whip it for a smooth and fluffy appearance. Or you can add mango butter to the heated oil phase in formulations, along with the emulsifier, oils, butters and fatty acids/thickeners.

Tip: If you’re finding your products containing shea butter are a bit greasy, try replacing the shea butter with mango butter instead. It should reduce the greasiness.

What Kind Of Products Use Mango Butter

Body butters, balms, lip balms, moisturisers and hair products: mango butter is great in everything where a butter is applicable.

It is particularly good in products where you want all the moisturising benefits of a butter but not too much greasiness - this makes it our first choice when it comes to body butters!



Formulations With Mango Butter

Mango butter has a lovely soft texture, and along with its velvety dry skin feel, it actually makes a fabulously easy body butter and lip balm just on its own. Scoop mango butter out the bucket and spread into tins, and you have the easiest body product ever!

But it’s pretty fun combining more than one ingredient, so let’s try some different formulas.


Mango Lip Butter

Matte feel, but very moisturising.

0.5%  lecithin

5%  beeswax

94.5%  mango butter

Weigh out all the ingredients into a beaker and melt through. Give it a stir to combine everything then pour into a little lipbalm tim or container and allow to set.

Idea: add some  mica for shimmer if you like! Stir it in while the mixture hasn't fully set yet.


Salicylic Acid Balm

Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid, and is great for unclogging pores, clearing out acne, and treating chicken skin (keratosis pilaris). 2% salicylic acid is the highest you should go, so do not increase the amount. 

2%  salicylic acid

0.5%  lecithin

97.5% mango butter

Weigh out and add all the ingredients to a beaker and heat to melt together. You will need to heat to around 80 degrees and then stir constantly while it cools down to ensure the salicylic acid dissolves fully.

Decant into a tin or jar and apply topically or all over. As this is a leave on product, it will have time to work on your skin. I like to apply at night and then wash and moisturise my skin in the morning.

Always do a patch test first and do not use if you are sensitive to salicylic acid.

Whipped Mango All Over Butter

This whipped butter is great for the entire body. You can also use it as a smoothing hair butter, and it is ideal for dry and frizzy hair as the butters will help to soften, smooth and moisturise the hair strands.

Mango butter is perfectly stable on its own but since we want to add some liquid oils, which will make it more runny and prone to melting in the hot summers, we also need to include a hardener and stabiliser to balance it out. Stearic acid does an excellent job at this.

57%  mango butter

33%  oil of choice: choose oils for different purposes such as tamanu for problem skin and blemishes, rosehip for deep nourishment, argan and hemisqualane if using as a hair butter

7%  stearic acid or you can try ceto stearic acid

3%  arrowroot powder

Optional: essential oils for fragrance or you can even add in a hint of  mica for some soft shimmer.

Weigh the butters and stearic acid together in a beaker, and heat until fully melted. Then add in the oil and the arrowroot powder, stir well to combine, and pop in the fridge for a bit until it solidifies. Take it out the fridge and whip until smooth and fluffy with a stick blender or electric beater (the beater beats in more air so will yield a fluffier texture while the stick blender will yield a finer, smoother whipped texture). 

Infused Butters (Gift idea alert!)

Try making your own cosmetic botanical butter by infusing a botanical of your choice into the butter. You may know about botanical infusions into oils (if not, read here), so why not make a botanical infused butter? It’s a divine gift idea!


Lavender butter: infuse dried lavender blossoms into the mango butter

Rosemary butter: rosemary is excellent for hair, and if you’re into hair butters, then what better combination!

Chamomile - soothing and calming on inflamed and irritated skin.

Any other botanical you like!

How To Make A Botanical Butter

I find a 10% or 1:10 ratio of botanicals to butter is ideal.

Equipment wise, if you have a slow cooker or something that you can maintain on a low heat for a while, that is ideal. You can make up a bain marie as well, but you will need to keep an eye on the water levels to make sure it doesn’t run out. Otherwise you will need to melt the butter and remelt it at intervals when it cools, so as to keep the infusing process going.

To make your infusion, weigh out the butter and botanicals into a beaker or glass/metal bowl. Gently heat until the butter is melted, then maintain this gentle heat to infuse the botanical into the butter. I like to add some Vitamin E oil to the melted butter and mix it in to protect it.

Time wise, you can do anywhere from 30 minutes to a few days if you like (just watch your electricity bill!). The longer you leave it to infuse, the stronger the scent and properties will be.

When you are satisfied with the infusion process, remove from the heat and pour the melted butter mixture through some gauze or a filter, to filter out all the particles. This will leave just your pure infused butter behind. Allow it to cool and set then enjoy! If you want you can whip it up so make it fluffy, or leave it as balm.

Tip: don't throw out the botanicals that you filtered out, they still have their properties, so add them to your bath water or a foot soak and enjoy!



About the author:

Juliette van der Meer

BSc, BScH, PGCE, Adv Dip Cosmetic Science

Cosmetic scientist