Mango butter, sometimes called mango seed butter, is similar in consistency to shea butter, except mango butter moisturizes without greasiness.

Mango Butter in Soap

Mango butter is derived from the seed, also called the stone or drupe, of the Mango tree. Mango trees are native to Southern Asia, specifically Burma and eastern India. These perennial and flowering evergreen trees are often used as a shade tree in the tropics. They thrive in climates with frost free, cool, and dry winters, as well as steamy hot summers, which includes parts of California, where the plants were introduced in the year 1880.

mango butter for soap

Do not confuse recipes for cooked mango butter with the mango butter that we purchase as an ingredient in cosmetics and soap. In-the-kitchen mango butter recipes use the fruit of the mango to make a fruit-based spread (called butter), similar to apple butter.

Mango butter is extremely difficult to make by hand, so we aren’t going to describe that here. The production process involves a cold-press extraction method that uses hydraulic pressure. The butter can also be extracted through solvents. The cold-press method involves washing and then sun-drying the stones to reduce the moisture content. The seeds are then roasted. The hull is removed mechanically, or, much more laboriously by beating the stones with wooden clubs.

Fresh mango butter has a sweet smell to it. It is often refined to remove the odor.

You might find the making of mango butter to be out of your reach, but what you can do with a mango seed is grow a beautiful plant. Slit the hull of a fresh mango pit. Remove the seed inside and plant it in a large pot filled with starter soil. Leave about ¼ of the seed exposed above the soil. Keep the soil moist, and keep the plant in an environment that does not dip below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Your plant will eventually grow fruit, but keep in mind, a seed-started mango plant may take up to 3-8 years to become a tree and bear fruit.

Mango Butter Fatty Acid Profile and Soap Qualities

So, what does mango butter do for soap? Let’s find out by looking at the fatty acid profile and soap qualities:

  • Lauric Acid (hardness, cleansing, bubbly lather) 0%
  • Myristic Acid (hardness, cleansing, bubbly lather) 0%
  • Linoleic Acid (conditioning, moisturizing, lather silkiness) 3-7%
  • Oleic Acid (conditioning, moisturizing, lather silkiness) 38-50%
  • Palmitic Acid (hardness, stable creamy lather) 11-17%
  • Ricinoleic Acid (conditioning, moisturizing, stable creamy lather) 0%
  • Stearic Acid (hardness, stable lather) 30-45%
  • Iodine Value (hardness, conditioning) 40-55 (on a scale of 0-100, with more hardness at 0)

Notice, mango butter helps with the hardness of the soap, and it adds luxurious conditioning and moisturizing values as well.

Finally, to assist with calculating your soap recipes, the SAP value of mango butter is:

  • .135 NaOH (Sodium Hydroxide)
  • .188 KOH (Potassium Hydroxide)

Mango Butter in Soap Formulation

I personally use mango butter in recipes at 5-15%.

Substitutions for Mango Butter in Soap

When we take a look at the fatty acid profile chart, you can sort it by stearic acid or oleic acid to find substitutes. You can substitute mango butter with another butter such as shea, cocoa or even kokum.

Soap Recipes Using Mango Butter

Not a soap recipe, but check out Bath Fizzies with Holly Port!