Shea, mango and cocoa butter are all natural vegetable fats and are considered excellent natural skin care products. All three have been used for hundreds of years as natural health care elements. While each is unique, all three contain vitamins and antioxidants that may be worth adding to your skin care regimen.
Shea butter comes from the mangifolia, or karite nut tree which is indigenous to West and Central Africa. Rich in fatty acids, shea butter protects the skin and locks in moisture. It has a buttery texture which easily soaks into the skin. Shea butter is rich in vitamin E and also contains vitamins A, D and F. It's not only used as a moisturizer but to also treat burns, insect bites, diaper rash, eczema and psoriasis. However, shea butter is not recommended for people with severe nut allergies.
Mango butter is extracted from the shelled fruit kernel of the mango tree, which is a tropical evergreen. This butter is highly emollient, softening and soothing to the skin. It has protective effects against UV radiation and also helps treat skin rash, eczema, insect bites, and poison ivy. Mango butter can help protect and heal skin from the damage caused by sunburn and frostbite as well. While mango butter is excellent for skin, it is often mixed with other ingredients because it is much harder in texture than shea butter.
Cocoa butter is extracted from the cacao bean. This moisturizer is one of the most highly concentrated and stable fats available and has been used for thousands of years in lotions, soaps, skin care items and of course, chocolate. The benefits of cocoa butter for preventing stretch marks during pregnancy are well-known. Also, cocoa butter contains cocoa mass polyphenol or CMP. CMP has positive effects on cholesterol, blood pressure, cancer cells, heart disease, arthritis, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. The use of cocoa butter boosts the immune system and promotes a feeling of well-being.
Importance of Natural Skin Care
Natural skin care is important because many skin products today contain chemicals and preservatives that do not have any real health benefit. Also, the skin absorbs everything that is contained in these products. Any chemical additives in your moisturizer are absorbed into your body, like phthalates, which are toxic plasticizers generally used to add shine and body to many health care products.
Body Butters as Ingredients
The grocery store may not be the best place to find natural body butters, but it doesn't hurt to look. Pay attention to the ingredient list on the label. A natural product touting itself as cocoa butter should have very few ingredients, and cocoa butter should be in the top two. Ingredients are always listed in order of greatest amount to least amount. A product which claims to be mango butter but lists mango as the fifteenth ingredient is not what you want. You might even consider making your own shea, mango and cocoa body butters.