Mango butter vs Shea butter

Mango butter vs Shea butter: Which of these Butters is best for your skin and hair?

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In this post, I will share everything you need to know when comparing Mango butter vs Shea butter, how to decide on which butter to use, and as a bonus, how best to use each butter.

I have used both kinds of butter a lot in my DIY skin and hair products therefore I will be sharing my first-hand experience. 

If you are stuck between choosing between mango butter and shea butter, I wrote this post specifically for you.

Let’s dig in

What are natural butters?

Natural butters are extracted from seeds, trees, roots and plants. They are solid fat oils (some of them are semi-solid in warm temperatures).

 Due to their thick nature, most kinds of butter are mixed with oils to make them easy to spread on the skin or hair. The best part about using natural butter for me is that they don’t contain water and, for that reason, are very easy to preserve without adding preservatives.

Natural butters are also very versatile. I honestly can’t think of any situation where they can’t be used externally. You can use natural butter’s on your body, face, lips and hair.  Fun fact! Shea butter is eaten in the southern part of Nigeria. Yes! We eat our Yams with fresh shea butter, and it tastes delicious.

Despite their solid nature, natural butters melt easily in contact with body heat. Unlike many cosmetic products, natural butters relieve dryness and roughness, increasing the skin’s natural ability to retain moisture and remain healthy.

Natural butters

Can natural butters really transform your skin and hair?

Although butter comes in many varieties, these are the main ingredients in most varieties and how they can transform your skin and hair:

Get a youthful glow due to essential fatty acids in natural butters

If you have dry skin or hair and find that even after applying a lotion, your skin or hair gets dry a few hours later, then start using natural butters.

Since natural butters are great at keeping the skin moisturized, they can reduce signs of premature ageing, reduce water loss to keep the skin and hair hydrated for longer, and improve the texture and softness of the skin and hair.

That means no more ashy knees and elbows. It’s time to get your glow on!

Natural butters can nourish and thicken your hair

The biggest cause of brittle hair is split ends and split ends happen because the ends of your hair, which is the oldest part, is weak and lacks moisture.

If you want thicker hair, then you have to keep your ends moisturized to reduce breakage. Adding natural butter to the ends of your hair will nourish your ends and protect it from dryness.

Natural butters also improve your scalp health and prevent inflammation, which can lead to hair loss and further thin out your hair. See how to make Chebe Mango butter to grow long healthy hair

Firm up your skin with natural butters

When you add natural butters to your skincare routine, you can address multiple concerns such as acne, wrinkles, and pigmentation.  Skin-loving butters like Shea and Mango butter are excellent for plumping and smoothing the skin, thanks to their high antioxidants value.

The antioxidants in natural butters also contribute to stronger hair when used in your hair care products. There is some talk about natural butters increasing hair growth rate, but there are no clinical trial yet to confirm this claim. All in all, even if natural butters can’t directly increase hair growth rate, they help you get longer hair by reducing breakage. Read more about butters.

What is Mango butter, and how is it made?

Mango butter is derived from mango seeds by expelling the oils present in the seeds. Mango butter is an off white colour and melts into the skin immediately.

It is light-weight, non-comedogenic and non-greasy. It absorbs easily into the skin and hair without leaving residue.

Fresh Mango butter

What is Shea butter, and how is it made?

Shea butter is extracted from the seed of the shea tree. Shea butter is edible but make sure it is pure shea butter and not cosmetic grade shea butter. If you are not sure of the grade of shea butter, don’t consume it.

Shea butter can be off white or yellowish in colour. Unrefined shea butter would have a yellowish colour and have a nutty smell. 

Unrefined Shea butter
Unrefined Shea butter

Difference between Mango butter and Shea butter

Comparison between Mango butter and Shea butter


Mango butter has a white colour while unrefined shea butter has a yellow color


Mango butter is almost odourless, Shea butter has a strong nutty smell


Mango butter is firmer than Shea butter. That is, shea butter will melt faster than Mango butter.

Absorption into skin

Mango butter seems to absorb faster into the skin than shea butter. 

Absorption into hair

Mango butter absorbs completely into the hair while Shea butter can cause product buildup

PropertyMango butterShea butter
Mango butter is almost odourless.Shea butter has a strong nutty smell.
TextureMango butter is firmer than Shea butter.Shea butter will melt faster than Mango butter.
Absorption into skinMango butter seems to absorb faster.Shea butter might absorb slower.
Absorption into hair
Mango butter absorbs completely into the hairShea butter can leave product buildup.

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How to use Mango butter

I use Mango butter in my hair products a lot. I find that using Mango butter means my hair will stay hydrated and moisturized for days. If moisture and curl definition is something you are interested in, here’s a simple Mango hair butter recipe. Feel free to tweak to your needs

  • Scoop 20g Mango butter into a bowl and melt
  • Add 30g Avocado oil to the butter
  • Add 50g of natural hair gel. See how to make yours in 5 minutes here
  • Add 5 drops peppermint or rosemary essential oil(Stimulates hair growth)
  • Place in the fridge for 10 – 15 minutes
  • Whip till the butter is fluffy
  • Store this butter in the fridge for no more than 5 days and throw it out if it starts to smell or look funky

Apply this butter on damp hair only

Whipped Mango butter

How to use Shea butter

Similar to mango butter, you can use shea butter on your skin and hair. Shea butter can be a bit difficult to wash out of the hair so I personally use shea butter on my skin and not hair.

Here’s a simple whipped shea butter recipe for smooth skin. As always you can tweak this recipe to suit the needs of your skin and hair.

  • Scoop 70g shea butter into a bowl
  • Place in a bowl with hot water  to melt
  • Add 30g sweet almond oil or jojoba oil ( More oil means the body butter is runnier)
  • Add 5 drops essential oils(optional)
  • Place in the fridge to solidify for 10 – 15 minutes
  • Whip butter to desired consistency

Apply this butter on damp skin

Other Natural butters available

If you still can’t choose based on the comparison of Mango butter vs Shea butter, you can explore other natural butters.

  1. Cocoa butter: This butter is yellow in colour and more solid than Mango butter and Shea butter. Cocoa butter takes more effort to melt and has a mild smell of chocolates.
  2. Kokum butter: Similar to Mango butter, it has an off white colour. It is extracted from the kokum tree. Kokum butter is also edible and absorbs easily into the skin.
  3. Illipe butter: This butter is not as common as the others mentioned. However, Illipe butter is a common alternative to Cocoa butter since it has similar properties.

Key takeaways.

There are some differences between Mango butter vs Shea butter. If you don’t like the nutty smell of shea butter, you can always use Mango butter. Both butters are moisturizing for both the skin and hair. If you are still unsure which butter to get, try buying them in small quantities and testing them out.

Which is your favourite, Mango butter or Shea butter? Let me know in the comment section below.

Till next time, stay clean inside and radiant outside.

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