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In this post, I will talk about Cupuacu butter, its benefits for skin and how to work with it when making DIY skincare.
Cupuacu butter (INCI: Theoroma grandiflorum) is derived from the seed of the Cupuacu tree, a fruit tree of the chocolate family (related to cacao), which is native to the northern Amazon. It is generally extracted via a cold-press method to preserve its buttery-soft texture and nourishing profile that is rich in antioxidants, plant polyphenols and essential fatty acids.
Cupuacu Butter – Fatty acid composition
- Oleic acid – 40.0%
- Stearic acid – 34%
- Arachidic acid – 11.0%
- Palmitic acid – 9.0%
- Linolenic acid – 3.0%
- Behenic acid – 2.0%
- Other fatty acids – 1%
Color: pale yellow, yellow or beige.
Shelf Life & Storage: This butter should be stored in a cool dark place. Shelf life of unrefined butter – 1 year, refined – 2 years
Texture: Hard at room temperature but softer than Cocoa. Thick and creamy consistency.
Aroma: Sweet aroma that is similar to that of Cocoa butter. I would describe it as nutty chocolate. Some of the descriptions of the scent that I’ve seen other people mention:
“chocolate and pineapple”
“chocolate and soured milk”
“smells like whiskey & chocolate”
In general, if you like the smell of Cocoa butter you will most likely find this smell pleasing.
This product is vegan. Great alternative to Lanolin.
Recommended Usage: 1-100%
Skin types: all skin types, especially dry skin.
Melting point : approx. 33°C / 91°F
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Cupuacu butter skin benefits
Unmatched water retention capabilities
Cupuacu butter is considered a “super-moisturizer” due to its hydrophilic (water-loving) properties. Studies have found that Cupuacu butter can support 450% of its weight in water, which means that 1 pound of Cupuaçu butter could absorb 4.4 pounds of water! This is almost twice as much as lanolin (250%), the ingredient I always though is a winner in this category.
One study I read also found that Cupuacu butter keeps skin moisturized for up to eight hours after application. This makes Cupuacu butter a very effective skin hydrator and plumper. It helps skin to become soft and elastic again. Many use it to treat dry skin, eczema, psoriasis and similar.
The Cupuacu butter is so good at moisturizing our skin that this research paper even compared it to an active ingredient as defined by FDA:
“Cupuasu is a butter that performs like many of the active ingredients as defined by the FDA, delivering true healing, and restructuring benefits, to the skin as it improves the skins’ moisture barrier and offers true hydration for improved elasticity and anti-inflammatory activity.”
Cupuacu is one of the best and most moisturizing body butters you can buy. If you have very dry skin, Cupuacu butter is what you need.
Another great Cupuacu butter skin benefit is that it is easily absorbed by the skin and does not leave skin feeling greasy. Instead, it feels silky and satin-like.
Cupuacu has a perfect balance of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. This gives the butter a low melting point (33°C/91°F) and allows it to be easily absorbed by skin on contact.
Cupuacu butter contains powerful anti-oxidants and phytosterols that have an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin. They help stimulate skin healing processes. Cupuacu is often used to improve inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Due to its fatty acid profile, Cupuacu butter has been shown to protect skin’s surface against water loss and helps improve skin’s protective barrier.
Where to buy Cupuacu butter
You can purchase Organic unrefined Cupuacu butter here.
Formulating with Cupuacu butter
Just like Cocoa butter, Cupuacu has a very high stearic acid content (34%), so it will add nice thickness to your homemade beauty products. If you need to use stearic acid to thicken up your product, you can use Cupuacu butter instead. This will increase label appeal since people prefer to see natural butters rather than something that has the word “acid” in it.
If your formula calls for 2% stearic acid, replace it with 6% Cupuacu butter. Just like stearic acid, it helps to stabilize emulsions. Plus, you will get all the Cupuacu butter skin benefits.
Cupuacu butter is much lighter than Shea butter. It immediately melts in contact with skin and absorbs very quickly. It is a great butter to use in products where fast absorption is necessary, for example hand creams.
Cupuacu butter needs to be melted before you can incorporate it into your products. Just like Cocoa butter it is too hard to just be whipped cold.
However, its benefit is that it is less likely to crystallize than Shea butter, which makes it much easier to work with.
Unrefined Cupuacu butter has a sweet chocolaty smell that is difficult to hide with essential oils and fragrance. There are two options here:
– embrace the scent. Use essential oils/fragrance that complement nutty-chocolaty aroma, such as coffee, chocolate, vanilla, coconut, roses.
– use refined butter instead. The refined kind has no smell and a longer expiration date.
Cupuacu butter is the best alternative to lanolin, which is derived from animals wool. It is vegan and has a capacity to attract and hold more moisture than lanolin. It is also a great option for those who have allergy or are sensitive to lanolin.
Cupuacu butter recipes
more coming soon …