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Dry Skin? Have You Tried Cupuaçu Butter?

Dry skin concept

Like many of you out there, I struggle with dry skin too. Even though I don’t mind trying out new skincare products, the endless list of the ingredients I often find in them can be somewhat offputting. You see, I like to keep it simple when it comes to skincare. So I set out to find a natural remedy that will keep my skin hydrated, nourished, and restore its radiance. And voilà, I came across cupuaçu butter!

Cupuacu’s sublime balance of fatty acids, an abundance of vitamin E, sterols, various micronutrients and plant-based alternative to lanolin makes cupuaçu butter an exceptional emollient with a quick absorption rate. This smooth, creamy butter is hydrating, soothing, and firming – well suited for dry, ageing or tanned skin. 

Here is what I found about cupuaçu’s unique structure and how it can help you, too, in your quest for smoother, plumper skin.    

What Is Cupuaçu?

Cupuaçu, also known as Theobroma grandiflorum, is a tropical tree related to cacao and native to the Amazon rainforest. Indigenous to South America, the tree prefers hot, moist and lowland tropics and offers multiple uses. 

  • Rich in Vitamin C, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron, the fruit pulp is an essential nutrient source in the indigenous population’s diet. The local people turn the fruit pulp into tasty ice cream, juices, snack bars, jellies and other culinary treats. Dried cupuaçu tastes great in milkshakes.
  • Cupuaçu butter that comes from seeds makes a great alternative to cocoa butter
  • Rich in fatty acid, cupuaçu butter is used in the cosmetics industry to produces soaps, shampoos, hair masks, body lotions, body creams and lip balms. 
  • Traditionally, indigenous people use the cupuaçu fruit to improve the bowel’s function and seeds to relieve abdominal pain.
  • Cupuaçu butter is suitable for cooking. 

Did you know, “Cupuaçu butter can absorb 200% more water than Lanolin?”

Cupuaçu Butter Composition   

QUICK FACTS

INCI: Theobroma Grandiflorum Seed Butter
Common names: Cupuaçu, Cupuassu, Copoasu, Cupu Assu
Common extraction method: Cold-pressed from the seeds of Theobroma Grandiflorum.
Appearance: Light cream coloured butter with bead-like texture. Once melted and re-solidified, it looks pretty much like cream coloured butter.
Fragrance: Fruity, slight cocoa aroma.
Absorption rate: The cupuaçu butter is a light butter with a fast absorption rate.
The melting point: A well-balanced ratio of fatty acids is a reason for a low melting point of 32°C-36°C.
Recommended usage: You can use up to 100%.
Substitute: Another soft butter, such as mango or shea butter.
Suppliers: Rainforest Chica. Her ingredients are sourced sustainably from local communities and of fantastic quality.
Storage: Store in a cool, dark, dry container, away from the sunlight. The oil should last for up to 24 months.

If you are looking for well-balanced butter, cupuaçu thicks all the boxes. Abundant in vitamin E, phytosterols, and fatty acids, it may help protect the skin’s barrier, hydrate, restore its elasticity and fight inflammation. Its hydrating, soothing, and firming properties make it an excellent moisturiser, suited especially for dry, ageing or sunburned skin.

Here are some of the notable compounds found in the butter:

Fatty acids:

Oleic acid (C18:1), Omega 9, is an unsaturated fatty acid with an anti-inflammatory effect and prevents moisture loss. Although the research shows that applying oleic acid topically on its own can disrupt the skin’s barrier, combining oleic acid with other ingredients shows to be safe.

Stearic acid (C18:0) is a saturated fatty acid used in many cosmetics and skincare products. Although it mainly supports the scent and texture of the products, it also enhances the skin’s moisture content.       

Palmitic acid (C16:0) is a saturated fatty acid that helps the skin restore its natural barrier structure. It acts as a barrier, keeping out external threats. It is a best friend to dry skin and hair.    

  • Micronutrient compounds in the butter:
    • Tocopherols, vitamin E components, are known for their antioxidant actions and are used in many skincare products to protect skin from the effects of free radicals. They are found in abundance in cupuaçu butter.
    • Phytosterols are compounds found in fruit, veg, nuts and oils. They have shown strong UV protection and anti-inflammatory actions. Phytosterols are also the skin’s natural moisturisers and protect it from dryness and dehydration. And can also add texture and gloss to cosmetics.

Plant-based, cupuaçu butter is a natural alternative to lanolin (traditionally secreted from sheep’s skin). This sensitiser causes allergies and side effects, whereas cupuaçu butter hydrates and softens skin without the risk of allergic reactions. 

Skin Benefits

There is no feeling like the soft, supple feeling that comes with skin that has been treated to a natural moisturiser. The benefits are endless, but sometimes regular moisturiser doesn’t cut it. Especially when the skin is in urgent need of TLC, this is where cupuaçu butter comes in. It is a fantastic emollient that offers many skin benefits. Here are just a few.

  • Restore the skin’s elasticity. It can support up to 440% of its water weight. The butter helps keep the skin well-hydrated and smooth with desired plump appearance, making it highly suitable for dry, tanned, chipped or ageing skin. 
  • It is known for absorbing damaging UVA/UVB radiation, responsible for accelerated skin ageing. Excessive sun exposure degrades collagen, resulting in the skin losing suppleness and elastic structure.
  • It is curative, with an antibacterial effect. It improves the skins’ moisture barrier and offers the right hydration for improved elasticity. 
  • It is anti-inflammatory. Cupuaçu butter is rich in antioxidants (beta-sitosterol, particularly) – highly beneficial in treating dermatitis and stimulating the healing process. It has shown to be helpful in the treatment of eczema and psoriasis.
  • It is very light. Cupuaçu butter soaks quickly into the skin, keeping it moisturised for up to eight hours after application without leaving an oily residue. 

How To Use It

Cold-pressed, soft creamy cupuaçu butter is an excellent moisturiser that can help restore the skin’s moisture barrier. Deeply hydrating, it works particularly well for dry, rough and ageing skin. You can use it on its own, but it also makes an excellent addition to body butter, salves and balms. 

Here are a few tips on how to use it. 

Apply it after a shower while your skin is still damp.

Taking a hot shower before bed offers many benefits. It helps open up the skin pores and remove impurities from the skin accumulated throughout the day, such as excess sebum, sweat, and dirt. Applying cupuaçu butter to the skin right after a hot shower will lock in moisture, present TEWL, keeping the skin soft and supple. 

To use, scoop out a small piece of the butter and rub it between your palms and massage it into the skin. The butter will melt on the touch with the skin, absorbing effortlessly.   

Pamper your feet

Our feet are locked up in shoes and socks throughout the day, working tremendously hard. Lack of moisture and care allows dead skin to build up, leaving us often with dry, cracked skin. Applying cupuaçu butter to your feet can help lock in moisture, relieve dryness, and soothe chapped skin. Rub a small amount of the butter before bed, put on your socks and let the magic happen. 

Works great for dry patches

Our elbows and knees are sometimes forgotten, so they often end up with dry patches. You can use cupuaçu butter to pamper them as well. Apply a little throughout the day to soothe the skin and rebuild your skin’s natural moisture barrier. 

Summary

Unadulterated cupuaçu butter has a natural base, making it an excellent dry-skin remedy. Compared to over-the-counter products, it is rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fatty acids and bio-active compounds. Its unique fatty-acid composition plays a vital role in protecting the skin’s barrier, repairing a damaged cell, restoring skin’s moisture and elasticity. Overall, it is the go-to butter for dry skin.

F&Q

What is cupuaçu butter used for?    

High in omega fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and antibacterial action makes this butter an upcoming ingredient. In the cosmetic industry, cupuaçu butter found its way to hand and body lotions, soaps, lip balms, conditioners, moisturising masks, and creams, among others. 

What is the cupuaçu butter comedogenic rating?

On a comedogenic scale from 0 to 5, cupuaçu butter scores 4. Cupuaçu butter is highly comedogenic and very likely to clog pores. 

References:

  1. Fruit trees and useful plants in Amazonian life
  2. Advanced Skin Care – A Novel Ingredient
  3. Chemical characterization of Amazonian non-polar vegetal extracts (buriti, tucumã, Brazil nut, cupuaçu, and cocoa) by infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and gas chromatography (GC-FID)

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