Natural Ingredients and Their Natural Characteristics
When natural ingredients aren't refined or are minimally processed, there is an unfamiliar essence about them. We have come so accustomed to the chemically laden cosmetic industry and their 'too close to perfect attempt' that we are sometimes unaware what the natural ingredients we love so much are actually like and 'natural' seems sub par to some.
Let's take a look at a few natural ingredients and what their natural characteristics are actually like.
Unrefined Shea Butter can have some characteristics that consumers may not be familiar with. Natural shea butter is beautifully golden with a temptingly nutty-scent. But when processed, it becomes almost a snow-white odorless paste. The smell and colour of natural and unrefined shea butter are strong and peculiar enough that they can dominate the final product. Natural shea butter has a characteristic aroma that can range from non-existent in refined butters to downright pungent in raw butters. Refined Shea Butter is extracted during a process which uses high levels of heat. Sometimes, the addition of chemicals such as hexane (which is a significant constituent of gasoline) also come into play. As a result, its natural aroma and color are lost from butter, as well as the loss of many of the bioactive nutrients (like Vitamins A & E) (it is known that up to 75% of bioactive nutrients are lost in refining). Refined shea butter is much cheaper to produce, as this is the only way to mass produce it. But it is worth remembering that since all good things are exhausted from refined shea butter, unrefined is the better option for skin and hair care products! Should the scent of unrefined shea butter be too much for your needs, consider accepting the 'nature of the beast' or using essential oils that agree with your skin or hair and/or mixing the shea butter with carrier oils to soften it's scent and compound all these natural ingredients benefits.
Coco Butter is a hard and brittle butter. Though it is very moisturizing when used (melting on the body or in a recipe) the actual bar/piece of coco butter is very hard and brittle. There generally are naturally little pieces of sediment that will appear on the surface of cocoa butter once melted. If that is something you do not want in the overall texture of your recipe, you’ll want to strain thoroughly prior to combining with your other ingredients.
So the BIG question! Does Mango Butter have that signature delishous scent of mangos? Unfortunately, contrary to what may be expected or desired, NO Mango Butter does not smell like mangos. Mango Butter is NOT made from the fruit itself, which is where the distinct fruity scent comes from; it is made from the kernel of the seed, and is virtually odorless. So while it would be amazing for mango butter to smell just like mangos, it's not possible by design. A slight disappointment for the mango lovers, but the skin and hair benefits greatly outweigh any lack of fruity mango scent! Also, if mango butter was made from the fruit itself, it would not be shelf stable and the fruit would decay quite quickly.