What are The Potential Health Benefits of Mango Oil?

Mango is the fruit of Mangifera indica, a tree that’s native to Southeast Asia. The plant grows in tropical climates in regions such as Thailand, India, China, and Florida.

Mango is one of the most popular fruits in the world. It has a sweet, yellow flesh, and a large pit in the center. The pit is also called the kernel, seed, or stone.

Mango oil is the fat that comes from this pit. The oil can be extracted using high pressure, which physically presses the fat out of the seed. It can also be removed by solvent extraction, a method that uses various compounds to separate the oil.

Since the oil is solid at room temperature, it’s sometimes called mango butter. It’s also known as:

  • mango kernel oil
  • mango seed oil
  • mango kernel fat
  • mango seed extract

To date, most of the research on mango has been on its flesh. But there’s some evidence that mango oil can benefit the skin and fight oxidative stress.

If you’re interested in using mango seed oil, read on. We’ll explain its potential benefits and how it’s commonly used.

Mango oil benefits

There’s limited research on the potential benefits of mango oil. However, here’s what the science has found so far:

Mango oil for skin and face

Mango oil contains mangiferin, a plant compound with antioxidant benefits. In a 2017 study, mangiferin was found to inactivate collagenase and elastase, two enzymes involved in skin aging.

Collagenase breaks down collagen, a protein that gives your skin structure. Elastase degrades elastin, a protein that’s responsible for skin elasticity.

According to the same 2017 study, the antioxidant properties of mangiferin may inhibit free radicals caused by sun exposure. This can also benefit skin aging, as free radicals destroy collagen and elastin.

A 2016 review shares that mango oil also may have benefits for:

  • dry skin
  • itchiness
  • irritation
  • cracking
  • rashes

According to the review, these potential benefits are due to the high content of fats, antioxidants, and minerals in mango oil.

Mango oil for mosquitos

A 2013 study found that mango oil can repel mosquitos.

However, the study involved only one species of mosquito. More research is needed to determine whether it can work against other types of mosquitos.

Mango oil for oxidative stress

Mango seed is rich in antioxidants, which may have benefits for fighting conditions related to oxidative stress.

A 2014 lab study looked into this effect. In the experiment, mango seed extract destroyed breast cancer cells in a tray of small test tubes. The researchers linked this effect to the antioxidants in mango extract.

It’s important to note that this study was done in a lab, not on people. Additional research in humans is necessary.

Potential side effects

Mango oil is generally considered safe. Yet, like all natural substances, it can cause unwanted side effects:

Allergic reactions

You should avoid mango oil if you’re allergic to mango. An allergic reaction may cause symptoms such as:

  • skin irritation
  • hives
  • swelling of eyes, lips, tongue, or face
  • wheezing
  • difficulty breathing
  • sneezing

In severe cases, an allergic reaction can lead to anaphylaxis. This is an emergency and requires immediate medical help.

If you’ve never eaten mango or used mango oil, do a patch test before using the oil. Apply a small amount to the inside of your elbow or wrist, then wait 24 hours. Stop using mango oil if the area becomes irritated.

Mango has similar proteins to other plants and fruits. If you’re allergic to the following, you might also be allergic to mango or its oil:

  • birch trees
  • pear
  • apple
  • peach
  • poison ivy
  • poison oak
  • poison sumac
  • cashews
Drug interactions

According to a 2014 review, the drug warfarin may negatively interact with mango. However, it’s currently unknown whether mango oil has a similar effect. Researchers also haven’t studied how mango oil may interact with other drugs.

To be safe, talk with a doctor before using mango if you’re taking oral or topical medications.

How to use mango oil

There are several ways to use mango oil. You can:

Apply it on your skin

The most popular way to use mango oil is to apply it on your skin. It can be used by itself or mixed with other beneficial ingredients for the skin.

Mango oil is used in skin care products such as:

  • body butter
  • face oil
  • massage oil
  • face wash
  • soap
Apply it on your hair

The research on mango oil and hair care is lacking. Still, many people use it in their hair care routine. According to users, mango oil can effectively hydrate and smooth hair.

You can apply the oil directly to your hair. Alternatively, you can use hair products that contain the ingredient, like a:

  • shampoo
  • conditioner
  • hair mask
  • hair oil
Take it orally

Mango seed extract is available in capsules, which you can take directly by mouth.

Keep in mind that supplements are unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They may contain ingredients not listed on the label, or ingredients in doses that are too high to use safely. Always buy from a reputable retailer to ensure safety and quality.

Where to get mango oil

Here’s where you can buy mango oil or products containing it:

  • health food stores
  • apothecaries
  • herbal supply shops
  • beauty supply stores

The takeaway

Mango oil, which is extracted from the pit of a mango, may be beneficial for the skin. It’s high in fats and antioxidants, which might help dryness, irritation, and signs of aging. The oil may also repel mosquitos and fight oxidative stress, but more research is necessary.

If you’re allergic to mango, avoid using mango oil. Use caution if you’re allergic to birch trees, poison ivy, and apples, which have similar proteins to mango. Your allergist can help you determine if you’re allergic to mango.

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