Cupuacu Butter Skin Benefits

The skincare industry is worth more than ever today, with products and brands continuously coming out, promising to give us the perfect complexion. Unfortunately, many of these products are expensive and don’t always do what they promise.

Because of this I always try to research “natural” alternatives to expensive skin care products. Today, I am going to give an overview of cupuacu butter, and how it can positively impact both the skin and hair.

Also known as Cupuassu, this fruit is one of South America’s finest skincare secrets. Indigenous people of the Amazon have used it for centuries to protect their skin against premature sun damage. Cupuacu’s natural butter is derived from the seeds of this fruit, where they are pressed and refined to create an oil that can be used as butter, lotions, creams, and more. The pulp of Cupuacu can also be removed and is often pressed in Brazil for juices, jelly, and desserts.  Finding natural beauty products that are inexpensive and require fewer resources can be overwhelming with all the options out there.

One of the first things that come to mind when talking about cupuacu’s amazing skincare benefits is its deep moisturization properties. This powerful butter is considered an emollient, which means it has low melting points and absorbs especially quickly into the skin. It can also hold up to 4x its own molecular weight in water due to its high amount of phenolic compounds and proanthocyanidins. These are beneficial in restoring hydration as well as decreasing oxidative stress. Filled with omegas, nutrients, and antioxidants, cupuacu butter is a perfect dose of hydration for dried-out skin and brittle hair.

While many people relate this butter to shea or coconut, it is much lighter and more absorbent on the skin. In fact, cupuacu butter actually holds more than 2x the hydration as Shea, with many consumers finding their face feeling moisturized for up to 8 hours. Cupuacu butter is sure to have your skin feeling soft and smooth rather than leaving behind any leftover residue. 

Will Cupuacu Butter Break Me Out? 

It is important to be mindful that too much of this butter could potentially clog pores and lead to breakouts. This butter has a comedogenic rating of about 4, which isn’t too high but still can clog pores. It may be best for those struggling with acne to look for a moisturizer that includes a small amount of cupuacu but is still labeled non-comedogenic (meaning it won’t clog pores). 

While those who struggle with acne may be hesitant to try out this butter. Ensuring your skin gets deep moisturization without clogging the pores is the most important and easy way to prevent breakouts. Cupuacu is high in phytosterols such as Beta-Sitosterol. This is a highly potent anti-inflammatory agent and is great for fighting acne. With cupuacu’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it may not hurt to give a small amount of Cupuacu a try! 

Cupuacu Butter is Great For Sunburn

As mentioned above, the indigenous women of the Amazon rainforest have been using this oil butter to protect against harsh UV rays, which can cause fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots. Cupuacu is high in vitamin E, great for protecting the skin against UV rays and targeting collagen production. It is also high in Vitamin B, which helps build elastic skin and fight dark spots. The butter is smooth and deeply moisturizing, which feels amazing on raw, burnt skin. 

This powerful dose of antioxidants and Vitamin E can play a role in preventing skin cancer, which has now become one of the most common cancers with over 5 million diagnoses just in the US per year. Studies found in mice research that after a 15-week treatment of a High dose vitamin E & C, tumor growth from damaged skin cells from UVB rays decreased by 34%. While I’m not saying Vitamin E cures cancer, this is a good study to support some of the benefits antioxidants have on our skin health.   

Heal Chapped Lips With Cupuacu Butter 

While this butter can be great for fighting sun-damaged skin in the summer, it also makes a great hydrator for dry and chapped lips. As winter rolls in, nothing is worse than raw, burning lips. Cupuacu butter immediately provides a hydrating barrier and calming sensation to chapped lips, kicking in quickly to seal moisture. 

Prevent Aging Skin With Moisturizing Cupuacu 

Cupuacus’ high levels of essential fatty acids and potent plant compounds fight everyday environmental pollutants, sun damage, clogged pores from cosmetics, and free radicals. These contribute to a quicker aging process on the skin causing fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and crow’s feet. Utilize this south American fruit to keep the most youthful glow and prevent skin from getting dried out prematurely. 

Cupuacu Oil For Softer Hair 

One surprising benefit of this versatile butter is the ability to protect brittle and stripped hair. Both Vitamin B1 and B2 can be found in cupuacu butter. These are powerful for providing direct nutrients to the hair follicles and can also be found in various leafy greens, certain meats, and fruits with citrus. On top of these, vitamins A and C also play a role in regulating scalp sebum to keep your hair in balance. Too much oil can often dry out our hair, while too dry of hair can cause us to produce excess oil. 

Protect Your Dyed Hair

One surprising benefit of this versatile butter is the ability to protect brittle and stripped hair. While dying your hair can be a fun way to change up your look, it can also strip the hair follicles of essential nutrients and antioxidants. This leads to brittle and often frizzy hair. Research found that using a hair formula with up to 10% of cupuacu butter can reduce protein loss by up to 35%. This will keep hair shiny, smooth and your color will last longer! 

What Makes Cupuacu Butter So Powerful? 

Cupuacu butter is a long-chain fatty acid primarily made up of omegas that form triglycerides. These omega fatty acids are powerful compounds essential for physical health, mental wellness, and glowing skin. Omegas can be found in various foods, including salmon, avocado, and Brussel sprouts. On top of being filled with a host of these, cupuacu also contains tons of vitamins, essential minerals, and antioxidants. Continue below to see the breakdown of the potent properties of this butter. 

Filled With Polyphenols

Cupuacu butter is full of small plant compounds known as polyphenols. These can be found in many plants, especially spices and foods like dark chocolate and red wine. They can act as antioxidants and help fight free radicals in the skin. These are unstable atoms that can cause general inflammation of the cells and increase stress. 

Oleic Acid 

Oleic acid, also known as omega 9, is the most abundant fatty acid oil found in cupuacu butter, making up 30-43% of its content. Omega 9 has powerful antibacterial properties and is often used as a cleansing agent in the skincare industry. Too much of this acid or using it straight onto the skin can dry out it. However, this isn’t usually a problem with cupuacu butter due to its balance of moisturizing properties. This fatty acid also works to help preserve other ingredients found, such as antioxidants, which are slightly less durable as a compound. 

Stearic Acid 

This powerful acid gives cupuacu its strong emollient properties to help absorb moisture into the skin barrier, making up almost 35% of this butter. It works by thickening the product and a surfactant to improve texture. While some may compare this to salicylic or hyaluronic acid, it is much different. Consider stearic acid, a long saturated fatty chain that works as an extremely moisturizing fat.  

Arachidic Acid 

Found naturally in dense oils such as cupuacu, peanut, cocoa, and corn oil. This powerful acid plays a vital role in conditioning and cleansing the skin. Consider this the ultimate champion to reduce the flakiness of the skin. Arachidic acid makes up about 11% of Cupuacu butter. 

Palmitic Acid 

Palmitic acid, more commonly known as omega 7, is another unsaturated fat giving cupuacu its healing properties by restoring dry skin and promoting circulation. Omega 7 is considered a lipokine and plays various essential roles in the body, such as transferring information about fat to muscle and liver tissues. Find about 7% of this in cupuacu butter.     

Originally Published: January 31, 2022

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sam wood is GoodGlow's Chief Editor
Analyzed by Sam Wood
Hi I’m Sam Wood. I’m the chief editor, lead acne expert, and health coach behind GoodGlow. I’m also an author of one of the top selling acne books on Amazon, a husband, father of two, and a pretty good cook!

I’m so glad you found GoodGlow and hope the information I have spent the last 10 years cultivating will help you clear your skin and improve your overall health.

I began experiencing acne breakotus as a sophomore in high school, but unlike most of my friends, my acne actually got worse as I got into my 20s. I exercised regularly, ate healthy (or so I thought) and spent hundreds of dollars a month on high end skincare products and supplements to help clear my skin. Despite these measures my acne breakouts and scarring only got worse as the years wore on.

This greatly wore on my self confidence and mental health. Simple things like taking pictures or going out with a large group made me feel self conscious. So I avoided these situations whenever I could help it.

As a last ditch effort I decided to try an extremely restrictive diet recommended by a close friend with an autoimmune disease. After following this diet for about two months my skin started to clear for the first time in over 8 years. The good news is that this restrictive diet is not actually necessary for 99% of people to permanently clear their skin, and over the course of a few months I was able to add back about 90% of my “normal diet”.

After clearing my skin I spent the next 4 years self experimenting on myself with different diets, supplements, skincare products to try and find a pattern for what was triggering my acne breakouts. I even tried different meditation, ice baths, and accupuncture to try and isolate the root cause of the breakouts.

In the end I realized that an extremely restrictive diet was not necessary for clear skin. The most important thing to do is to avoid inflammatory foods in your diet. Some common examples of this are fried foods, alcohol, sugar, and dairy.

Most impoirtantly I stopped reading trendy websites for skincare advice and began reading medical journals authored by dermatologists and nutritionists. Although the information in the articles was great the information was not easily understandable to most readers (including me). I spent hours dissecting individual posts and looking up terms I did not understand. Over the next 6 months I gradually began to understand these journals and started self experiemting some of the research on myself.

After experiencing quite a bit of success personally, I started sharing my research on forums and with close friends struggling with acne. When I shared the research it was in easy to understand, plain English. Everyone I talked to loved what I had to say and kept asking more and more questions. So I decided to start a blog so I could just send someone a link when they asked a question instead of rewriting something I had sent 100 times before 😅

While the same directional principles apply to everyone, acne is very personal and should be treated on an individual basis. That’s ultimately why I created GoodGlow. To help everyone reverse engineer the root cause of their acne and clear their skin permanently.

To date I’ve helped over 2,500 people clear their skin using a natural, holistic approach. If you are unable to find an answer to your question in any of the articles my team has written please reach out and I will do my best to guide you to the proper information and resources so you can make a thoughtful, informed decision. Read more of Sam's articles.

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