Looking to the future of skin care often means unlocking ancient beauty secrets. Tropical rain forests, mysterious to most Americans, offer a rich bounty of treatments. Cupuacu (pronounced “koo-poo-ah-soo”) butter, one of these ancient beauty therapies, is making its mark on the natural skin care industry. Called “the pharmacy in a fruit” and a mainstay in Amazonian diets and skin care, cupuacu trees produce large brown fruits weighing two to four pounds. Expeller pressed from the seeds of the fruit, cupuacu butter, often compared to cocoa butter, possesses a soft, creamy consistency with a mild, sweet aroma. This sustainable fruit butter is used in skin care as a plant alternative to animal-derived lanolin and synthetic oils.
Cupuacu butter is a triglyceride of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, and two properties credited with cupuacu’s rise in skincare: sterols and essential fatty acids. Sterols, referred to as steroid alcohols, are antioxidants that are essentially vegetable fats. Essential fatty acids are necessary for structural components of cells. What do all these fabulous fats in cupuacu butter mean for your skin?
- It acts as a natural skin plumper because it penetrates skin quickly and retains moisture.
- Antioxidants protect from free radical damage and help to repair skin.
- It attracts up to 440%.
- The anti-inflammatory properties calm skin.
- Cupuacu restores elasticity to skin.
Interestingly, promising research* suggests cupuacu butter absorbs UVA and UVB rays, providing broad-spectrum protection. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not recognize cupuacu butter as an SPF; however, it is exciting to think one day this could be a natural sunscreen option.
Pictured Right: Cupuacu fruit and seeds