Conditioning and softening
Cupuaçu butter is a soft and nourishing emollient, which easily absorbs water. It stabilises emulsions, protects and moisturises skin and hair. Thanks to all these properties and its low metling point, it is often use as a vegan alternative to animal derived lanolin.
The cupuaçu (pronounced coo-poo-assoo) is a tropical tree native to Amazon rainforest. It is related to the cacao tree and similar in some ways to cocoa butter, therefore it is sometimes used to make white chocolate. The trees can grow to heights of 20 metres, producing large and heavy oval fruits. These contain sweet and sour edible pulp and rows of nutritious seeds. Cupuaçu butter is obtained by cold-pressing these seeds.
The cupuaçu fruits used to make the butter in Lush products are wild harvested. Once ripened, they drop to the ground and are collected by local co-operatives from the banks of the Amazon River.
The butter is consists of various beneficial fatty acids, including Oleic acid ( also called omega 9), which possesses interesting skin-conditioning properties. Also the combination of palmitic and stearic acids, both present in cupuaçu butter is a naturally occurring plant alternative to synthesised commercially available stearic acid, which is a waxy emulsifier in cosmetics.
The plant polyphenols in cupuacu butter act as antioxidants, which help destroy the atoms, or groups of atoms commonly referred to as free radicals that occur as a result of normal human metabolism and exposure to sunlight, pollution and cigarette smoke. Free radicals are highly reactive and can start a damaging chain reaction in our cells, the results of which have been linked with ageing and various cancers.