Cupuaçu, a cosmetic treasure from Amazonia

Botanical focus: Cupuaçu

Amazonia has more than one story to tell us, and more than one treasure to offer us. Discover Cupuaçu, the emblematic plant of Brazil with unknown cosmetic and botanical properties. Today cultivated by Brazilian farmers with new agricultural practices more respectful of the environment, the organic Cupuaçu of Amazonia is a beauty secret to discover absolutely!

A giant with star-shaped flowers...

An endemic specie of northeastern Brazil, Cupuaçu - Theobroma grandiflorum - the tree that produces the eponymous fruit, requires a warm and humid climate. Amazonia, with an average annual temperature of at least 22°C and a humidity level always above 75%, is ideal for it. On the other hand, it can flourish and produce abundantly on a soil that is not very rich in mineral elements as long as it is well drained.

A fast-growing specie, Cupuaçu can grow to almost three metres in height only three years after the small plant is put in the ground. When it reaches maturity, it is a 20-meter tall giant that unfolds a canopy 6 to 8 meters in diameter, with large dark green leaves.

From June to December, when the rains are less abundant, the trunk and branches of Cupuaçu are covered with a multitude of yellow and dark red flowers whose central part looks strangely like a starfish.

Less than 1% of them will transform and see a tiny, downy brown pod hatch: the first sign of the precious fruit, which will ripen after four or five months and will be harvested once it has fallen to the ground during the rainy season, between February and April.


Pillar of a responsible culture

Agroforestry is the delicate art of associating several species to recreate a balanced ecosystem and preserve biodiversity. This method of production restores soil fertility and diversifies the plot's production. It helps to improve water quality and combat soil erosion, enriches biodiversity and even stores carbon to help combat global warming.

In northern Brazil, where Amazonia forests are losing 8,000 square kilometres every year to extensive farming, some peasants are trying to work differently and reforest depleted land through agroforestry.

Robust specie requiring little care, the Cupuaçu fits perfectly in the introduction of an agroforestry in Amazonia. It cohabits with Açai, with its high fringed leaves and energetic berries, and Bacaba, a huge palm tree, which provide essential shade for young Cupuaçu plants. These large trees shelter passion fruit or acerola plants. This eco-system of production thus ensures diversified incomes for the farmers.

And in order to further improve the impact of crops on the environment, Klorane Botanical Foundation acts locally with the Beracca Institute to support the establishment of an organic culture of Cupuaçu, without pesticide treatment or chemical fertilizers, in agroforestry, on 2 communities in the Amazon, in Bella Orora and Santa Luzia.

An incredibly nourishing butter

The brown pod of Cupuaçu fruit contains a white pulp with a tangy flavour combining the aromas of banana and lime with which are made ice cream, juices, jams and other liqueurs very appreciated from Peru to Brazil through Bolivia. But the incredible cosmetic properties of Cupuaçu are hidden in its seeds.

Cousin of the cocoa tree, the Cupuaçu fruit contains beans that must be dried, then pressed to extract a golden oil that freezes into a butter with extraordinary nutritive power. Well known to the Indian populations of Amazonia, who use it to take care of their hair and moisturize their skin, Cupuaçu is the basis of cosmetic products that are increasingly sought after.

Not surprising when we know that this butter, known for its soothing and repairing virtues, has a nutritive power one and a half times higher than the famous shea butter...

That's why Klorane has made it the flagship ingredient of its Body range. Formulated with organic Cupuaçu butter and 96% natural ingredients, Klorane's eco-friendly body care products take care of your skin, and your mind is free to escape...