Cocoa butter is a staple ingredient in every piece of chocolate you’ve ever eaten – it’s also a mainstay in skin care. Yes, even chocolate has an important place in your beauty routine! Let’s explore the variety of cocoa butter benefits, and how you can use it in your daily regimen.
Cocoa butter is no newcomer to the beauty and health care realms. It’s actually been around for centuries! According to some historical sources, the ancient Aztecs and Mayans were among the first to consume and utilize cocoa as early as 460 AD.
More recently, cocoa butter has made its presence known in mainstream skin products. Further solidifying the legacy of this ingredient was the discovery of phytochemicals in cocoa butter, which help keep skin healthy and smooth.
Cocoa butter is a type of vegetable fat that comes from raw cocoa beans. Manufacturers extract cocoa butter by roasting, stripping, and then pressing cocoa beans to separate the fat. The remaining portion is turned into cocoa powder – one of our favorite bronzer ingredients! Both forms are ideal for not only consumption in chocolate truffles but in skin care, too.
Raw cocoa butter is pale yellow and generally sold in bulk, solid chunks. It looks a lot like bulk soap, or white chocolate. It needs to be melted for use in skin care and food at a temperature of 93-101° F. Its creamy texture is what makes cocoa butter an all-star ingredient for moisturizers and lotions. The intoxicating chocolate aroma is just a bonus!
The chocolate you buy at the store is made up of cocoa butter and cocoa powder, often with milk and sugar added. Cocoa butter can be found in basically all types of chocolate – milk, dark, and white – giving the confection its smooth and silky mouthfeel.
Thanks to its texture and long shelf life, cocoa butter is also used as an ingredient in skin care products!
So almost everyone has eaten cocoa butter at some point, and a lot of people rub it all over their skin, too. But what makes this decadent ingredient so great for skin?
Whether it’s the bean, butter, or powder form of cocoa, all of these ingredients are rich in essential nutrients and antioxidants. This makes them instantly beneficial for the skin, helping to protect the skin from sun damage and premature signs of aging. Cocoa butter also has excellent anti-inflammatory properties for soothing dry patches and irritation.
Let’s explore a few pure cocoa butter benefits!
Cocoa butter contains high amounts of polyphenols. Studies have shown that polyphenols can help diminish signs of aging, while soothing sensitive or inflamed skin that might be suffering from dermatitis.
As a form of antioxidants, polyphenols neutralize the free radicals that contribute to early signs of aging like fine lines, dark spots, dullness, and loss of elasticity. Dark chocolate is literally packed with polyphenols!
Essential vitamins abound
Numerous nutrients and vitamins can be found in pure cocoa butter: vitamin E and vitamin K, choline, magnesium, copper, and iron. Iron is usually found in green leafy foods like spinach and broccoli, and is a great resource for a glowing complexion. Copper is a popular skin care ingredient for supporting healthy collagen and elastin levels for supple, bouncy skin.
Excellent skin moisturizer
Pure cocoa butter is high in fatty acids and deeply hydrates the skin, as the fats in cocoa butter form a protective barrier to hold in moisture. It also contains oleic, palmitic, and stearic acids, all of which nourish the skin. This makes cocoa butter a wonderful addition to moisturizers, body lotions, and lip balms.
Reduces stretch marks and scars
There are many anecdotal claims by women – and scientific studies – that praise the regular use of cocoa butter for stretch marks. When used during pregnancy and postpartum, it can help to lessen the severity of stretch marks. Many mamas believe that cocoa butter can ease the stretch marks struggle by boosting elasticity and replenishing essential hydration.