Everything You Need to Know About Cocoa Butter
What exactly is cocoa butter?
Cocoa butter might bring to mind decadent desserts like chocolate bars, fudge layer cake, and chocolate chip ice cream. Yet this tasty ingredient is also a staple in skin creams and other health and beauty products. Unlike the cocoa butter in your dessert, the one in your skin care regimen won’t make you gain weight. But can it improve your appearance?
Cocoa butter is a type of fat that comes from cocoa beans. To harness cocoa butter, the beans are taken out of the larger cacao plant. Then they’re roasted, stripped, and pressed to separate out the fat—the cocoa butter. The remnants are then processed into cocoa powder.
Cocoa has been used in medicine for around 3,000 years. It was a favorite ingredient of the ancient Aztecs and Mayans, who even used cocoa for currency. More recently, researchers have discovered that compounds called phytochemicals in cocoa might help keep both your body and skin healthy.
Can cocoa butter really improve your skin’s appearance? Let’s take a look at the science behind the claims about this sweet beauty treat.
What are the benefits of cocoa butter?
Cocoa butter is high in fatty acids, which is why it’s often touted for its ability to hydrate and nourish the skin and improve elasticity. The fat in cocoa butter forms a protective barrier over skin to hold in moisture.
Cocoa butter is also rich in natural plant compounds called phytochemicals. These substances may improve blood flow to the skin and slow skin aging by protecting against damage from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
One common use of cocoa butter is to smooth scars, wrinkles, and other marks on the skin. Many women believe cocoa butter creams and lotions can be used during and after pregnancy to prevent and minimize the appearance of stretch marks. Cocoa butter has also been promoted to heal rashes from conditions like eczema and dermatitis.
How to use cocoa butter
You’ll often see cocoa butter as an ingredient in body lotions and creams. Because it’s edible, it’s also an additive in some lip balms. Many cocoa butter products have added sunscreen or vitamins. You can rub one of these cocoa butter products on your skin or lips every day as part of your skin care regimen.
Many cocoa butter lotions and other products contain only a small amount of cocoa butter, along with other ingredients and additives.
Risks and warnings
Cocoa butter is considered safe to use on your skin. The makers of cocoa butter creams say it’s safe to use during pregnancy. For people who are sensitive to cocoa butter or other ingredients found in cocoa butter products, it may cause a rash or other allergic reaction
You can find cocoa butter formulas in supermarkets, drug stores, online, and at natural food stores. If you’re concerned about additives, buy 100 percent cocoa butter and make your own skin care products.
If you’re seeking treatment for a specific skin care need, consult your doctor or dermatologist. They can help develop a skin care regimen that best suits your needs.
Source – Healthline