Richly hued with the faint scent of chocolate, cocoa butter (Theobroma Cacao) is the naturally occurring fat in cocoa pods that is extracted by cold-pressing dried and fermented cocoa beans. Cocoa pods also produce cocoa liquor and cocoa powder, used in the production of delicious chocolate. Purportedly used by the Aztec and Mayan civilizations for medicinal and dietary reasons, cocoa butter is now found in cosmetics and skincare for the following skin nurturing benefits.
High concentrations of fatty acids (oleic, palmitic and stearic), vitamins (A, B1, B2 and B3) and antioxidants (vitamins C and E) fight free radicals. Free radicals cause tissue damage, increasing the signs of aging such as wrinkles and sagging skin. Fatty acids also help cocoa butter penetrate the top layer of skin, lending to cocoa butter’s nickname, “ultimate moisturizer”.
Cocoa butter has been used for centuries to reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks. Although there is limited research regarding the correlation between cocoa butter and disappearing scars, a few small studies showing the potential for cocoa butter to maintain skin’s suppleness and elasticity. Because hydration is known for improving the appearance of skin, applying moisturizing cocoa butter can be effective in reducing scars.
Plus, cocoa butter is also packed with vitamins and minerals, which work to improve and maintain skin’s overall appearance.
Cocoa butter creates a barrier on skin that protects against free radicals and retains moisture. It contains cocoa mass polyphenols, an anti-inflammatory substance believed to inhibit the production of immunoglobulin IgE; IgE are antibodies produced by the immune system that basically cause an allergic reaction to allergens such as pollen, which can develop in the form of dermatitis. Cocoa mass polyphenols can reduce the likelihood of skin afflictions such as psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis.
Nurture your skin with products packed with the benefits of cocoa butter. For maximum moisturizing, try the Ultra Hydrating Body Crème or Original Unscented Body Icing; these are especially beneficial for people with sensitive skin. Spearmint Eucalyptus, Lavender or Grapefruit Lily Massage Bars melt into skin leaving it hydrated without being greasy. Don’t forget to keep dry lips at bay with a Lemongrass Spa lip balm.