Cocoa butter is actually an ingredient in cosmetics, beauty products, and food, but its creamy or lotion form is often called “cocoa butter” too. Cocoa butter shouldn’t be mixed up with coco butter. Cocoa butter is sourced from cocoa beans used to make chocolate, while coco butter is made from coconuts.
Cocoa butter is also called theobroma oil. After the oil has been extracted from the beans it has a pale-yellow colour. Cocoa butter is added to make chocolate smoother with a good melting point. It’s also commonly found in ointments, lotions, creams, toiletries, and pharmaceuticals.
Why Is Cocoa Butter Better Than Branded Skin Cream?
If you’ve ever headed to the supermarket or pharmacy to purchase a jar of skin cream or facial lotion, the first thing you may have discovered is how expensive some of them can be. Even if you can find something more affordable you may not know what most of the ingredients actually are.
What’s even more revealing is that whether a facial cream is cheap or expensive, they often contain the exact same ingredients. Sometimes there are branded chemicals or bio-products in the creams that claim that your skin will be softer and smoother if you use if for a specific length of time.
Many of these products contain questionable ingredients that have been tested for toxicity and been proven to cause cancer in larger amounts. Dimethicone is one problematic ingredient that is often seen in skin creams and lotions. Once you learn what it is, you’ll never want to use it on your skin again.
Many other store-bought creams and lotions also contain animal-based fats and proteins. Many people do not want to use unpronounceable ingredients on their skin, harsh chemicals, animal-based products, or petroleum-based products on any parts of their body. Cancer is at an all-time high today, so the more we choose safer and more natural ingredients, the fewer branded creams and lotions we’ll see in the stores that have outrageous claims.
Cocoa butter is sold in a tub or container with a lid and is 100% naturally made from cocoa beans. Since all the products made from cocoa beans are edible, so is the cocoa butter. Of course you probably don’t want to eat a jar of cocoa butter, unless you want to spend a lot of time in the washroom, but it’s good to know that you can frequently use it on your skin. You may also use it as often as you like. It even rinses off easily, should you apply too much.
What Makes Cocoa Butter So Special?
Cocoa butter has a pleasant flavour and aroma that is a lot like cocoa powder or chocolate. Most people enjoy the smell. If they use cocoa butter on their skin they will also enjoy the pleasant aroma. It doesn’t linger for too long though.
Cocoa butter also has a melting point that is just below human body temperature. Cocoa butter is in a thick creamy form and is just right for rubbing onto the face or skin. It quickly melts and absorbs easily.
You can apply a small amount of cocoa butter to your face as a daily moisturizer, or use a much larger amount at bedtime as a facial mask.
Cocoa butter is full of natural saturated fats, fatty acids to help soften and heal the skin, including stearic acid, palmitic acid, lauric acid, and myristic acid. It does not contain large amounts of caffeine or theobromine so is not a safety concern.
Since cocoa butter also contains natural antioxidants, this means that it’s also one of the more stable edible fats known. It has a long shelf life, and its antioxidants will prevent rancidity. It generally has a long shelf life from two to five years, though it’s most likely that you’ll use it up a lot faster than that. Once you begin using it on your skin you’ll be able to think up many different uses for cocoa butter for beauty.
How is Cocoa Butter Made?
Cocoa butter is made from whole cocoa beans. These beans are fermented, then roasted. The hulls are removed and the interior material is revealed. This resulting oil is called cocoa butter. Interestingly, there are nibs in here which go into making cocoa powder and chocolate. The oil gets separated from the hull and the nibs.
The cocoa beans can undergo other processes to make other products. Cocoa butter is usually deodorized and refined to make it suitable for consumers. This helps to remove any strong odours or tastes.
The Benefits of Using Cocoa Butter for the Face
While cocoa butter can be used on the entire body, it has its best benefits on the face. It can be used many different ways, whether for beauty, or healthcare treatments. Here are 8 different ways to use cocoa butter to treat your face.
1. Prevents itchy dry skin.
Not only does cocoa butter make a great skin moisturizer, but it also hydrates the skin, which helps to ease drying and the itchiness associated with it. It can also help to heal the skin if it’s irritated. Since it contains many natural antioxidants, which are found in cocoa beans, including fatty acids, these naturally absorb into your skin and stay there for hours.
2. Prevent the signs of aging.
The first signs of aging often show up on the face. The best way to prevent looking older than you are is by protecting your face, and providing a bit of moisture to help soften fine lines and wrinkles. Cocoa butter contains fatty acids and natural compounds called cocoa mass polyphenols. These help to diminish the signs of aging. They can also help to fight off free-radicals that cause damage in cells. Polyphenols have been proven to help improve skin elasticity, improve skin tone, and increase collagen production and retention.
3. Use as a shaving cream.
Store-bought shaving creams may contain ingredients that you may be allergic to, including things you may not wish to put on your skin. These include dimethicone and petroleum-based products. Cocoa butter not only has the perfect consistency for shaving the face or the body, it also has emollient properties so all you have to do is quickly rinse your face after shaving, and you’re ready for the day. Not only does cocoa butter prevent nicks and cuts, but it’ll make your face feel nice and smooth. It’s also a lot safer for the environment, and it’ll thoroughly melt in warm water and not clog your drain.
4. Soothes rashes, cuts, and infections.
After washing a minor rash, cut, or wound, you can apply a small amount of cocoa butter. Its compounds will help to prevent infection and speed up healing. If you have an itchy rash, its fatty acids will also help to stop any fungus or bacteria that are growing on your skin. It can be helpful to keep a small container of cocoa butter in your first aid kit. Often when rashes or small cuts are healing they start to get itchy, causing you to scratch. This can actually worsen them and cause them to take longer to heal. Regularly applying a small amount of cocoa butter will prevent this from happening.
5. Effective for minor skin diseases.
Many people suffer from eczema, dermatitis, or psoriasis. Often these conditions are caused by allergies or stress. If you feel that you have a skin inflammation flare-up happening, rub a bit of cocoa butter onto your skin. This will help as your skin heals, and get you past that annoying itchy, dry, peeling stage. Applying cocoa butter will also help to keep you from picking at dry peeling skin, and helps to prevent wrinkles.
6. Effective makeup remover.
Instead of trying to use harsh bar soap and a washcloth to scrub makeup off the face and from around the eyes, apply a bit of cocoa butter to your face for easy makeup removal. The cream can then be wiped off with a warm damp washcloth. It’s even safe to use around eyes, but you may want to rinse your eyes off under warm running tap water after you’ve used your washcloth, just so your eyes don’t get blurry.
7. Good chapped lips remedy.
You can use cocoa butter instead of store-bought lip balms that contain many questionable ingredients. You can simply apply the cocoa butter directly to chapped or peeling lips. The healing qualities in the cocoa butter will help your lips to heal faster. The natural emollient properties of the oil will soften your lips and provide hydration to keep them from chipping or cracking further, even in the winter.
8. Midday refresher.
If you work in an office, by midday your skin will feel dry and itchy. There are many pollutants in office air that can make your skin feel extra itchy. But chances are you only have a short lunchtime, so you can’t go all out and give your face a good cleansing. Simply apply a bit of cocoa butter to a clean washcloth (keep in a reusable plastic container), and use that to gently wipe all over your face. Not only will your face feel clean and refreshed, but it’ll also be moisturized and ready for the afternoon ahead.
The Simplicity of Using Cocoa Butter on Skin
Cocoa butter is extremely simple to use on the face or the body. Simply dab a small amount onto your fingers, then use it to apply to your face. You can add a bit more, but it’s best to never apply too much, as then you’ll have to remove it with a cloth.
Cocoa butter is safe for use all over the face, even around ears, eyes, nose, and mouth. It’s not harmful, but if you get it in your eyes you can remove it with a damp cloth.
You can apply more cocoa butter at bedtime, much like using a mask on your face to make it softer. In the morning, wash your face normally.
If you find your cocoa butter too thick when you’re removing it from the jar, simply warm it on the palms of your hands to allow it to reach body temperature. This will make it much easier for skin application.
Can Cocoa Butter Be Used to Lighten Skin?
Many people may have skin with minor scars caused by wounds, acne, or sunburn. While these eventually heal, they can still leave behind dark scars. If you’re seeking natural ways to lighten skin your skin, you can try cocoa butter. While applying cocoa butter to your skin won’t directly bleach it, over time it can help damaged skin to heal faster, due to the fatty acids that it contains.
But the cocoa will help to heal and soothe the skin, which will improve the overall appearance of your face. It will help to even the skin tone so that you have a healthy glowing appearance.
Precautions or Warnings When Using Cocoa Butter
Cocoa butter is safe for most people to use, even if its gets into the nose or around the eyes. The main concern for cocoa butter is to ensure that you’re buying the best product possible. Some food manufacturers have been know to substitute percentages of natural cocoa butter for lesser expensive oils, such as vegetable oils or fats.
It’s important to read the ingredients on the jar or bottle before purchasing so that you buy the purest form of cocoa butter for your skin.
Closing Thoughts on Cocoa Butter for Skin
Cocoa butter is a 100% natural product that contains only one ingredient: cocoa butter extracted from the centres of cocoa beans. It’s also safe to use on every part of your face or your body to make your skin more supple and soft. It can help heal small wounds and burns to decrease scarring, while leaving skin looking fresh and glowing. If you’ve been searching for the best natural skincare product to soften fine lines and make your skin glow, choose cocoa butter for all your facial and skincare needs.