If you hear the word “cocoa,” it probably makes you think of chocolate. Cocoa butter is a tasty ingredient like chocolate bars, fudge cake, and chocolate chip ice cream. But unlike the cocoa butter in your dessert, the thing used in your skin care regimen won’t make you gain weight.
Cocoa butter is a kind of fat extracted from roasted cacao beans. To retrieve it, the beans are taken out of a larger cocoa pod. Then, they are roasted, stripped, and pressed to separate the fat. The remnants are processed into cocoa powder.
Cocoa butter contains natural saturated fats and antioxidants that help soften and heal the skin. It uses range from being used alone or in combination with other ingredients to create body creams, face creams, lip balms, body butter, and more.
How is Cocoa Butter Compared to Other Moisturizers?
Since cocoa butter has a high-fat content, it has a denser, richer feel than other moisturizers. It’s compared to the texture and benefits of shea butter, which comes from shea tree seeds found in West and Central Africa. Like cocoa butter, shea butter is also high in fatty acids. Cocoa butter smells sweeter, but it doesn’t have vitamins to help repair skin damage and skin healing like shea butter.
Benefits of Cocoa Butter for the Skin
Cocoa butter is rich in antioxidants, which can help combat the free radicals that oxidize skin cells and damage your skin. It also slows down the signs of aging and prevents the formation of wrinkles and fine lines. Since it’s also rich in polyphenols, cocoa butter helps boost collagen production and improve skin elasticity.
The high saturated fat content of cocoa butter makes it a great moisturizer. It contains fatty acids like oleic acid, stearic acid, and palmitic acid that can hydrate and deeply nourish the skin – thanks to its emollient properties that ensure moisture is locked into the skin all day long. Because of this, it prevents skin from becoming dry and flaky. It’s also safe for fighting off skin irritations like eczema and dermatitis due to its anti-inflammatory benefits.
Cocoa butter is also an antioxidant powerhouse. It creates a layer of protection on the skin from free radicals and toxins. Protecting your skin from free-radical damage is essential to keep the skin healthy and youthful-looking. It’s also rich in natural plant compounds called phytochemicals, which improves blood flow to the skin. It also helps slow down skin aging by protecting the skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
A lot of women claimed that regular application of cocoa butter kept stretch marks at bay during and after pregnancy. While the claim is anecdotal, you can find many anti-stretch mark products made of cocoa butter.
Benefits of Cocoa Butter for the Hair
Cocoa butter isn’t just healthy for the skin; it’s beneficial for the hair as well. It helps leave the hair deeply nourished and conditioned because of its hydrating and emollient properties. As a result, it leaves the hair soft, smooth, silky, less frizzy, and easier to manage. It’s an excellent treatment to use before washing hair. It can also be used as a conditioner after washing hair. When hair is conditioned, it’s less likely to break and have split ends.
Cocoa butter can also improve scalp health by creating healthy and natural oil production, reducing dandruff, and producing healthy follicles. This results in thicker and stronger hair.
How to Use a Cocoa Butter
Cocoa butter is an ingredient in moisturizers, lotions, hair products, sunscreen, and creams. Since it’s edible, it’s also added to some lip balms. Many products you can buy today contain only a small amount of cocoa butter and other ingredients. If you want it in pure form, it can be bought in a stick form. You can also buy raw cocoa butter if you plan to use it in a DIY skincare routine. It’s creamy yellow in color and smells like chocolate. Refined cocoa butter has its fragrance removed so that it won’t affect the scent of other ingredients.
Cocoa butter is thick, yet gentle and hydrating. It can harden when stored at a lower temperature. However, it begins to melt immediately when it comes into contact with the body. You can apply it one to two times a day on your skin. Applying it to damp skin can better retain moisture. You can also mix it with ingredients you can find in your pantry to make DIY balms and creams.
Risks and Warnings
Cocoa butter is generally safe, even for pregnant women. However, caution must be exercised if you are acne-prone. It has a high comedogenic rating, which means it may clog pores and cause breakouts if you are prone to acne breakouts and have oily skin. For some who are sensitive, moisturizers with cocoa butter can cause a rash or allergic reactions.
Best Cocoa Butter Moisturizers
St. Ives Softening Body Lotion has a non-greasy, smooth texture that glides over the skin and gets absorbed quickly. If you’re looking for all-day hydration, you can rely on this moisturizer. It contains cocoa butter, vanilla extracts, soybean oil, and other natural moisturizers that help make your skin smooth and radiant. The combination of cocoa butter and vanilla bean also creates a sweet and sultry scent that your senses will love. This lotion is made of pure natural moisturizers. It’s also paraben-free and certified cruelty-free by PETA.
You only need a thin layer to get the job done, so this product will last you a long time. It offers a one-of-a-kind texture that makes it ideal for almost any skin type.
Burt’s Bees Cocoa and Cupuacu Butters Body Lotion have a hydration-boosting rich formula that contains a blend of rich cocoa butter and cupuacu butter that nourish the skin gently. This lotion gets absorbed quickly, providing your skin lasting hydration throughout the day. It’s also formulated with shea butter, vitamin E, and natural botanicals.
What’s great about this lotion is that it’s made of 98.9% natural ingredients. It contains a natural fragrance with no parabens or phthalates. It’s also tested by dermatologists.
Queen Helene Cocoa Butter Lotion is designed to leave a long-lasting layer of moisturization and skin protection. It offers a lightweight, non-greasy feel that rubs quickly to the hands, leaving it soft and supple. It soothes and softens even the driest of skins.
This hand and body lotion protects the skin from drying effects of the environment, and it helps diminish the appearance of wrinkles. It has a wonderful sweet scent that’s not overpowering. You can use it liberally, even if you have sensitive skin.
If you need a skin firming lotion because your skin felt loose after pregnancy or weight loss, Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Firming Body Lotion will work great for you. This firming cocoa butter lotion can aid in tightening up the skin while keeping it soft and hydrated. With daily use, you can see the difference in your loose skin as the cocoa butter, shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil, and other ingredients work together to firm up your skin. It’s also a great product to add to your anti-aging skin care regimen.
This lotion has a light and pleasant fragrance and a rich and creamy texture. It’s rich in emollients, making it suitable for normal to dry-skinned people.
With a rich and creamy formula, NIVEA Cocoa Butter Body Cream can leave your skin feeling soft all throughout the day – thanks to its 48-hour deep nourishing moisture formula. Its deep moisture serum penetrates deep into the skin to soothe each layer. In addition to cocoa butter, it’s blended with vitamin E to offer intense moisturization.
If you’re looking for a spa-like experience, this is the cream to go for. It’s perfect for pampering yourself after a bath or shower. Its convenient hand-sized tub makes it easy to apply to skin.