Cocoa beans are native to parts of Central and South America and have been harvested to make natural skin moisturizers in places like Mesoamerica and the Caribbean for centuries. Because it has a mild fragrance, a smooth texture (due to its “emollient” properties) and is ultra-hydrating, cocoa butter is a very popular ingredient today around the world in all sorts of commercial beauty products.
Benefits and Uses :
1. Prevents Skin Dryness and Peeling
Cocoa butter makes an excellent skin moisturizer, plus it does more than just hydrate the skin — it helps actually heal it from the inside out too. It’s a great source of natural antioxidants that are found in cocoa beans (the same kinds found in real, dark chocolate that are tied to benefits like heart health and improved cognitive functioning). Saturated fats are especially beneficial for healing dry, cracked skin because they’re easily absorbed and remain on the skin for hours.
Natural hydrating products also tend to cause much less irritation for people with sensitive skin while still locking in moisture, since they’re free from additives, fragrances, colors and dyes used in most commercial products. To use it on your skin to treat or prevent dryness and peeling, try mixing it with other beneficial products like essential oils or argan, castor or jojoba oil.
If you prefer the more liquidy texture of coconut oil and its tropical smell, you can also blend pure cocoa butter and coconut oil together. If you have extra sensitive, dry skin (such as eczema), always use pure cocoa butter and perform a patch test first to make sure you don’t have a sensitivity and wind up developing any negative reactions.
If your cocoa butter is very solid due to being stored in your home in a cool place, try combining it with a bit of hot water to make it melt. You can boil some water on the stove and then pour it onto a handful of cocoa butter to make it more spreadable. Some people find that black cocoa butter is the softest and spreads onto skin best without needing to be warmed much, but that commercial, deodorized cocoa butters are more brittle and hard.
2. Heals Chapped Lips
One of the most popular ways to use cocoa butter is on the lips, especially in homemade lip balms. It can be used with essential oils like grapefruit, vanilla, orange or peppermint oil to make flavorful lip palms that are also hydrating for delicate skin.
Cocoa butter is an emollient, which means it adds a protective layer of hydration to your lips, useful for blocking the effects of very cold temperatures, sun damage or indoor heat, which can leave your lips dry.
3. Fights Signs of Aging
Cocoa butter contains compounds called cocoa mass polyphenols, which some studies have found can help diminish signs of aging, plus soothe sensitive skin suffering from dermatitis or rashes. Polyphenols are types of antioxidants that promote health both internally when eaten and when used topically on the skin. Cocoa’s polyphenols have been found to fight various chronic diseases, degeneration of the skin, sensitivities and even cell mutations.
Research shows that its polyphenols have several positive indicators for skin health, including improved skin elasticity and skin tone, better collagen retention/production, and better hydration. When comparing cocoa butter to commercially available products, both showed positive results, but only cocoa butter is free from potentially harmful or irritating ingredients.
4. Soothes Burns, Rashes and Infections
Rub a small amount of pure cocoa butter into burnt skin to help skin replenish. Just make sure it’s pure and doesn’t contain any alcohol, fragrances/perfumes or other additives that can lead skin to become even more inflamed and sensitive.
It’s is even gentle enough to be used as a natural treatment for eczema or dermatitis. It’s also a rash natural remedy. Aloe vera gel or tea tree essential oil are two great additions for applying to burnt or sensitive skin.
5. Helps Treat Mouth Sores
If the inside of your mouth is prone to developing painful sores or your lips develop recurring blisters, use a bit of cocoa butter to keep them moisturized.
6. Makes a Great Shaving Cream
You can use cocoa butter in your tub to shave and hydrate skin at the same time. It melts easily in warm water and won’t clog your drain. Use a small handful before shaving to prevent nicks and to leave just-shaven skin feeling nice and smooth. After showering is another great time to slather it on, since heat opens up pores and makes it absorb products better.