Benefits of Cocoa Butter
The name cocoa butter brings to our mind images of desserts, chocolates, and coffee. Although cocoa butter has been rightly used over centuries to add flavor and texture to food, it has several health benefits as well. Many skincare products are infused with cocoa butter, which adds up to the moisture and soft touch of your skin. Some people might be allergic to cocoa; it is best to do a patch test before using skincare products having cocoa butter. Let's dig into the benefits of cocoa butter in daily routine
What is Cocoa Butter?
Cocoa butter comes from cocoa beans, by pressing the beans in hydraulic machinery. Once cocoa butter has been extracted from the beans, the rest of it can be processed or left in a natural state to form cocoa powder. Cocoa butter, unlike the beans, is surprisingly creamy white in color. Like most fats at room temperature, it is also solid but melts in your hand due to body temperature. Cocoa butter is what gives the chocolates their velvety texture that melts in your mouth. This butter is composed of palmitic acid, stearic acid, and oleic acid.
The benefit of Cocoa Butter
Cocoa butter is found in two forms:
- Refined: It is Creamy white, yellow in color with a strong aroma of cocoa.
- Unrefined: This form is less creamy in color without the strong cocoa aroma. Unrefined form of cocoa butter is commonly used in skincare and cosmetics.
Cocoa beans hold a very strong nutritional value in its unprocessed form. It consists of vitamins, mono-saturated, saturated, and poly-unsaturated fats.
Cocoa butter is a rich source of antioxidants. It has all the essential fatty acids with antioxidant properties. Polyphenols are useful both ways; when consumed in the right quantity, or when applied on the skin. This fights skin degeneration and even mutations of the cells which occur over time due to aging. According to research, polyphenols result in better skin elasticity, helps get rid of two-toned skin, produces, and retains collagen. It also keeps your hydrated.
Removes Scarring and Stretch Marks:
Cocoa butter has been proven to help reduce stretch marks, plus it is safe to use during pregnancy. It improves skin elasticity. Other counter products might contain harmful chemicals. The topical application of chemical loaded products might cause health issues because our skin tends to absorb these chemicals, and they end up in our bloodstream.
Healthy Weight Gain:
It is a healthy supplement for people trying to gain weight, especially people with eating disorders such as anorexia. Cocoa butter adds healthy fat to your diet. Unrefined cocoa butter can be used for this purpose. Add a teaspoon of it to your regular meal like cereals, bread, and pasta.
Resolves Mood Swings:
Cocoa butter increases serotonin levels produced by the brain. This is why chocolate acts as a support system during PMS and even while on periods. It helps elevate our mood and gives us a warm fuzzy feeling. Plus it also boosts up our energy and helps overcome the pain.
A Good Source of Energy:
Unrefined cocoa butter is considered extremely healthy and a very good source of energy for our body. It provides our body with all the necessary fats and vitamins, which make us feel full and not starved for a much longer period.
Improves Hair and Nail Health:
Cocoa beans are a rich source of sulfur. Cocoa butter derived from cocoa beans also inherits these rich sulfur reserves. Because of this, cocoa butter when ingested or used topically has a very distinct and pleasant impact on your skin hair and nails. It leaves you looking young and fresh.
Used to Treat Sunburn:
Too much exposure to the sun can cause premature aging, hyperpigmentation, and sunburn. Cocoa butter helps to soothe the sensitive skin by naturally boosting the process of healing. It reduces inflammation and gives the skin a protective layer keeping it well hydrated.
Oil Pulling for Oral Hygiene:
Oil pulling is a very old and effective method of oral hygiene being used from ages. This method is popular because the ingredient used (cocoa butter) is easily available, has no side effects, is affordable and natural.
Other Skin Conditions:
Cocoa butter is also used in ointments and lotions to help treat skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, dry skin, dry and cracked heels.
Natural Skin Care:
Cocoa butter is equally effective as compared to other commercial skincare products, but with the added benefit of being natural, free from toxins and chemicals. It is commonly infused in cosmetic products such as lipsticks, lip balms, body lotions, and creams.
Crushed cocoa beans added to cocoa butter, and granulated sugar makes the perfect DIY body scrub. Of course, there are many off the counter cocoa butter bath and body scrubs available too if you are not a big DIY fan. The grainy texture of beans and smooth cocoa butter finish along with rich antioxidant properties leaves your skin soft and fresh.
The aroma of cocoa gives a very warm and fuzzy feeling; a feeling of sitting beside a fireplace on a cold winter morning sipping coffee. Unrefined cocoa is also used in candle making to add aroma while making scented candles.
Polyphenols in cocoa butter have antioxidant properties which help boosts up immunity. This property helps reduce inflammation and other causes of cardiovascular diseases.
Alternative to Shaving Cream:
Cocoa butter is an excellent alternative to shaving creams. Not only will it hydrate the skin but also allow a smooth shave. It can also be used as an aftershave balm.
Soothes Infections and Burns:
Gently rub cocoa butter on the affected area. It is important that the cocoa butter you intend to use on the burn or infected skin is pure, free from fragrance and alcohol so that it does not irritate the sensitive area.
When Its All Said and Done
Cocoa butter has been used effectively in various recipes and DIY skin, nails, and hair treatments. It is preferred over commercial off the counter products due to a long list of benefits that it holds.