I read a great article by Dr Jonathan Axe giving us all the details of what Cocoa Butter actually is and what the real benefits are.
He tells us that 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.
He says that cocoa butter is a very popular ingredient today around the world in all sorts of commercial beauty products because it has a mild fragrance, a smooth texture (due to its “emollient” properties) and is ultra-hydrating, .
The other incredible aspects of cocoa butter. is that believe it or not, cocoa beans are a high antioxidant food. This is because of the large amount of polyphenol and flavanoid antioxidants it contains. In fact. We know, as well, that some of these antioxidants stay in cocoa butter even after it has been separated from the beans’ solids. This means that cocoa butter is good for improving immunity, reducing inflammation and improving heart health, even though it is considered a saturated fat.
Axe continues to explain that cocoa butter is a healthy fat like coconut oil. The amount of saturated fat it contains is between 57% to 64% of the total fat content.
These are the different types of fatty acids:
- stearic acid (about 24 percent to 37 percent of total fat content)
- palmitic acid (24 percent to 30 percent)
- myristic acid (0 percent to 4 percent)
- arachidic acid (around 1 percent)
- lauric acid (only about 0 percent to 1 percent)
Here is a great graph that Dr Axe displays to show the different types of fatty acids.
Dr Axe shares the benefits and uses of Cocoa Butter
Cocoa Butter Prevents Dry and Peeling Skin
Cocoa butter is a very good skin moisturizer. It also helps to heal the skin from the inside as its a great natural antioxidant source. These saturated fats are particularly beneficial for healing dry, cracked skin because they’re easily absorbed and remain on the skin for hours.
When the product hydrates naturally, it is less likely to cause irritation for people with sensitive skin because it doesn’t have any additives, fragrances, colors and dyes that are often used in commercial products.
Cocoa Butter Heals Chapped Lips
Cocoa Butter is often used to make homemade lip balms. It may be used with essential oils like grapefruit, vanilla, peppermint or orange to make flavorful lip balms that are equally hydrating for the skin.
Cocoa Butter Fights Signs of Aging
Axe explains how cocoa butter contains compounds called cocoa mass polyphenols. Some studies show that it helps diminish signs of aging, plus soothe sensitive skin suffering from rashes or a condition like dermatitis. Cocoa’s polyphenols have been found to fight various chronic diseases, degeneration of the skin, sensitivities and even cell mutations.
Other research indicates that polyphenols also enhance skin elasticity and skin tone, improve collagen retention and production. And only cocoa butter is free from potentially harmful or irritating ingredients compared to other commercial products
Cocoa Butter Soothes Burns, Rashes and Infections
Axe recommends rubbing a small amount of pure cocoa butter into burnt skin to help replenish the skin. If its used like this, it’s very important to ensure that it’s pure and doesn’t contain any alcohol, fragrances/perfumes or other additives that may result in the skin becoming even more inflamed and sensitive.
Cocoa Butter Helps Treat Mouth Sores
Cocoa butter can be used on the inside of your mouth or on your lips if you are are prone to developing painful sores or recurring blisters.
Makes a Great Shaving Cream
You can even use cocoa butter to shave and hydrate skin at the same time. It melts easily in warm water and what’s more, it won’t clog your drain. You can use a small amount before shaving to prevent nicks and to leave just-shaven skin feeling nice and smooth. After showering is another great time to apply it as the heat opens up pores and makes it absorb products better.
Cocoa Butter Reduces Stretch Marks
Cocoa butter may prevent or treat stretch marks, particularly during pregnancy. He says that actual studies show mixed results.
Many people say there is improvements in visible stretch marks after using it,