Cocoa Butter as an Ingredient in Cosmetic Products
When we think of cocoa, something that immediately pops into our minds is chocolate. However, cocoa butter is not the same thing as the chocolate we eat every day.
However, for this article, we'll be focusing on the benefits of cocoa butter for the skin. Cocoa butter is very beneficial for the skin as it is full of fatty acids.
In this article, we'll provide you with everything you need to know about cocoa butter, its benefits, common uses, and how to incorporate it into your skincare routine. Without further ado, let's get started.
'Food of the Gods'. This is what the Mayans termed the cocoa bean plant when it was first discovered that it could be used to make something like chocolate. However, the chocolate that existed at that time was more like a hot water cocoa drink.
Cocoa butter is essentially a triglyceride, a naturally occurring fat in the cacao bean plants. It is extracted from the plant through the process of fermentation. This versatile ingredient is used in a variety of industries, like cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and food. Being rich in fats and nutrients, it has made its place as a super ingredient in skin care products too.
Here's a little background on cocoa butter.
Cocoa butter is derived from the cacao bean, which is usually found in a pod that grows on the cacao tree. Now you may be wondering – what exactly is a cocoa pod? Think of a gourd-shaped large fruit that houses almost 30-40 cocoa seeds. The fat extracted from the bean is what is known as cocoa butter. Cocoa butter has a low melting point but is solid at room temperature. Its shelf life ranges from 2 to 5 years.
How Is Cocoa Butter Made?
Every cocoa bean contains around 20 to 30 percent of fat or cocoa butter. When the cocoa bean is subjected to a series of processes and transformations, it results in cocoa powder and cocoa butter.
The process of extracting cocoa butter starts by cleaning and shelling the cocoa beans. They are then fermented and roasted, although the former is considered to be a better processing method. Fermentation helps in preserving the stability of cocoa butter, and it also adds to the aroma. Thereafter, the cocoa beans are processed into cocoa liquor and cocoa nibs, and voilà, you get the cocoa butter! After it is refined, we can finally add it to cosmetic products.
Nutrients in Cocoa Butter
Here are the basic nutrient properties of cocoa butter:
1. Polyphenols: These are health-promoting antioxidant compounds found in cocoa beans. When the cocoa beans are unprocessed, they can be quite bitter and astringent. This is primarily because of the high polyphenol content. However, once it is processed to form cocoa butter, the polyphenol content is reduced to around 5 percent.
2. Fatty acid: The biggest reason why it is used in the skincare industry is because of this property. Cocoa butter usually consists of both saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. The fatty acid profile of cocoa butter is listed below:
Saturated fat (60%) – Stearic, palmitic, lauric, and myristic acids.
Monounsaturated fat (35%) – Oleic acid
Polyunsaturated fat (1%) – Linoleic acid
This fatty acid profile gives rise to the triglycerides, which are responsible for the unique properties of cocoa butter which make a great skin care ingredient.
3. Other Nutrients: Cocoa butter is also rich in Vitamin D2, from which the active form of Vitamin D is formed in the body. It also contains the following minerals:
Phosphorus – helps in bone health
Potassium – helps in lowering the blood pressure
Iron – helps in RBC activity
Copper – promotes brain health
Magnesium – supports nerve and muscle health
Zinc – helps build immunity
Benefits of Using Cocoa Butter
Cocoa butter comes with many skin and health benefits since it contains umpteen healthful nutrients like Vitamin E and K, phytosterols, and more. This is why cocoa butter is used extensively in beauty and cosmetic products. Let's take a look at some benefits of this super ingredient:
Being a plant-based fat, cocoa butter is rich in fatty acids, which help in hydrating skin from deep within. Besides being rich in fatty acids, cocoa butter also contains palmitic, oleic, and stearic acids, which help in keeping the skin supple and soft.
All these ingredients and more make cocoa butter a great ingredient for adding to lip balms, lotions, and moisturizers. If you have very dry skin, regular use of cocoa butter can be very beneficial.
Helps in Reducing Scars and Stretch Marks
Stretch marks and scars can be very annoying, and they also make us conscious about our appearance sometimes. This is where the benefits of cocoa butter come in. Cocoa butter consists of an abundance of fatty acids and antioxidants, which makes it great for treating stretch marks.
Many women who apply cocoa butter to their skin regularly during pregnancy are able to keep stretch marks at bay. This is the primary reason why you'll find many anti-stretch marks creams with cocoa butter as an important ingredient. Cocoa butter works similarly in healing scars too.
Helps in Treating Aging Skin
Cocoa butter is a powerhouse ingredient that contains the goodness of polyphenols and antioxidants. This helps in protecting the skin from free radical damage, which usually leads to dull skin, pigmentation and aging.
Besides this, cocoa butter also consists of some rejuvenating properties which help in cell regeneration. This makes it a great ingredient for fighting signs of aging like blemishes, dark spots, and wrinkles.
Helps in Managing Skin Inflammation
Cocoa butter is also quite beneficial for skin inflammation. This is because it contains Vitamin E in high concentration, which comes with anti-inflammatory properties. It is also a great remedy for allergies and skin infections. This is why some shaving creams also come with cocoa butter to heal small cuts and bumps that result from shaving.
Did you know that almost 50 percent of the global cocoa produce is sourced from West Africa? In fact, cocoa butter has been used as a moisturizer for centuries in the indigenous regions of West Africa, South America, and the Caribbean.
It was revered for its emollient properties and its mild aroma, making it a great moisturizer for healing skin from deep within. Nowadays, this plant-based fat has become an essential component in many cosmetic products, such as:
How to Incorporate Cocoa Butter Into Your Skin Care Routine?
Cocoa butter is commonly used for hydrating the skin because of its thick consistency and emollient properties. Although raw cocoa butter is pretty solid, as soon as it comes in contact with the skin, it melts away and gets absorbed into the skin.
Most skin care products use refined cocoa butter, as it is easier to mix with their formulations. If you apply a cocoa butter product on damp skin, it can help in retaining the moisture better. Here are some ways to incorporate cocoa butter into your skincare routine besides using it as a moisturizer:
Treatment Mask for Hands and Feet
The hands and feet are two parts of our bodies that are most commonly exposed to the environment. As such, they bear most of the damage. If you want to give your hand some extra love and care, cocoa butter can be a great option.
The high fatty acid content of cocoa butter helps in creating a protective skin barrier and locking in moisture. If parts of your hands and feet are excessively dry and cracked, you can treat them with a cocoa butter mask for the extra dose of hydration. With continued use, you will achieve soft and supple hands and feet.
Dry Patches Treatment (Body)
You might be dealing with pesky dry skin patches in various parts of your body, like knees, feet, and elbows. Sometimes, nothing seems to work with these dry patches. This is where a super ingredient like cocoa butter comes in. It can penetrate deep into the skin layers to provide a long-lasting nourishment to the skin. It can also be used to relieve the symptoms of dermatitis and eczema.
Dry Patches Treatment (Face)
Dry patch is a common problem among people with dry skin (and even combination skin). Cocoa butter is power-packed with antioxidants and vitamins, making it a great choice for dealing with dry patches on the face. What's even better is that it helps in reducing dark spots and blemishes. People with oily skin, however, should be cautious while putting this on their face as it can clog pores to some degree.
Cocoa butter can also be used to protect the lips from the environment, thanks to its moisture-locking properties. Using cocoa butter lip masks will help in making your lips softer and smoother, and it will also make the lipstick application better.
Must-Have Cocoa Butter Skin Care Products
One of the biggest problems for people with dry skin is finding a skin care product that is hydrating and gentle at the same time. Although you can find many dry skin moisturizers and body lotions on the market, they are often laden with chemicals that harm the skin in the long run.
If you are looking for a gentle and hydrating moisturizer for your dry skin woes, Wow Skin Science is here to help you. All the Wow Skin Science products are 100% plant-based, besides being sulfate-free, paraben-free, gluten-free, and also cruelty-free. Here are two great Wow Skin Science products containing this powerhouse ingredient:
If you are looking for a body lotion that provides deep hydration to your dry and irritated skin, then this is the one for you. This fast-absorbing body moisturizer is power-packed with skin-friendly ingredients like argan oil, shea butter, and of course, cocoa butter. Cocoa butter helps in improving skin elasticity by forming a protective barrier over the skin. It also contains the goodness of almond oil, argan oil, and aloe vera extract, all of which help in keeping the skin supple and soft.
If you want something thicker and even more hydrating, then the Arabica Coffee and Cocoa body butter is the right choice. Cocoa butter, which is rich in fatty acids and phytochemicals, helps in hydrating the skin and improving its elasticity. Arabica coffee, on the other hand, helps in reducing dark spots and improving skin health. What's better is that it smells absolutely delicious!
If you suffer from dry skin issues, cocoa butter is a natural and non-toxic ingredient that can help in repairing and restoring the health of your skin. As we have already stated in the aforementioned sections, the skin advantages of this powerhouse ingredient are numerous. Not only does it get easily absorbed into the skin, but it also helps in locking in moisture. Besides this, cocoa butter is also high in antioxidants, which help in preventing signs of aging.
When it comes to selecting skincare products for yourself and your family, you want to ensure that they are:
We at Wow Skin Science understand this, which is why we've formulated our products keeping all these considerations in mind. Wow Skin Science cocoa butter lotion and body butter are both plant-based products that are free from chemical nasties like mineral oils and parabens. Grab your Wow Skin Science Cocoa Butter moisturizers today!