Cocoa butter is also known as theobroma oil. It is obtained from cocoa beans. To extract cocoa butter, whole cocoa beans are fermented and roasted. When the hull is separated, the residue that remains is cocoa butter. It can also be extracted from ground coffe beans or chocolate liquor. It has strong aroma and flavour of cocoa. It is a solid pale yellow fat. It is primarily used in chocolates. It is also used in beauty products and pharmaceuticals.
Properties of Cocoa butter (The geeky stuff)
Cocoa Butter is rich in fatty acids, but it is devoid of caffeine unlike its parent cocoa beans. It is mainly constituted of oleic acid, palmitic acid and stearic acid. Cocoa butter is one of the most stable fats. When combined with antioxidants, it has a long shelf life. It melts just below the human body temperature. It has a smooth texture and pleasant aroma. It is a good emollient. It is also an excellent moisturizer. All these properties make cocoa butter a popular ingredient to be used in various skincare applications – for example, in soaps and lotions etc.
Uses of Cocoa butter
Apart from being an important ingredient of chocolates, cocoa butter is also useful as a skincare and hair care ingredient. Some of the benefits of cocoa butter for skin and hair are as follows:
- For stretch marks: cocoa butter is emollient in nature. It soothes dry skin and makes it smooth and supple. This is effective in combating scars and stretch marks.
- Moisturizer for dry, itchy skin: Cocoa butter is an anti-oxidant. This makes it a good remedy for itchy and dry skin. It locks the natural moisture of the skin and prevents drying. It is effective on eczema. It can also heal burnt skin by creating a protective barrier. Cocoa butter is greatly effective for moisturizing sensitive skin, as it is natural and free from chemical additives. Cocoa butter can also help in curing dermatitis and rashes.
- Care for chapped lips: It is a deep moisturizer that nourishes skin. It can cure chapped lips effectively. It helps lips to stay soft and smooth in dry, cold weather and rejuvenates sun damaged lips too.
- Treats mouth sores: being an edible moisturiser, cocoa butter can be used in curing mouth ulcers.
- Anti Aging: Cocoa butter is rich in polyphenols which are antioxidants. These help in fighting signs of aging, either on external application or as a food ingredient. They help prevent degeneration of skin. It helps in collagen retention and formation. It keeps skin hydrated and improves skin tone and elasticity. Thus it helps in regenerating and maintaining a youthful skin. Thus cocoa butter is a favourite ingredient of anti-aging recipes and skin creams.
- Shaving cream: Cocoa butter can be used as a shaving cream. It prevents nicks and cuts, occurrence of bumps after shaving. It also leaves shaved skin smooth and glowing.
- As a hair and scalp treatment and conditioner: Cocoa butter is great for hair too. It makes hair manageable and strong. It rehydrates dry and damaged hair and restores their sheen and lost oil. It moisturises hair and prevents breakage. It also adds volume to fine hair. Apart from all these, it also smells pleasant. It can be massaged on hair and scalp thoroughly before shampoo like hair oil. It can also be used as a conditioner after hair wash on hair tips.
Pure Cocoa butter can be used by itself as a skin moisturizer, massaging agent, cuticle cream, lip balm, shaving cream etc, conditioner and hair oil among plenty of other uses. It is also used in various skincare recipes like lotions, soap bars, body butters, lip balms etc.
DIY whipped Cocoa Body Butter:
Make this incredibly simple and good body butter at home and enjoy a beautiful, glowing and fragrant skin.
- Melt equal quantities of coconut oil and cocoa butter in a bowl and refrigerate the mixture to set.
- Add a few drops your favourite essential oil (we love lavender) and allow the mixture to become semi-hard.
- Whip it up until light and fluffy and fill in a jar.
Enjoy the goodness!
Have any other body butter recipe to share with us? Do let us know