More Than Just A Dessert
When thinking of cocoa butter, many people tend to think of decadent chocolate desserts. Fudge layered cakes, chocolate chip ice cream, brownies, and chocolate bars are just a few that automatically come to mind. Although definitely tasty, cocoa butter is also a staple ingredient in many health and beauty products. In recent years, there has been a surge of cocoa butter skin care products on the market. Before we dive into the specifics of skin health information, let’s learn more about the powerful element itself.
What Is Cocoa Butter?
A Vegetable Fat Derived From Cocoa Beans
Raw cocoa butter is 100% plant-based. It is also called theobroma oil and is derived from cocoa beans, which are found on a large cacao plant. In order to make cocoa butter, the beans are roasted, ground, and pressed to produce a natural oil or fat. Once the oil cools, it becomes cocoa butter. The remains of the cocoa beans can be ground down to become cocoa powder, which also has a variety of benefits.
Pure cocoa butter is brown in colour and creamy in texture. Like all fats, the butter is composed of several fatty acids. It has approximately 25% palmitic acid, 3% linoleic acid, 35% stearic acid, 35% oleic acid, and 2% other fatty acids. In its most natural form, it is safe to use both in foods and in a skincare routine.
The History Of Cocoa Butter
One of the major benefits of cocoa butter is that it’s a 100% natural and plant-based vegetable fat. Even during product development, there are no negative impacts on the environment.
For centuries, cacao beans have been harvested to produce cocoa butter. The ingredient was used in medicine for approximately 3,000 years, but as of the 20th century, has been replaced by synthetic excipients. The ancient Aztecs and Mayans favoured the ingredient and even used cocoa as currency. Half of the world’s cocoa butter is produced in West Africa, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. It is also referred to as Theobroma Cacao, which translates to “food of the gods”.
In today’s world, researchers have discovered phytochemicals in cocoa. According to data use, these plant compounds may have many anti-inflammatory health benefits for both heart health and skin health.
How To Use Cocoa Butter In The Kitchen
There are many health benefits to using cocoa butter. A lot of people instantly think of chocolate or lotions when discussing cocoa butter products, but pure cocoa butter does more than just moisturize your body and give you a sugar rush. When cooking, we often use coconut oil, avocado oil, or olive oil. These, like cocoa butter, are also high in saturated fats, but there are many benefits to switching to cocoa butter recipes.
In its most natural form, the ingredient can aid in managing and reducing your risk of having a heart attack. Cocoa butter contains stearic acid, which your liver converts to a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid. This acid then lowers levels of harmful (LDL) cholesterol and boosts levels of valuable (HDL) cholesterol. While the butter is high in saturated fat, the healthy fat content is rich in antioxidants and is known to reduce inflammation, improve heart health and increase immunity.
Cocoa butter is a great replacement for butter or any of the oils discussed above. Those who follow a vegan diet find the ingredient can be used to make a variety of baked goods, making it especially helpful.
Cocoa powder has also recently gained traction for its use to help with heart disease. The ingredient’s richness in phytonutrients and lack of fat and sugar ensure that the calories offered with cocoa powder are packed with healthy chemicals. Contrary to popular belief, cocoa butter and cocoa powder are more than just chocolatey desserts.
The Skin Care Benefits of Cocoa Butter
When applied topically to the skin, cocoa butter can aid with many different skin conditions. In the last decade, the butter has become a powerhouse in the beauty industry and is featured in many leading skin care products – and for good reason.
It reduces stretch marks and scars
Similar to benefits found in shea butter, cocoa butter helps with keeping stretch marks at bay both during and after pregnancy. Oftentimes, skin elasticity is affected during those nine months of pregnancy, and many women find it helpful to apply a cocoa butter product to their belly. Not only does it prevent and minimize the look of stretch marks, but it also helps to aid in the healing and appearance of scars, making it perfect for pregnancy.
It’s a great moisturizer
In addition to aiding with stretch marks, cocoa butter products also help those who suffer from dry skin. It can provide deep hydration and thoroughly nourish your body. Getting lip balms and lotions that include this powerful ingredient is recommended, especially in the winter months.
It heals sensitive skin
Some claim that cocoa butter, like shea butter, has helped to deal with skin-irritating conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. The butter is soothing and nourishing on rashes, which can provide healing comfort to skin that is flaking, inflamed, or irritated.
It helps with anti-aging
Rich in phytochemicals, cocoa butter can improve blood flow to the skin and, in turn, slow down the aging process. Cocoa also protects against the sun’s harmful UV rays and from free-radical damage, both of which cause skin aging such as wrinkles and sunspots.
It is high in antioxidants
Cocoa butter can help fight off free-radical damage that causes dark patches and dull skin. It is also anti-inflammatory and high in fatty acids, which helps to form a protective barrier over the skin to hold in moisture.
Crate61’s Cocoa Tea Tree Soap is an amazing product for anyone who is looking to add extra nourishment to their body cleansing routine. This bar is long-lasting and made exclusively with certified vegan and cruelty-free ingredients. Crate61 strives to provide its clients with products made from raw quality materials, and the company does extensive research to determine how every material is processed. Each product in their lineup features fully biodegradable packaging.
This soap bar contains Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Canadian Canola Oil, Avocado Oil, Cocoa Butter, Tea Tree Essential Oil and Lemon Essential Oil. The tea tree inclusion helps fight acne and dandruff, and the cocoa butter provides moisturizing elements that leave your skin feeling super soft.
Cocoa Tea Tree Soap is available for purchase exclusively online at Crate61’s website.
Cocoa Butter Is Also Great For Your Hair
In addition to being beneficial for your skin, cocoa butter is also great for ensuring your locks remain luscious. Not only does cocoa butter smell delicious, but it is the perfect all-natural remedy to style and tame frizz. Many people use it as a pomade. It can also help improve the softness of your scalp. The antioxidants fight the free-radical effects of aging and, in turn, promote hair growth. If you want to keep your mane soft, healthy, and shiny, cocoa butter is a fantastic element to add to your routine.
Cacao Butter Vs. Cocoa Butter
These two terms are often used interchangeably but there is a subtle difference! Cacao butter is the pure, cold-pressed oil of the cacao bean. Raw cacao butter production does not exceed 46 degrees Celsius, whereas cocoa butter might undergo some heating during the pressing process. When it comes to health information, cacao butter is the more nutrient-dense version.
The Shelf-Life And State Of Cocoa Butter
If you are thinking of incorporating cocoa butter into your skin care routine or diet, it’s worthwhile to know more about the ingredient’s properties. If raw cocoa butter is stored in a cool and dry environment, away from sunlight, an unopened container of the stable fat can last for up to five years. Even if you have opened it, the product usually has a shelf life of several months.
Have you ever noticed how chocolate just melts on your tongue? In regards to its melting point, cocoa nibs and butter melt at body temperature. Like shea butter, it remains solid at room temperature. The ingredient has become a staple in many people’s homes all around the globe. Whether you purchase it in its purest forms, or as an additive to a beauty product, cocoa butter is easy to maintain and will provide endless benefits for your skin and your overall health.
The Difference You Can Taste and Feel
Cocoa butter is a great source of healthy fat to incorporate into your diet. Not only does it offer subtle sweetness, but also provides many health benefits for your heart. Instead of using highly-processed oils or traditional butter, try using this as an alternative in your meals.
Also, try using more skin care products that include cocoa butter in its list of ingredients. Utilizing this natural and 100% plant-based option will have your skin feeling softer, smoother, and free from the appearance of wrinkles, stretch marks, and scars.