Cocoa butter, a fatty extract of Theobroma cacao is acknowledged globally as a wonderful natural ingredient for healthier, moisturized and more beautiful skin.
It is an effective add-on to your skin care regimen as it promotes the proper growth of healthy skin cells and helps to deodorize the skin after washing.
Coconut butter abounds in nutrients such as zinc and omega fatty acids, providing protection against premature skin aging, acne and blemishes. It also helps to balance skin tone and complexion which is primary reason why many dark-skinned women are also turning to this natural butter for its skin whitening potential.
You may be wondering if cocoa butter is effective at lightening skin, and whether its effects are safe and long-lasting. We're here to bring you up to speed with the latest skin whitening craze.
Cocoa butter is a natural butter that comes from pressed whole cacao beans. Cocoa beans can comprise of two types: those with a higher lactose level (like Guatemalan Cacao) and those without (like the whole, unpeeled Cacao bean). The beans are roasted, and the butter is then extracted from them.
Cocoa butter has traces of theobromine, a chemical that is responsible for most of its stimulating, amber scent and many of its health benefits. Its natural fats, including lauric acid, hexanic acid, and oleic acid, are actually the most nutritious parts of the cocoa bean.
The butter is also rich in nutrients, including free fatty acids that can help to moisturize your skin, essential vitamins and minerals, polyphenols, and flavonoids. The vitamins and minerals can help to nourish your skin, while the polyphenols and flavonoids are antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, protect your skin from sun damage, and help to improve its elasticity and tone.
Cocoa butter is useful as a moisturizer, an emollient, and to help stave off the effects of aging. Many people swear by it as a treatment for stretch marks, but other uses have started to come to light too, including lightening the skin.
Cacao is a crop that has been cultivated throughout history. There are records of The Olmecs using the fruit of the cacoa tree to make flavorful drinks as early as 1500 BC.
The idea of cocoa butter, however, is much newer. A scientist called Conrad Von Houten invented the cocoa press in 1828, with the goal of producing purer chocolate. Cocoa butter was discovered as a byproduct of the pressing process.
Pure cocoa butter melts at body temperature, making it a nice choice for soothing dry or sensitive skin. Today, it is possible to purchase pure cocoa butter, or butters that have other compounds in them, usually added to act as a preservative to stop the butter from spoiling quickly.
You can also purchase creams, soaps, serums and lotions from multinational brands with Cocoa butter as key ingredient which are often used as a toner and moisturizer. Cocoa butter is also used in products that are for deep exfoliation to help with the discerning the skin surface.
Cocoa butter can help to lighten acne scars, dark spots and skin patches. It is unlikely to have a noticeable effect on someone who is naturally dark skinned, but if a person has patches that are darker, or scars, then cocoa butter can help to heal the damage in those areas and improve the overall look of the skin.
To use cocoa butter, you should first of all wash your face/body and pat the skin dry. Consider exfoliating before you begin treatment, if you have not done so in the last day or two. Apply a generous amount of the butter to your skin.
If you are trying to whiten a dark scar, begin by massaging in a circular motion over the affected area, then massage vertically, then horizontally. Apply firm pressure, but do not 'drag' the skin.
Repeat this process twice daily. It can take a couple of months to see results, so be patient and be sure to apply the cocoa butter every day.
Be aware that cocoa butter can be comedogenic. This means that it may clog your pores. If you are prone to acne breakouts, be sure to stay on top of your cleansing regimen while using cocoa butter on your face.
Aside skin whitening, Cocoa Butter is known to help tame dry lips with its natural moisture and nourishment, and it can create a "soft glow" on top of more rugged skin. Cocoa butter can be used as a binding agent to increase the amount of liquid that gets absorbed by your lips. It provides a natural textural effect and can be used as a moisturizer.
You can buy cocoa butter for use on your skin from most reputable online skincare retailers. Look for butter that is unrefined, and ideally organic as well. Cocoa butter for skincare use should be 100% pure. You can either use it as-is, or add essential oils to it, or even mild carrier oils so that the butter is easier to apply. We sell a raw, unrefined cocoa butter here.
Untreated, cocao butter should melt at body temperature, and will require some massaging to penetrate the skin fully. Many people mix it with other oils to make it easier to apply. If you choose this route, take care to select a skin-safe carrier oil such as coconut or walnut oil. At a 1:1 ratio of cocoa butter to liquid oil, you will get a semi-solid butter that melts quickly and is smooth and soft.
Cocoa butter is a good choice for people who have acne scars or dark patches on their skin. It is a soothing, natural skin treatment that feels incredibly luxurious and can offer good results for many people. You're more likely to look after yourself and apply your cream daily if it feels like a treat. Cocoa butter smells good enough to eat, so your skincare regimen can become something decadent that you look forward too, rather than a chore.
It's worth emphasizing, though, that you should refrain from actually eating cocoa butter, especially if it's sold as a cosmetic, since it may have other compounds in it such as preservatives that make it unsafe for consumption. Treat yourself to a few squares of dark chocolate instead. The antioxidants in the chocolate will do you good, after all!
To realize the full skincare potential of cocoa butter, you must ensure a clean, oil-free face first. Next, you'll need to rub the cocoa butter gently between your palms and evenly apply its fine layer all over your face.
During the application, you will need to pay particular attention to dry areas such as under the eyes, under the lips and closer to the ears. At first, cocoa butter may seem messy and greasy, but gradually your skin will begin to absorb its nutrients and you'll start to feel more comfortable when applying it.
Both shea butter and cocoa butter have their distinct strengths and weaknesses. While shea butter, on the one hand, is known to be a good source of essential vitamins, especially A and E, which make it an effective natural ingredient for skin inflammation and repair; cocoa butter, on the other hand, contains polyphenols known to be effective against dermatitis or rashes.