Look around your creams and lotions and chances are you’ll probably find some mention of ‘cocoa butter’ there. Find out what cocoa butter is exactly and why it’s so popular in the world of beauty.
What is cocoa butter?
Cocoa butter, also known as theobroma oil, is the edible extract of the cocoa bean. Besides being used in various food preparations; it is also a staple of the beauty and cosmetics industry and is used in a variety of products like creams, lotions and soaps.
Cocoa butter is known for it’s mild chocolate flavour and aroma and it’s high concentration of natural fats.
Cocoa butter in beauty products
Cocoa butter is frequently used in beauty products and benefits the skin in a host of ways:
Excellent moisturiser: Cocoa butter is one of the most concentrated natural fats available and is known to melt at body temperature, making it very easily absorbable by the skin. That’s the reason it’s heavily used to make moisturisers and body lotions and is highly effective during very dry weather.
Helps prevent stretch marks: While the efficacy of this is yet to be proved by clinical tests, many pregnant women swear by cocoa butter as an antidote to stretch marks. Rubbing a lotion containing cocoa butter is said to go a long way in treating and preventing these unsightly lines that may develop after childbirth. That’s because cocoa butter’s effectiveness in trapping and locking moisture helps to regrow skin tissue.
Used in aromatherapy: Cocoa butter is known for it’s mild and soothing fragrance and is used in many beauty preparations just for it’s pleasing scent. It’s also a hot favourite as a stress-reliever in spa treatments and is used by many high-end salons and spas.
Long shelf life: One of the benefits of this creamy extract that it keeps for a long time without going bad. While many beauty products have a short shelf life, preparations with cocoa butter can be kept for up to three years, if shielded from direct sunlight.
Of course it’s best to check the expiry given on the box, in case the formulation uses other ingredients that don’t keep as well.
Inexpensive and effective: Because cocoa butter is so abundantly available in nature, it is inexpensive and easy to procure. You can even buy it raw and have fun making your own moisturising lotion with it.
Who should avoid cocoa butter?
Although it is relatively free of side-effects, it is advisable you avoid cocoa butter if you have an allergy to chocolate.
Photograph via sxc.hu
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