Cocoa butter comes from the cacao bean (pronounced ka-kow) which is found inside the cocoa pod that grows on the cacao tree.The cocoa pod (pictured here) is a large gourd-shaped fruit; inside the pod there are 30 to 40 cocoa seeds.
You can buy cocoa butter in two ways: refined or unrefined.
Unrefined: Creamy yellow in color, unrefined cocoa butter is simply cocoa butter in its rawest form. It’s easy to find organic raw unrefined cocoa butter and all of the above-mentioned skin care benefits naturally come with the unrefined product. It smells pretty strongly of chocolate, which some cosmetics manufacturers feel masks the scent of the fragrance they add to their products while other people may really like that scent.
Refined: Refined cocoa butter strips the cocoa butter of its scent and color making it easier to incorporate into cosmetic recipes without standing out. There are claims that due to the processing to eliminate the color and scent the “good things” in cocoa butter are also removed.
Cocoa butter is easy to find and inexpensive as well.
Cocoa butter melts at skin temperature but is rather hard at lower temperatures; put a piece of cocoa butter in your palm and it will soon start melting. This is why it makes a great additive to products like lip balm. Cocoa butter helps to keep lip balm thick but melts and moisturizes deeply upon touching lips.
Benefits of using cocoa butter:
Cocoa butter is a wonderful, natural moisturizer that melts just above room temperature. It is high in fatty acids which penetrates the skin for deep hydration. One of the best ways to enjoy the creaminess of cocoa butter is to make your own whipped body butter. Here is a simple, yet effective recipe that your skin will love.
- ½ cup shea butter
- ½ cup cocoa butter
- ½ cup organic coconut oil
- ½ cup almond oil
- 20 drops lavender essential oil
- Combine all ingredients in pot, apart from the essential oils
- Melt all of the ingredients together over medium heat – stir constantly.
- Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool slightly.
- Add the essential oil.
- Place the mixture in the fridge for about one hour to allow it to harden just slightly.
- Whip with a hand mixer for about ten minutes or until fluffy.
- Return to the fridge for about fifteen minutes.
- Store the butter in a glass jar with a lid in a cool location.
The creamy texture of this easy to make whipped butter makes your skin feel soft and healthy. This is a great product to battle the typical dry, itchy skin that accompanies this winter season.
Don’t localize the moisturizing benefits of cocoa butter to your skin. Your hair will thank you for sharing the love. Here is an easy leave-in conditioner that will leave your hair not only feeling and looking great but also smelling great.
- ½ cup cocoa butter
- 2 tablespoon organic coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons vitamin E oil
- 6 drops vanilla essential oil
- Combine all ingredients apart from the essential oil in a small pan.
- Melt the mixture over low heat, stir constantly.
- Remove from the heat and for ten minutes and pour into an airtight container.
- Add the essential oil.
- Place the container in the freezer for about fifteen minutes.
- Remove the mixture and let soften to the consistency of butter.
- Apply to clean and dry hair.
This conditioner can be rubbed onto your scalp before bed and rinsed out the next morning, or you can simply apply to your hair (like mousse) and style as preferred. Each method yields healthy benefits. Your scalp will have a healthier oil production which greatly minimizes dandruff and will produce healthier hair follicles for stronger, thicker hair. Your hair will not only have a healthy shine, but moisturized strands are also less likely to break. This means that your hair can grow longer. Reducing dead and split ends also allows for less frequent trips to the hair salon.
Cocoa butter is rich in antioxidants including oleic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid. These fatty acids actually are a benefit to your skin, because they will provide a layer of protection from skin stressors and free radicals. This helps to slow to process of aging while acting as a mild sunscreen. Your skin will look healthier from day one. Because this will also slow the development of wrinkles, you will reap the benefits for years to come.
Weather, hormones, and seasons of life all impact the health of our skin. Cocoa butter is a gentle and non-toxic option to help reverse the numerous signs of life. Almost any pregnant woman will tell you that she has heard of or tried cocoa butter for stretch marks. While, there may be no complete, proven cure, women boldly testify of positive results. The previously mentioned antioxidants also work to lighten age spots, to even skin tone, and to reduce scars. Some people have even recommended cocoa butter as a natural healer for those with sensitive skin or skin irritations such as eczema and dermatitis. Using cocoa butter is an easy way to replace commercial ointments and creams that are generally loaded with harmful chemicals.
Because of the creamy texture to cocoa butter, it is a favorite additive for lotions and creams. It makes a great addition to a rich and moisturizing shaving soap that is perfect for both men and women. This simple recipe will save money and feed the skin with beneficial nutrients.
- ½ cup cocoa butter
- ½ cup organic coconut oil
- 20 drops essential oil (lavender is great for gals and guys enjoy sandalwood)
- Melt the cocoa butter and the coconut oil in a small pan on low heat.
- Mix together with a wooden spoon.
- Remove from the heat and add in the essential oil.
- Allow the mixture to cool.
- Mix until fluffy with a hand mixer.
- Put into an airtight container and store in a cool location.
The cocoa butter adds a full scent and allows the razor to glide smoothly over legs and face.
Soft and Full Lips
Our lips are one of the only surfaces of our body that does not self-moisturize. That is why we are constantly licking our lips or reaching for lip balm throughout the day.
Cocoa butter provides all of the benefits of moisturizing your lips while allowing you to enjoy the creamy texture. Because you can easily melt the cocoa butter, adding essential oils or adding your favorite color allows you the ability to create personalized scented or colored lip balms. The caffeine found in the cocoa butter will also make your lips feel more full. With your soft, tinted, full pout, your significant other will also benefit from your extra kissable lips.
A great way to unwind from a stressful day is with a long bath. Cocoa butter is amazing addition to a warm bath! Not only will you enjoy the deep, rich scent of vanilla and chocolate, but your bath becomes a silky smooth haven from life’s stress. Drop about 2 tablespoons of cocoa butter in the warm water.
The melted butter allows for easy full body coverage. If you want to spice up your bath even more add a few drops of your favorite essential oil and feel the stress melt away. If your feet are dry, make a foot soak using a tablespoon of cocoa butter and a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
Pure cocoa butter, sometimes known as Theobroma cacao, is fragrant enough to use in aromatherapy. The aroma of chocolate and vanilla is hard to resist. Essential oil experts will readily explain that cocoa butter in not a carrier oil; however, its natural properties do make it a lipid suitable for aromatherapy. You can blend your cocoa butter with a couple drops of Neroli which is an oil that reflects a fresh floral scent with citrus undertones. Neroli is known to combat anxiety and depression. If you want to focus on relaxing, try a green or red Mandarin oil mixed with your cocoa butter to encourage restful sleep.
Some research shows that cocoa butter aids in boosting one’s immune system. This preliminary research theorizes that CMP (cocoa mass polyphenol) might help suppress T-cell activity in our immune systems. The result of this could include reduced inflammation and adaptations in DNA. Incorporating more cocoa butter into your diet and lifestyle can also encourage hormonal balance. Some medical conditions that benefit from the use of cocoa butter are heart disease, mood disorders, psoriasis, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and more.
Improves Heart Health
Recent research is disputing the previous mindset that all fats are bad. We are even seeing an encouragement to introduce healthy fats into our diets. Cocoa butter is an example of that healthy fat.
The polyphenolic components in cocoa butter lower inflammatory markers that contribute to hardening of the arteries. In fact, cocoa is not considered to be an anti-inflammatory food. In addition, cocoa also helps with fat metabolism and a decreased risk of heart attack.
Further research has shown that cocoa, which includes cocoa butter, aids in easing constipation. Consuming cocoa products on a regular basis encourages better bowel functioning. This includes healthy bowel movements as well as healthier time between bowel movements. This is specifically helpful in children who struggle with sensory processing issues. Researchers are therefore testing the benefits of cocoa to treat chronic constipation and bowel function diseases.
It is widely known that chocolate makes people feel happy, but many do not understand the reason why beyond the obvious enjoyment of self-gratification. The cocoa butter in chocolate actually raises the endorphin and serotonin levels in your brain which in turn improves your overall mood. This is the first step in being psychologically prepared to be happy. Furthermore, magnesium (found in chocolate containing cocoa butter) helps prevent the drop in progesterone that leads to emotional swings during PMS. Eating cocoa butter, therefore, is a scientifically proven way to begin bringing a smile to your face. Cocoa also contains phenylethylamine which acts as a stimulant. This can result in heightened mental alertness and greater stamina. Both alertness and stamina act together to encourage a sense of satisfaction with one’s abilities.