As a chocolate lover, I couldn’t resist the lure of the delicately flavoured Cocoa Butter. As well as loving the taste of dark chocolate (the darker the better!), I also use it for medicinal purposes. If I’m having a bad day with my chronic illness (POTS), I find that a square of dark chocolate can take the edge off it, even if it doesn’t completely remove the pain or exhaustion. So I wanted to discover whether the compounds that are found in Cocoa Butter could be good for my skin as well.
The History of Cocoa Butter
Cocoa butter comes from the Cacao tree that grows in the humid tropic areas of Africa, Asia and South America. Cocoa was first used during the Olmecs, the first Mexican civilisation and gradually became a symbol of wealth. Its alternative name is Theobroma: theos means god in greek and broma means food, thus translating to ‘food of the gods’. I would completely agree with this!
Cocoa has been used throughout the years for its medicinal benefits as well as its mood enhancing properties. I personally did research into the benefits of cocoa when I started suffering from my chronic illnesses and discovered proof that consuming it could have positive benefits on patients suffering from ME. Oh well, if I have to eat chocolate, so be it!
The benefits of Cocoa Butter on the Skin
Cocoa butter itself, is a rich natural fat derived from the cacao beans contained inside the pods of the Cacao tree. The butter has amazing properties when applied to the skin. It is solid at room temperature but melts at body temperature and soothes dry, sensitive skin while also reducing the appearance of scars. Cocoa Butter is rich in Vitamins and Anti-oxidants making it ideal as a moisturiser for dry skin and relieving discomfort such as itching and chapping. It also creates a protective barrier for the skin and helps the skin retain its moisture.
Cocoa butter has a pale yellow colour and has a wonderful chocolate aroma. It is rich in antioxidants and vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C and E making it a wonderful moisturiser. It is particularly good in a lip balm as it helps repair chapped skin and it great at protecting the sensitive skin on your lips. After much experimenting, I have decided to use Cocoa butter as the only butter in the lip balms that I make. I find it makes my lips lovely and soft as well as protecting them from the elements. Cocoa butter now shares a place in my heart along with delicious dark chocolate!