Most people wouldn’t choose “healthy” as a word to describe cocoa butter. More likely, they would go with something like, “delicious,” or “flavorful.” In actuality however, cocoa butter serves a number of purposes – several of those, being beneficial to our health.
Cocoa butter, also known as cacao butter, is expeller pressed from the roasted seeds of the cacao tree, a native of Africa. For centuries, cocoa has been used as both a component in food and a moisturizer for the body. Today, you can find cocoa butter in a number of products as an ingredient added for its moisturizing abilities.
As a stand-alone ingredient, cocoa butter is a solid fat, hard at room temperature but melts upon contact with the skin. One of the most stable, highly concentrated natural fats, cocoa butter absorbs quickly into the skin, making it an ideal moisturizing component. Cocoa butter also lays down a protective barrier on the skin, which guards against the skin losing moisture. Products that contain cocoa butter are commonly used to improve skin elasticity, reduce dryness and treat skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis. Pregnant women are often advised to use cocoa butter frequently as a way to prevent and treat stretch marks.
Aside from its skin care benefits cocoa butter may also serve our bodies on a deeper level. Recent research suggests that when used topically, it may act as a stress reliever and immune system booster. Cocoa butter contains an abundance of vitamins and minerals and is especially rich in vitamin E. Another substance found in cocoa butter, cocoa mass polyphenol (CMP) has been said to protect against symptoms of dermatitis and asthma by inhibiting the production of immunoglobulin E – a catalyst to symptoms of both conditions. There is also evidence that CMP may help prevent heart disease and symptoms of arthritis, which is why cocoa butter is often used in aromatherapy massage.
Natural cocoa butter has a warm, chocolaty scent. For those whom don’t care for the chocolate scent to come through in their products, refined cocoa butter is available. Refined cocoa butter is a lighter shade, almost an off-white or tan color with no scent.
One of several topically influential butters, cocoa can improve overall health and well-being when used as an ingredient in a daily moisturizer or other body care product. It is important to remember that upkeep of the entire body is essential, as each and every part works together in so many ways. Find your delicious daily dose of cocoa butter in the Riverdance store in our Cocoa Rose and 5am Mocha soaps and in our all natural, aluminum free Grapefruit Deodorant to enjoy the many benefits.