Cocoa butter has been touted for its numerous benefits for the skin. From hydrating and healing skin from deep within to combating and stalling visible signs of ageing on the skin, cocoa butter has proven time and time again that it is more than just another moisturiser filling up the shelves of health and wellness stores.
So what is cocoa butter anyway? Cocoa butter is a natural and soluble oil extracted from the cocoa bean. Native to parts of Central and South America, cocoa butter has gained traction for its highly emollient and antioxidant properties. In fact, cocoa beans are comprised of generous amounts of polyphenol and flavonoid antioxidants. These are extremely good for the skin and the body. Cocoa butter boosts the immune system, reduces inflammation and improves the health of the heart.
Benefits of Cocoa Butter
Prevents Dryness and Flakiness
As mentioned earlier, cocoa butter is an excellent moisturiser. Besides hydrating the skin, it can heal the skin from within by moisturising and restoring the cells beneath the epidermis. Being high in saturated fats, cocoa butter is extremely effective at hydrating cracked and dry skin. It is not only easily absorbed into the skin, but it stays on the skin for hours without drying out. Essentially what it does is retain and boost the moisture of skin without leaving it feeling greasy. Additionally, cocoa butter is good for most skin types, including sensitive skin. Ensure that the cocoa butter that you are using is free from fragrances, additives, artificial colours and dyes. These kinds of commercial products do more harm to the skin than good. To reap the full hydrating properties of the cocoa butter, you can mix it with other natural and essential oils such as castor, argan and jojoba oil to keep skin soft and supple. Besides keeping your skin moisturised, cocoa butter can also be used to alleviate chapped lips. Due to its emollient properties, cocoa butter forms a protective layer of hydration to the lips, protecting it from intense changes in temperatures and even sun damage, which can leave lips dry and cracked.
Fights and Stalls the Signs of Ageing
The polyphenols in cocoa butter are potent enough to diminish visible signs of ageing such as fine lines, wrinkles and saggy skin. More importantly, antioxidants are necessary for combating the harmful free radicals. Free radicals are responsible for causing a number of ailments and chronic conditions in the body.
Accumulation of free radicals can lead to oxidative stress in the body, and if you aren’t already aware, oxidative stress can have detrimental effects on the health. Polyphenols, as we discussed, are a type of antioxidants that boost the health of the body and the skin, hence they can either be consumed and applied topically on the skin. Besides fighting the effects of free radicals and preventing oxidative stress, polyphenols are able to combat cell mutations, skin sensitivity, skin degeneration and even prevent chronic diseases. Studies have shown that polyphenols also improve the elasticity of the skin, improves the complexion and boosts the collagen production and hydration levels in the skin. This, in turn, keeps the skin looking plump and youthful.
Alleviates Skin Issues
Cocoa butter isn’t just potent enough to prevent or reduce the risk of chronic diseases, but it is also mild enough to address certain skin conditions such as sunburns, infections and rashes. Ensure that the cocoa butter that you are using is alcohol-free as these kinds of products tend to dry out the skin. Cocoa butter can be used as a natural treatment for other severe conditions such as dermatitis and eczema.
Boosts Cardiac Health
Although saturated fats are notorious for contributing heart problems, research has shown plant-derived saturated fats can boost heart health. Cocoa butter is also responsible for lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases and other heart conditions such as heart attacks. The polyphenolic properties in cocoa butter have also been shown to reduce inflammation and aid in fat metabolism. Even though cocoa butter contains a decent amount of polyphenols, if you need to increase your intake of antioxidants, it’s best to reach for some cocoa powder instead. A rule of thumb when choosing cocoa powder is to look out for a product that has a high percentage of cocoa content.
There’s no doubt that cocoa butter has numerous benefits for the body and skin. The antioxidant and emollient properties leave skin looking both youthful and moisturised. In addition to leaving your skin soft and supple, cocoa butter also has significant benefits for the health. Besides boosting cardiovascular health, cocoa butter has inflammatory properties as well. Even though cocoa butter has many advantages for the skin and health, it is important that you use natural and organic cocoa butter that is free from additives, alcohol and other artificial ingredients as these ingredients will leave your skin dry and flaky.