Discover the 8 shocking health benefits of cocoa butter.
Cocoa butter (sometimes called theobroma oil) is a natural oil that melts and extracts the cocoa bean.
It is the source of fat used to make chocolate, even healthy chocolate; is responsible for giving it its silky, seductive melt-in-your-mouth sensation, perhaps that is why the benefits of cocoa butter are so mentioned.
Also, like other sources of healthy fatty acids that your skin likes, such as raw shea butter or coconut oil, the health benefits of cocoa butter are ideal for naturally healing dry and sensitive skin.
Real cocoa butter is completely edible (it tends to smell and taste quite similar to dark chocolate), and it is also frequently used in skin lotions, lip gloss, chapsticks, and other beauty salves.
Health Benefits of cocoa butter
1.- Prevents dryness and peeling of the skin
• Cocoa butter is an excellent skin moisturizer, plus it not only hydrates the skin but also helps heal it from the inside out.
It is a great source of natural antioxidants found in cocoa beans (the same ones found in real dark chocolate that are linked to benefits like heart health and improved cognitive function).
Saturated fats are especially beneficial for healing dry, chapped skin as they are easily absorbed and stay on the skin for hours.
• Natural moisturizers also tend to cause much less irritation to those with sensitive skin while maintaining moisture, as they are free of additives, fragrances, colorants, and dyes that are used in most commercial products.
To use it on your skin to treat or prevent dryness and flaking, try mixing it with other beneficial products like essential oils of argan, castor, or jojoba oil.
• If you prefer the more liquid texture of coconut oil and its tropical smell, you can also mix in pure cocoa butter and coconut oil.
If you have dry, extremely sensitive skin (like eczema), always use pure cocoa butter and do a patch test first to make sure you don’t have sensitivity and end up developing negative reactions.
• If your cocoa butter is very solid due to being stored at home in a cool place, try combining it with a little hot water to melt it.
You can boil some water on the stove and then pour it into a handful of cocoa butter to make it more spreadable, some people find black cocoa butter to be the softest and it spreads best on the skin without needing to get too hot, but that commercial and deodorized cocoa butter is more brittle and harder.
2.- Heals chapped lips
• One of the most popular ways to use the health benefits of cocoa butter is on the lips, especially in homemade lip balms, it can be used with essential oils like grapefruit, vanilla, orange, or peppermint oil to make tasty lip palms that are also moisturizers for delicate skin.
• Cocoa butter is an emollient, which means it adds a protective layer of hydration to the lips, useful for blocking the effects of very cold temperatures, sun damage, or heat indoors, which can leave lips dry.
3.- Fight against the signs of aging
• The health benefits of cocoa butter contain compounds called cocoa mass polyphenols, which according to some studies can help reduce the signs of aging, as well as soothe sensitive skin that suffers from dermatitis or rashes.
Polyphenols are types of antioxidants that promote health both internally when consumed and when used topically on the skin.
Cocoa polyphenols have been found to fight various chronic diseases, skin degeneration, sensitivities, and even cell mutations.
• Research shows that its polyphenols have several positive indicators for skin health, including better skin elasticity and tone, better collagen retention/production, and better hydration.
When comparing cocoa butter with commercially available products, both showed positive results, but only cocoa butter is free of potentially harmful or irritating ingredients.
4.- Relieves burns, rashes, and infections
• Rub a small amount of pure cocoa butter on burned skin to help replenish the skin.
Just make sure it is pure and does not contain any kind of alcohol, fragrances/perfumes, or other additives that can make the skin even more inflamed and sensitive.
• It is even mild enough to be used as a natural treatment for eczema or dermatitis; it is also a hasty natural remedy.
Aloe vera gel or tea tree essential oil are two great additions to apply to burned or sensitive skin.
5.- Helps treat mouth ulcers
• If the inside of your mouth is prone to developing painful sores or if your lips develop recurring blisters, using a little of the health benefits of cocoa butter to keep them moisturized will be more than enough.
6.- Works like a great shaving cream
• You can use cocoa butter in your tub to shave and hydrate your skin at the same time.
Melts easily in warm water and won’t clog drain; use a small handful before shaving to avoid nicks and to leave freshly shaved skin feeling nice and smooth.
After the shower is another good time to spread, as the heat opens the pores and makes it better absorb the products.
7.- Helps improve heart health
• While saturated fats used to be frowned upon and guilty of contributing to heart problems, researchers today know that saturated fats derived from plants are beneficial in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
The polyphenolic components found in cocoa butter have been shown to help decrease inflammatory markers involved in atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), which is why cocoa is now considered an anti-inflammatory food.
Cocoa also appears to help with lipid (fat) metabolism and is associated with a decreased risk of vascular events, such as a heart attack.
• However, it is important to note that while cocoa butter contains some polyphenols and other antioxidants, it does not provide as much as dry cocoa powder.
Both the benefits of cocoa butter and cocoa powder are manufactured during secondary processing, leaving behind cocoa powder, which has been shown to have higher polyphenol content than cocoa butter or fat solids.
To get the most for your money from cocoa products, look for the dark stuff and make sure it’s a high percentage (research shows you can get the most phenolic content from cocoa by eating dark/dark baking chocolate).
8.- Increases Immunity
• Many studies have shown that plant polyphenols exert antioxidant powers within the immune system, fighting inflammation, DNA damage, and cell mutations, which are the underlying cause of diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and autoimmune diseases that can lead to fatigue.
Using cocoa butter over refined vegetable oils can reduce inflammation in general and help with hormonal balance and brain health, all while working as an immune system booster.
What is cocoa butter?
Cocoa beans are native to parts of Central and South America and have been harvested to make natural skin moisturizers in places like Mesoamerica and the Caribbean for centuries.
Because it has a mild fragrance, a smooth texture (due to its “emollient” properties), and is ultra-hydrating, cocoa butter is a very popular ingredient today throughout the world in all types of commercial beauty products.
Another amazing attribute of cocoa butter benefits?
• Cocoa beans are a high antioxidant food.
• Since they contain a significant amount of polyphenolic antioxidants and flavonoids cocoa beans themselves are one of the largest suppliers of polyphenols in our diets.
Some of these antioxidants remain in cocoa butter even after it is separated from the bean solids, which means it is beneficial for enhancing immunity, reducing inflammation, and improving heart health, even though it is a saturated fat formerly feared
Cocoa butter is a healthy fat, mostly saturated like coconut oil.
The amount of saturated fat it contains (as opposed to unsaturated fat) ranges from 57 to 64 percent of the total fat content, depending on the exact type.
Among the different types of fatty acids are:
• stearic acid (about 24 to 37 percent of total fat content)
• palmitic acid (24 percent to 30 percent)
• myristic acid (0 percent to 4 percent)
• arachidic acid (about 1 percent)
• lauric acid (only about 0 percent to 1 percent)
What about raw cocoa butter? What makes it different, and is it better than cocoa butter that has been heated?
• Raw cocoa butter, sometimes labeled “pure cocoa butter,” is not heated to very high temperatures during manufacturing processes, which means it generally retains more healthy fats and other compounds found naturally in the beans. cocoa.
How effective is cocoa butter for stretch marks?
• On the Web, one of the most popular uses for cocoa butter is to prevent or treat stretch marks, especially during pregnancy.
Does this method work? Overall, the study results have been mixed regarding its efficacy for stretch marks.
• Many people report improvements in visible stretch marks after using it, but certain studies have found that, compared to placebo treatments, women do not show significantly greater improvements when using a lotion made with cocoa butter.
There is no problem in trying to prevent stretch marks, especially if you have normally dry skin, but it doesn’t seem to reverse stretch marks that have already formed.
How is cocoa butter prepared?
• Cocoa beans are seeds of the Theobroma cacao I plant, a member of the Sterculiaceae plant family.
These beans are used to make “one of the most important and widespread functional foods in human history”.
Cocoa beans have been cultivated for more than 3,000 years and were prized among ancient populations, including the Mayan and Aztec civilizations.
• To make cocoa butter, the cocoa beans are first fermented and then roasted.
At this point, the cocoa “butter” (which is not the type of butter made from any type of milk at all) can be separated from the rest of the beans, leaving behind the solids that are used for other purposes such as make cocoa powder.
To make chocolate, the cocoa butter is pressed to release the ‘chocolate liquor’, which retains most of the taste and smell of the chocolate.
Many brands deodorize and discolor the cocoa butter making the product a yellowish-yellow color and it smells quite neutral, not much like cocoa or chocolate liqueur.
• All over the world, cocoa butter benefits have two main uses.
It is an active ingredient in many skin care products, and it is also used to make chocolate (of all types, including dark, milk, or white).
The chocolate industry is responsible for most of the world’s cocoa butter consumption, which is not surprising considering how popular chocolate is.
Another less common use is as a food additive or supplement, as it helps stabilize the textures of the products.
• Because it remains solid at room temperature but melts at higher temperatures, such as the human body, the pharmaceutical industry uses it as a digestible base for certain drugs.
Cocoa butter benefits have a melting point of 93-101 degrees F, which means it becomes liquid once ingested or sometimes rubbed into the skin, exactly why it has such an attractive ‘mouthfeel’ when it is added to chocolate or in lotions.
• One of the biggest benefits of cocoa butter is that it is a very “stable” fat, meaning that it is not likely to spoil and turn rancid when heated.
Unlike more delicate fat sources, such as those rich in polyunsaturated fats (such as vegetable oils) or monounsaturated fats (such as olive oil), saturated fats retain their nutrients and chemical composition easily even when manufactured and used in the kitchen.
• This helps preserve many of the health benefits of cocoa butter, such as its antioxidants.
It is not worth using oils, either when cooking or applying them directly to the skin, which has gone rancid, as they ruin many of its properties and leave them capable of increasing inflammation.
What is the best way to get cocoa butter?
Pure cocoa butter gives you the most benefits but is harder to find and more expensive than blended products that mix cocoa butter with other fillers or oils.
Today, it has become quite expensive, causing many food manufacturers to switch to less expensive oils, such as refined vegetable oils (soy, rapeseed, or palm oil ) or sometimes coconut oil and shortening. of shea.
How is cocoa butter different from other products?
• Read ingredient labels and note the color – Pure cocoa butter is generally lighter in color than commercial cocoa kinds of butter, which tend to be a more intense yellow.
• Because it is so stable, it is believed to last for more than two years; Many people keep the same jar of cocoa butter for two to five years, as its saturated fat is resistant to rancidity and spoilage.
When buying cocoa butter, try to avoid the types that are sold as silky white lotions and that come in pump bottles or squeeze bottles.
Products like this may contain some cocoa butter, but they are far from pure and likely contain many other additives, which is exactly how they maintain a uniform texture and color (which real cocoa butter does not have).
Can you create cocoa butter from home?
• You can make your own easy-to-use cocoa butter bars at home, ensuring you get the most benefits and putting the least amount of junk on your skin.
Buy a slab of real cocoa butter online or from a natural retailer, then break or shave off a small piece and place it inside an old lipstick container.
You can rub this directly on your skin and easily store it in your purse or elsewhere, or you can just crush the solid cocoa butter and add several drops of essential oils to make a homemade butter lotion
Benefits of cocoa butter vs. Coconut oil
• Cocoa butter and coconut oil have similar moisturizing properties, and the benefits of coconut oil for the skin resemble those of cocoa butter, but coconut oil has some additional benefits, including antibacterial properties
It could make coconut oil more convenient for you to keep at home since pure coconut oil has dozens of different uses in the kitchen and bathroom.
• Coconut oil contains fatty acids that keep skin healthy and clean, including capric acid, lauric acid, and caprylic acid; melts when rubbed on the skin or heated, and has a smooth feel and pleasant smell/taste.
Feel free to use both together or for different purposes, like cocoa butter on lips, but coconut oil on hair.