Dull skin-the epitome of cooler seasons has come back in full force. Thanks to harsh weather conditions around the U.S putting our skin to the test, we need some serious relief.
Rather than slather on every lotion and cream we own, a hero rests in your pantry-cocoa butter. This underrated ingredient is often hidden within other beauty products such as lip balms and lotions. However, most of them contain other questionable ingredients that wreak havoc on skin rather than help it.
Cocoa butter on its own yields widely favorable benefits and uses that’ll come to the rescue of your dry skin, hair, and more. Ready to learn what they are?
Let’s get into it!
What Is Cocoa Butter?
Cocoa butter probably sounds familiar because it is. If you’re a baker, chances are you have some living in your kitchen’s pantry. Or, if you aren’t so much a baker but rather a lover of sweets, it can be found in your favorite decadent desserts such as cakes, chocolate bars, even ice cream!
That said, let’s learn where it originated from and how it’s harvested before we get to the benefits and uses.
History of Cocoa Butter
If it sounds strange to slather a delicious ingredient all over your skin, maybe this will change your mind.
Turns out, cocoa butter has been used in medicine for nearly 3,000 years. Keeping that in mind, we can thank the Mayans and Aztecs for introducing it for medicinal purposes, even as a form of currency way back when.
Since modern day medicine is constantly evolving, it’s been discovered that cocoa butter contains compounds called phytochemicals. While anything containing the word “chemicals” sounds alarming, don’t worry about these ones. These are the necessary compounds for keeping skin healthy.
How Is It Harvested?
If you didn’t already know, cocoa butter comes from cocoa beans. It’s also considered a type of fat.
When the butter is ready to be harvested, workers take it out of a large cacao plant. After that, the beans are then roasted, stripped, and pressed – that’s when the fat is separated.
With cocoa butter, it comes in a variety of forms such as raw or ground into powder. For this instance, the butter you’ll want to purchase is unrefined cocoa butter as it’s best for applying to skin and hair. Ours is organic, meaning it’s 100% pure so you don’t have to worry about any added chemicals or dilution.
Cocoa Butter Benefits
Now that we went over a little history lesson, its discovery, and what exactly it is, we can move onto the most important information: the benefits of cocoa butter. Take a look at how it can make a difference for your hair, skin, and scars if you have them.
Cocoa Butter for Hair
Is your hair looking a little dull? That means it’s lacking the moisture it needs to be healthy. When your scalp is healthy then your tresses will be vibrant and shiny.
Here’s how cocoa butter works to restore hair back to its former glory.
Do those white flakes send you into a tizzy, even after you’ve washed your hair? The result of dandruff is caused by a dry scalp.
In order to bring moisture back to your scalp for healthier locks, apply cocoa butter. It helps to hydrate hair follicles as well.
Moisturizes Hair and Scalp
For strength and resilience against dryness, cocoa butter is the answer. Use it before you shampoo to condition strands.
If that sounds weird, consider this: 65 percent of Americans have hard water. All the minerals lurking within that kind of water wreak havoc on hair. When you use liquify cocoa butter on hair before your showers, it protects the natural oils your scalp produces.
Flyaways can easily make a good hairdo look bad. To tame frizz, use this miracle-worker of a butter as a styling cream to tone down those stragglers.
Softer and more subtle hair can be achieved through a deep treatment. To use cocoa butter in this way, melt some down until it resembles oil.
Use a good amount and comb it through your hair, leaving it on for a few minutes or hours, depending on how in need your hair is of moisture.
As a deep conditioner, don’t worry about it weighing down your hair. It feels as if nothing’s there and it works to hydrate your scalp and hair when used this way.
Cocoa Butter for Skin
Learning the amazing benefits and uses that cocoa butter provides for hair, let’s go over how it can do the same for your skin. Those suffering from dry skin can finally rejoice! Take a look.
Protects Against Free Radicals
The enemy of a youthful appearance is free radicals. These unstable atoms are the result of oxidative stress. Too much of this stress causes the body to lose its ability to fight unstable atoms.
That’s when wrinkles and grey hair begins to happen. To put a pause on aging, you need antioxidants. Luckily, cocoa butter is chock-full of antioxidants!
This helps put a stop to dark spots, skin aging, and dullness. Think of it as the key to halting wrinkles and age spots.
Moisturizes and Hydrates Dry Skin
Fed up with skin that’s dry and itchy? Not only is it a nuisance but can be damaging if not taken of properly.
Cocoa butter works as a deep moisturizer thanks to its fatty acids. Your skin will be more nourished, more hydrated which results in a healthier looking appearance.
Relieves Those with Sensitive Skin
Does your sensitive skin make you think you can’t reap the benefits of cocoa butter? Think again!
It’s gentle enough to soothe those suffering from skin conditions like eczema. However, with any new natural regimen, you’re wanting to try, test an area of your skin first. That way, you can see how your skin will react.
Cocoa Butter for Scars
Whether it’s a scar from an injury or an acne scar, their unsightliness can pose a big issue to your self-esteem. So you no longer have to be self-conscious of your skin, let’s go over how cocoa butter can improve the appearance of scars.
Improves Texture and Restores Moisture
With scars, the skin is essentially damaged. Cocoa butter makes for a great emollient. This means it’s able to melt at body temperature-allowing it to sink nice and deep below the surface layer of skin.
That layer beneath the surface is where it’s able to retain moisture better. Unlike other natural scar remedies, cocoa butter can be applied directly onto the scar and the skin around it.
Doing this smooths out bumpy texture that often comes with scars. Tending to the skin around it means it can begin the healing process.
While scars are permanent and can’t be banished from the skin, cocoa butter will improve the sight of them. Rather than have a pinkish streak down your arm, it’ll be practically invisible.
Questions About Cocoa Butter
After knowing all these benefits and uses when it comes to cocoa butter, we’re sure you have questions. To satisfy your curiosity, here are the answers to what you’re wondering.
Do I Need Both Shea and Cocoa Butter to Make Lip Balms?
The short answer? No; it’s more of a preference. That’s the good thing about making your own lip balms. You can really customize it to your liking.
However, using both ingredients do have their advantages. Unrefined cocoa butter acts like a protective barrier to lock in moisture. Unrefined shea butter, on the other hand, is a natural SPF. That means lips aren’t susceptible to sun damage, which can result in a chapped texture.
Together, they act as a protective powerhouse to ensure your lips look their best. Even more so, cocoa butter is rich enough to where that’s all you need to put on your lips as a balm.
Why Is Cocoa Butter Considered a Natural SPF?
We know shea butter acts as a natural SPF but what about cocoa? As we mentioned before, it’s a type of fat. Fat, in this instance, is a good thing.
It works to give you a little protection from the sun.
Unfortunately, it won’t replace your store-bought sunscreen entirely because it lacks vital ingredients. They play a crucial role in reflecting the harsh sun rays off your skin.
However, if you despise the smell and feel of regular sunscreens found on the market today, there’s a more natural alternative-Zinc oxide powder. This gives you protection from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Easily incorporate it into body butter for ultimate sun protection.
Will It Heal a Sunburn?
Since we’re on the subject of SPF, it’s only natural that we discuss if cocoa butter is a good candidate for treating a sunburn. The good news? It is!
When we get sunburned, not only does it hurt but it’s essentially robbing that area of moisture. The best way to utilize the goodness of cocoa butter is to use it after you shower the day of getting burned. That way, your skin is clean and applying the butter will lock in moisture.
What’s the Difference Between Refined and Unrefined Cocoa Butter?
When shopping around, you may notice there are two types of cocoa butter. So you know you’re making the right purchase, we’ll go over what each one is.
This is technically a fancy word meaning the cocoa butter has been stripped of its scent. It naturally smells like a hint of chocolate. It also has its color stripped away so it’s no longer a light yellow.
While this process doesn’t add anything to the butter but rather take things away, it has been known to affect its benefits. That said, refined cocoa butter may not give you the soft skin you’ve been wanting.
Simply put: this is cocoa butter in its rawest state. It’s untouched, unfiltered-leaving all the goodness of this butter intact.
It’s a light yellow color, creamy in texture and comes with all the benefits and uses we discussed earlier. Even the scent is left intact so you’ll smell lightly of chocolate. And honestly, who wouldn’t love that?
Using unrefined cocoa butter can play to your advantage, especially when creating your own recipes. Trying to make a chocolate and mint lotion? Just use the butter along with mint to get your desired fragrance!
How Do I Melt Cocoa Butter?
As we discussed above, to yield some benefits, you may need to melt down the butter. Here are two ways you can effectively do so.
Use the Microwave
Most cocoa butters on the market come in some sort of solid form. To melt it, you can use your microwave.
Place it in a heat-safe bowl then microwave it for about 30 seconds. Depending on the thickness of the kind you bought, it may take a few more intervals of 10 seconds. Stir with a spoon to ensure it’s all melted then allow it to cool slightly before incorporating it into your hair or onto your skin.
Use the Double-Boiler Method
If you’ll forget you put cocoa butter in the microwave then the double-boiler might work better. Place the butter inside a heat-safe glass bowl on top of a large pot. Fill that pot with water and bring it to a simmer.
As the water heats up, it’ll gently begin to melt the cocoa butter. Stir with a spatula so it evenly melts. Again, slightly cool it before applying.
Ready to Get Gorgeous, Glowing Skin and Hair with Cocoa Butter?
As we once knew it, cocoa butter was for desserts. Now, it holds a wide variety of uses to benefit both our hair and skin. A more vibrant appearance and healthier hair can finally be achieved with an ingredient that smells delicious!
Shea and cocoa butter aren’t the only products we specialize in. Shop our range of products from waxes to dried flowers! Everything you need to make your own recipes is only a click away.