What is Cocoa Butter?Cocoa Butter is the natural fat extracted from cocoa beans. It has a silky texture, mild cocoa fragrance, and hydrating properties. Researchers have determined that cocoa butter has numerous applications to help with natural wellness and beauty.
To make cocoa butter, cocoa beans are first fermented then roasted. At this point, the cocoa “butter” (which isn’t actually the kind of butter made from any type of milk at all) is able to be separated from the rest of the beans, leaving behind solids that are used for other purposes. Many brands deodorize and de-colorize cocoa butter so the product is a yellow-beige color and smells pretty neutral, not much like cocoa liquor or chocolate.
Uses For Cocoa ButterCocoa butter is an active ingredient in many skin care products as well as a food or supplement additive as it helps stabilize products’ textures. Because it remains solid at room temperature but melts at higher temps, such as those within the human body, the pharmaceutical industry uses it as a digestible base for certain medicines. Cocoa butter has a melting point of around 93–101 degrees F, which means it becomes liquid once ingested or sometimes when rubbed into the skin — exactly why it has such an attractive “mouth feel” when added to chocolate or when used in lotions.
- Cocoa butter is rich in Vitamin K and fatty acids enabling it to help repair dry skin while you sleep.
- Cocoa butter can hydrate your lips, providing a protective layer of hydration.
- Applying cocoa butter to a pregnant belly or any stretched skin can reduce stretch marks over time. It is advised to apply the cocoa butter after a shower when your skin is moist.
- Pure cocoa butter (without added fragrances or colors) can soothe burns, eczema, dermatitis, and rashes to help speed healing.
- Cocoa butter as a shaving cream hydrates while allowing the shaver to do its job.
- Cocoa butter melts in hot water so it can be added to bath as a soothing bath oil. Just be careful to clean your tub after so you do not slip!
- To reduce friz, rub a dime size amount of cocoa butter into your hair before styling.
- Melted cocoa butter can be massaged into the hair and scalp as a deep conditioner. Use it up to 20 minutes before your shower, then rinse off.
Read more in Jenny Ivy's article, 10 ways to use cocoa butter for beauty and health, at Delicious Living and at Dr. Axe.