In today’s hectic world and busy work schedules, people are always on the lookout for possible ways to improve their overall physical and mental well being and to enhance their quality of life. A number of things can be done to achieve this such as an adjustment in one’s diet, increased physical activity, and exercise, taking different natural supplements or food items, and lessening unnecessary stress and unhealthy activities. Primarily, though, people look for natural beauty and skincare products that help contribute to skin health and their physical appearance. Luckily, there are certain natural products that can people in their goal of achieving more beautiful and healthier skin and such types of beauty products are those with added cocoa butter or cacao butter. In this article, we will look at some of the uses and benefits of cocoa butter and how it can help individuals achieve better skin health and improved physical wellbeing.
Cocoa Butter: A Brief Overview
Cocoa butter is usually a term that is closely associated with special food items like desserts such as layer cakes, chocolate bars, and chocolate ice cream. However, this seemingly tasty food item is also very prominently added to a lot of beauty products and creams for topical use on the skin. The Cocoa butter found in the above-mentioned beauty products doesn’t really contribute to weight gain but can they really help contribute to improved or healthier skin?
Cocoa butter is technically a type of fat that is harvested from the beans of the cocoa plant. The cocoa plant is harvested and the beans inside it are taken to be processed. The said cocoa beans go through a process of roasting, stripping and pressing to retrieve cacao butter fats. Those that are left after the retrieval of the fats are then used and converted into cocoa powder.
Cocoa as a medicinal plant has been used for thousands of years. The cocoa plant has even been used by the Mayans and Aztecs aside from being one of the most popular and sought after ingredients by the aforementioned group of people. At present, researchers have found that the presence of phytochemicals in the cocoa plant, particularly in cocoa butter fat contributes to the benefits it can provide to an individual’s skin health and improved physical appearance.
What Are The Benefits?
Experts believe that the fatty acids found in cacao butter are the main reasons why it can improve the elasticity of the skin and nourish it to make skin healthier and more beautiful. These fatty acids can also contribute to the formation of a barrier that can protect the skin from losing moisture. Cocoa butter is also known to be loaded with phytochemicals and these compounds can help blood flow be further improved. The phytochemicals in cocoa butter can also help prevent skin damage caused by the sun’s UV rays. Another well-known property of cacao butter is its ability to lessen and even heal wrinkles, other marks, and scars on the skin. A lot of women use Cocao butter during pregnancy and after giving birth to help prevent the formation and further worsening of stretch marks. These helpful properties of cacao butter can also lead to addressing other skin conditions such as dermatitis and eczema.
The Science Behind Cocoa Butter
While there are a number of possible health effects state earlier in this article, it is still noteworthy to mention that the evidence for the benefits provided by cacao butter is not that conclusive. It may feel good and smell nice to use Cocoa Butter products on the skin and on the body but there is little to no evidence that it can actually be beneficial to the skin. Other studies also provide limited supporting evidence to suggest that cocoa butter can indeed lessen and prevent the formation of stretch marks.
Further studies are needed that establish the actual health benefits of cocoa butter but cocoa butter seems to have the potential to actually help address different skin conditions. In addition, further studies need to be conducted to verify if cacao butter can indeed help delay the signs of skin aging and skin damage.
Comparison Between Cocoa Butter and Other Moisturizers
Due to the high levels of fat contained in Cocoa Butter, it can provide a denser and thicker feel compared to other moisturizers. Shea butter is often compared to cocoa butter due to its high-fat content as well. While shea butter may have fatty acids just like cacao butter, it does not have the sweet cacao butter smell that cacao butter has. However, shea butter has certain vitamins that may aid the body in repairing damage to the skin and even help speed up the process of skin healing.
How To Properly Use This Product
Cocoa butter can usually be found in creams and lotions and due to it being edible, cacao butter can also be used in the production of lip balms. Cocoa butter based products also incorporate sunscreen or sunblock to help the said product provide protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Products that have cacao butter are usually safe for use and mild on the skin and can easily be added to any daily skin regimen.
Products that contain cacao butter actually only have a small amount of cacao butter put in them. The other parts of the lotion or cream are usually other ingredients and additives. Individuals who are aiming for pure cacao butter products are advised to get the purchase cacao products in stick form as these products usually have 100% cacao butter content. Other individuals who do not prefer to have artificial additives in their health or skin products may opt for pure unprocessed cacao butter which may be melted in hot water and subsequently used to create their own health and skincare products. In fact, other people have gone one step further and added other natural oils such as vitamin E to create a synergetic health and beneficial effect on the skin.