Cocoa Butter For Skin

Written by Arshiya Syeda

Do you often find yourself worrying about your dry, dull, and lifeless skin? While tons of commercial face creams, lotions, and serums are available on the market, not all of them are designed for your skin type. If you want to go all-natural instead, consider using ingredients like cocoa butter to soothe your skin.

Although widely used as a food ingredient, cocoa butter is popular in medicinal and cosmetic compositions for over 3,000 years (1). In this article, we cover the benefits of using cocoa butter for your skin as well as some easy DIY recipes. Keep reading.

What Is Cocoa Butter?

Cocoa butter, also called theobroma oil, is a pale yellow vegetable fat obtained from cocoa beans. It has a mild chocolate flavor and aroma and is edible. It is a common ingredient in many confectioneries, and is also a popular addition to skincare products.

It stays brittle at room temperature or lower and melts just below body temperature. It is one of the most stable natural fats available and has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Cocoa butter is also a major source of many essential minerals, including magnesium, copper, potassium, and iron.

The topical application of this rich, creamy butter can help your skin in many ways. Check out the benefits of cocoa butter for your skin.

Why You Should Use Cocoa Butter On Your Skin

1. May Fight Signs Of Aging

Raw cocoa butter can protect your skin from UV radiation, thereby minimizing the appearance of dark spots, wrinkles, and fine lines (1). It contains anti-inflammatory properties and also combats oxidative stress to reduce the signs of premature skin aging.

Moreover, cocoa is a rich source of polyphenolic compounds and flavonoids that can improve blood flow to the skin, thus protecting against skin aging (1).

2. Helps Moisturize Skin

Cocoa butter is promoted in the skincare industry as a rich, moisturizing lotion that makes your skin feel smooth. It contains oleic acid, linoleic acid, and other emollients that form a protective barrier on your skin and preserve skin moisture (2). This mechanism keeps the skin soft and supple for longer.

If you have dry skin, lather your body with cocoa butter lotion right after a shower to help seal the skin moisture.

3. May Heal Damaged Skin

The phytochemicals in cocoa butter can repair skin damage and promote healing (1). Plus, its emollient properties can replenish dry skin walls and heal the epidermis. This action may also help lighten wounds and mild scars on your body.

4. May Reduce Stretch Marks

Cocoa butter is often touted as a natural remedy for stretch marks and cellulite. The polyphenols in this rich ingredient may boost skin elasticity and minimize the appearance of stretch marks (a class=”citation_class” href=” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18822039/” target=”_blank” rel=”follow noopener noreferrer”>3).

Cocoa butter is a readily available ingredient that can be used on any part of your body. Find out how you can use this moisturizing product.

How To Use Cocoa Butter For Skin

You can use a wide range of skin care products with cocoa butter, including nourishing creams, hydrating lotions, lip balms, salves, and more. If you are into DIYs, you can buy a tub or stick of pure cocoa butter to make your own creams and salves.

It is best to opt for raw and unrefined cocoa butter, as it retains many of the properties of cocoa. In contrast, the refined form is usually stripped of some of the healing properties otherwise present in the raw form.

Want to keep your skin feeling soft and youthful with homemade cocoa butter lotions, creams, scrubs, and more? Keep reading to know some easy DIY recipes.

5 Easy And Effective Cocoa Butter DIY Recipes

Cocoa butter is a favorite ingredient for those who love DIY recipes! Along with a lovely scent and moisturizing properties, the ingredient is highly versatile too. You can try these easy and effective DIY recipes.

1. Cocoa Butter Body Scrub

This rejuvenating body scrub combines the goodness of cocoa butter with the beneficial antioxidant properties of coconut oil. Coconut oil is rich in oleic, stearic, linoleic, and palmitic fatty acids (4).

You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon of cocoa butter
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder (optional, for fragrance)

How To Make

  • Melt the cocoa butter and coconut oil on low heat.
  • Add brown sugar and cinnamon powder (if using) and mix well.
  • Store in an airtight jar.

How To Use

  • Wet your entire body with warm water to soften your skin.
  • Apply the scrub in circular motions, starting at your feet and moving upwards towards your shoulders.
  • Massage gently while scrubbing.
  • Rinse thoroughly.
  • Towel-dry and slather on your favorite body lotion.

2. Luscious Cocoa Butter Body Cream

This luxuriant body cream is rich, buttery, and smells delicious! It slides on your skin like liquid silk and makes your skin soft, supple, and plump.

You Will Need

  • ½ a cup of cocoa butter
  • ½ a cup of coconut oil
  • 2 to 3 drops of rose/lavender essential oil (for fragrance)

How To Make

  • Melt the cocoa butter and coconut oil on low heat.
  • Mix them and refrigerate the mixture for five minutes or until it just begins to solidify.
  • Whip the mixture with a spoon for about five minutes until it becomes soft, white, and creamy.

How To Use

  • Take a warm shower and towel-dry your body.
  • Take a generous amount of the body cream and apply it all over your body, especially on your legs, arms, and shoulders.

3. Cocoa Butter Lip Balm

If you are looking for a lip balm that is soothing and vegan-friendly, this is the recipe for you! Sweet almond oil has emollient properties, and when mixed with cocoa butter and candelilla wax, it makes for an effective lip balm base (4).

You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon of cocoa butter
  • 1 tablespoon of sweet almond oil
  • ½ a teaspoon of candelilla wax
  • 2 to 3 drops of peppermint essential oil (for fragrance)

How To Make

  • Melt the cocoa butter and candelilla wax on low heat.
  • Add sweet almond oil and peppermint essential oil and mix well.
  • Pour the mixture into small tubs or lip balm tubes while still warm. It will set into a soft solid.

How To Use

  • Apply generously on your lips whenever you want instant softness and nourishment.

4. Cocoa Butter Anti-Aging Overnight Cream

When it comes to fighting the signs of aging, nothing beats the efficacy of rich, natural ingredients. This cream also contains camellia japonica seed oil that is chock-full of linoleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid, stearic acid, vitamin E, and calcium. This seed oil can induce collagen synthesis in your skin (5).

You Will Need

  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa butter
  • 1 tablespoon of camellia seed oil
  • 2 to 3 drops of rose/lavender essential oil (for fragrance)

How To Make

  • Melt the cocoa butter on low heat.
  • Add camellia seed oil and rose/lavender essential oil and whisk well until smooth and thick.

How To Use

  • Wash your face with warm water and a gentle face wash.
  • Pat your face dry. Take a small amount of the cream and apply it all over your face with your fingertips. Massage in gentle, circular motions.

5. Cocoa Butter Foot Cream

This easy DIY home remedy incorporates the healing properties of cocoa butter and jojoba oil to smooth out dry, cracked heels. Jojoba oil is rich in wax esters and helps repair damaged skin (4).

You Will Need

  • 3 tablespoons of cocoa butter
  • 2 tablespoons of jojoba oil
  • 2 to 3 drops of peppermint essential oil (optional, for fragrance)

How To Make

  • Melt the cocoa butter on low heat.
  • Add jojoba oil and mix well.
  • You can add a few drops of peppermint essential oil for a refreshing fragrance.

How To Use

  • Wash your feet with warm water and soap.
  • Towel dry.
  • Apply a generous amount of the cream on both feet and massage gently.
  • Do this daily before going to sleep.

Using cocoa butter for skin is simple. You can use it daily for effective results. But some people believe this ingredient can darken skin. How far is this true?

Does Cocoa Butter Darken Your Skin?

No, this statement has no scientific backing. Cocoa butter is a gentle, healing ingredient known to promote skin health. Anecdotal evidence suggests that it may even out your skin tone.

How Long Does Cocoa Butter Take To Work On Dark Spots?

Anecdotal evidence suggests that cocoa butter may take four to six weeks to reduce dark spots. In some cases, it may take a couple of months too.

While cocoa butter is often promoted as a magic ingredient that erases dark spots and fights hyperpigmentation, there is little scientific evidence to prove the same.

However, this is not to say cocoa butter is not good for your skin. It is full of emollients that hydrate and moisturize your skin and can soften and nourish your skin with consistent use. Some dark spots tend to fade with time, and regular use of cocoa butter may be attributed to this effect.

Does Cocoa Butter Have Any Side Effects?

  1. No. Topically applying cocoa butter on the skin is unlikely to cause any side effects.
  1. However, cocoa butter is comedogenic and is not recommended for those with acne-prone skin. It may clog pores and trap debris and oils, which may further worsen the condition. The greasy butter may even cause rashes on sensitive facial skin. Thus, it is advised to run a patch test on your body before rubbing it on your face.
  1. Even if you do not have sensitive skin, your skin may still react differently to cocoa butter. Hence, performing a patch test is important. Get in touch with your dermatologist if you notice any breakouts, irritation, or other side effects.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a non-toxic, natural product to repair and restore your skin health, you can consider cocoa butter. This creamy, fragrant ingredient is chock-full of antioxidants and moisturizes your skin from within. It also hydrates your skin and keeps it supple.

Grab some cocoa butter moisturizer or try one of the easy DIY recipes. We are sure you will be happy with your decision!

Sources

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Arshiya Syeda is an editor and certified counselor. Ever the lover of the written word, she served on the editorial boards of her school and college newsletters. Writing articles on hairstyles, hair care, and nutrition helped her combine her love for reading, writing, and research. As an editor, she helps her team members deliver polished and meticulously researched content. Arshiya is fluent in English, Urdu, and Hindi and aims to become a multilinguist by learning German and teaching herself American Sign Language (ASL).