Hello friend! Today is day three of my weeklong series in healthy skincare. Thanks for following along! 🙂
In post #1 we brushed up on the basics of our skin and in post #2 we learned about things we should always (without a doubt) avoid in our skincare products. Today, let’s think positively and begin our discovery of what makes a great body lotion (or body butter, which is a thicker…but not heavier…version of a lotion). Why should you use cocoa butter? Ahhh, keep reading, friend.
There are three parts to a healthy body lotion:
- An excellent base
- An effective carrier oil
- Appropriate essential oils.
In today’s post I’d like to introduce you to a favorite base of mine. Tomorrow we will dive into carrier oils.
Cocoa butter comes from beans of the cocoa tree, which was first cultivated by the Mayans. Today most cocoa comes from trees located in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
Cocoa beans have been used for many years in making chocolate, but have only fairly recently been realized for their amazing skin moisturizing and healing properties. Once the cocoa bean pods open, the beans are removed and then pressed into cocoa butter, which is technically a vegetable fat. It is best to find raw cocoa butter that is organic and unrefined. This means that the beans have been touched as little as possible by humans, so that they retain their inherently excellent qualities. In fact, when cocoa beans have been harvested, they can simply be put into sacks and placed in a warm room. The natural heat (no added heat necessary!) pulls the natural cocoa butter out so that it can be collected. It is then cooled and becomes a semi-solid form.
Why I Love Raw, Organic, Unrefined Cocoa Butter
There are a few base butters that I really like in body lotions and butters (shea butter is my second favorite), but cocoa butter is always on top for me (and it makes up a great proportion of my handcrafted Pronounce skincare items).
Cocoa butter is a rich and creamy natural moisturizer. As mentioned above, cocoa butter is a fat, but it is a stable fat, but will “melt” when applied to your skin. This means that natural cocoa butter simply soak into your skin for easy absorption (it’s like your skin drinks it). When cocoa butter “melts” into your skin, it is not only incredibly moisturizing, but also provides that nice barrier needed for protection.
Cocoa butter has an unusually high amount of antioxidants, which means that it helps grab up free radicals that could otherwise inflict damage in your skin. You’ve also probably heard that antioxidants help with aging, and cocoa butter is no different. In fact, some studies (although there are conflicting studies) show that cocoa butter can greatly help in reducing both stretch marks and scars. Finally, because of these antioxidants the shelf life of cocoa butter is several years (upward of five), which is often unheard of for natural butters and oils.
The rich, slightly chocolate-y (but not overwhelming, in the least) natural aroma of cocoa butter is…UhMaaaZing. The scent is known to relax people and help relieve stress. I know that it does for me! When mixed with appropriate carrier oils and essential oils, even more beautiful scents will evolve: delicate, rich, natural, etc. This is why cocoa butter is an excellent base, as it mixes very well with many other oils.
Low Allergen Risk–
Cocoa butter is not considered a high allergen product. In fact, it is quite rare to have an allergy to cocoa butter. In my itchy, allergy-ridden home, this means a lot to me.
Sounds like pretty awesome stuff, huh!? I swear by this butter, as I have seen remarkable changes in my son’s skin and my own since we started using it. Not only in our eczema-ridden skin, but my family and friends who have used it have also raved about the moisturizing effects it has had for them.
Here’s my “beware” statement for this post…
Make sure that any products you are using with cocoa butter in them utilize raw, unrefined, organic cocoa butter; otherwise, many of the properties I explained above could become null and void…simply stripped from the cocoa butter.
Also, make sure that “cocoa butter” isn’t a mile down the list of ingredients in your products. Well, actually…you should not use products that have ingredient lists that long (remember yesterday’s post?), but you should at least make sure that cocoa butter is in the top few ingredients listed in your products. If it is not, it is likely a marketing ploy, just making you think that you’ll get the benefits of cocoa butter, but in reality there isn’t enough to make a bit of difference.
I would recommend these cocoa butters to you, as I have used them myself…
- Mountain Rose Herbs Cocoa Butter
- A more affordable cocoa butter option on Amazon and the quality is good (although it is not ‘certified’ organic)
Until next time…
Jess, aka Scratch Mommy