Cocoa Butter for the Skin

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Published December 22, 2019

Olufunke Faluyi

Let us talk about skin care by discussing the beauty uses of cocoa butter . But before then , I need you to hear these things – I stopped buying and using body creams in 2014. At some point , I took a bolder step by stopping the application of relaxers to my hair. I let all the relaxed hair fall off and I now adorn a natural hair. No sacrifice is too big to stay healthy. The reason for my actions is that I stumbled on the word paraben.

Among the ingredients that frequently turn up on label of products ranging from toothpaste , creams to deodorants are parabens .

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Parabens are identified by a wide array of names – propylparaben , butylparaben , isobutylparaben and parahydroxybenzoate. Despite all these tongue- twisting titles that identify them , parabens of any name are simply preservatives ! Without them , bacteria and fungi would begin to grow in these products .

Daily, most of us consume or apply parabens without knowing it. Some of the products in which they can be found are cosmetics such as moisturisers , lipsticks, foundations , concealers , eye make ups and makeup removers . They are in soaps , shampoos , anti -wrinkle creams , deodorants , and sunscreen . They are in food products , household and industrial products .

Paraben everywhere! You have not even heard the scariest part – a research detected the presence of paraben in 99 per cent of breast cancer tissues sampled !

Parabens are chemicals with estrogen -like properties , and estrogen is one of the hormones involved in the development of breast cancer . Parabens mimic estrogen .

The fact is much of what we place on our skin is absorbed into our bloodstream. This is why I need you all to reduce the usage of all these products and go back to nature .

After I stopped buying body creams , l started using shea butter . I buy the one that is openly displayed in the market because I have met mothers whose dark complexioned babies suddenly turned very fair and they insisted it was shea butter they used for the babies. When I pressed futher , they always said it was already packaged shea butter .

This is how I came to the conclusion that most of the packaged shea butter have bleaching agents mixed with them .

I mix my shea butter with olive or coconut oil so as to soften it. I then whipp thoroughly – the end product is a fluffy ice cream- like cream .

Back to the main gist . Cocoa butter , also called theobroma oil , is a pale -yellow , edible vegetable fat extracted from the cocoa bean . Cocoa butter has cocoa flavour and aroma .

It is used to make chocolate as well as some ointments , toiletries and pharmaceuticals . It is also nutrient dense , supplying antioxidants, vitamins , minerals and beneficial fats .

Frequently used in skin care products , this butter is also great for cooking , it is used for smoothies and raw food creation. While most of us are familiar with the rich , dark element of cacao beans , many are unaware of the health perks contained within its light -coloured counterpart . Cocoa butter is what gives chocolate its smooth , melt -in -your mouth , satisfying quality. It is also an incredible source of vitamins , flavonoids , antioxidants and minerals.

In fact, cocoa butter contains generous amounts of cocoa mass polyphenol which has been shown to thwart cancer , prevent cardiovascular disease and ease arthritis . These same compounds also help to regulate excessive T – cell activity – the root cause of immune system dysfunctions like psoriasis, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome .

Researchers believe that the oleic acid content in cocoa butter may lower the risk of heart failure as well. Oleic acid is a healthy mono- unsaturated fat which is also found in olive oil .

Cocoa butter is soothing to the skin and found in most cosmetic preparations . It contains natural antioxidants. It is naturally rich in Vitamin E as well as a number of other vitamins and minerals. Vitamin E helps to sooth , hydrate and balance the skin .

It is mainly used as a thickening agent and is a common ingredient in lipsticks , soaps and emollient creams . In fact, today , most stretch mark creams in the market contain large quantities of this amazing ingredient and many companies use it as their main marketing push .

You get a lot of benefits from eating Cocoa butter but I shall be enumerating only its beauty benefits here :

Skin healer : Weather , hormones and seasons of life all impact on the health of our skin . Cocoa butter is a gentle and non- toxic option to help reverse the numerous signs of life . Almost any pregnant woman will tell you that she has heard of or tried cocoa butter for stretch marks. While there may be no complete and proven cure , women boldly testify about positive results .

The previously mentioned antioxidants also work to lighten age spots, to even skin tone , and to reduce scars. Some people have even recommended cocoa butter as a natural healer for those with sensitive skin or skin irritations such as eczema and dermatitis . Using cocoa butter is an easy way to replace commercial ointments and creams that are generally loaded with harmful chemicals .

Soft and full lips : Our lips are one of the only surfaces of our body that do not self -moisturise . That is why we are constantly licking our lips or reaching for lip balm throughout the day . Skip the chapstick and use a simple inexpensive, 100 per cent cocoa butter stick .

Cocoa butter provides all of the benefits of moisturising your lips while allowing you to enjoy the creamy texture . Because you can easily melt cocoa butter , adding essential oils or adding your favourite colour allows you the ability to create personalised scented or coloured lip balms. The caffeine found in cocoa butter will also make your lips feel more full.

Anti -ageing : Cocoa butter is rich in antioxidants, including oleic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid. These fatty acids actually are a benefit to your skin , because they will provide a layer of protection from skin stressors and free radicals . This helps to slow the process of ageing while acting as a mild sunscreen . Your skin will look healthier from day one. Because this will also slow the development of wrinkles , you will reap the benefits for years to come .

Relaxation : A great way to unwind from a stressful day is with a long bath . Cocoa butter is an amazing addition to a warm bath! Not only will you enjoy the deep , rich scent of vanilla and chocolate, but your bath becomes a silky smooth haven from life ’s stress . Drop about two tablespoons of cocoa butter in warm water .

The melted butter allows for easy full body coverage . If you want to spice up your bath even more , add a few drops of your favourite essential oil and feel the stress melt away . If your feet are dry , make a foot soak using a tablespoon of cocoa butter and a few drops of your favourite essential oil .

Aromatherapy : Pure cocoa butter is fragrant enough to use in aromatherapy. The aroma of chocolate and vanilla is hard to resist . Essential oil experts will readily explain that cocoa butter is not a carrier oil . However , its natural properties do make it a lipid suitable for aromatherapy. You can blend your cocoa butter with a couple drops of neroli which is an oil that reflects a fresh floral scent with citrus undertones . Neroli is known to combat anxiety and depression . If you want to focus on relaxing , try a green or red mandarin oil mixed with your cocoa butter to encourage restful sleep .

Prevents skin dryness and peeling :

Cocoa butter makes an excellent skin moisturiser , plus it does more than just hydrate the skin — it helps to actually heal it from the inside out too . It is a great source of natural antioxidants found in cocoa beans ( the same kinds found in real , dark chocolate that are tied to benefits like heart health and improved cognitive functioning ) . Saturated fats are especially beneficial for healing dry, cracked skin because they are easily absorbed and remain on the skin for hours .

Natural hydrating products also tend to cause much less irritation for people with sensitive skin while still locking in moisture, since they are free from additives , fragrances, colours and dyes used in most commercial products . To use it on your skin to treat or prevent dryness and peeling , try mixing it with other beneficial products like essential oils or argan , castor or jojoba oil .

If you prefer the more liquidy texture of coconut oil and its tropical smell , you can also blend pure cocoa butter and coconut oil together . If you have extra sensitive , dry skin ( such as eczema ) , always use pure cocoa butter and perform a patch test first to make sure you do not develop any negative reactions.

If your cocoa butter is solid due to being stored in your home in a cool place , try combining it with a bit of hot water to make it melt . You can boil some water and then pour it onto a handful of cocoa butter to make it more spreadable. Some people find that black cocoa butter is the softest and spreads onto skin best without needing to be warmed much. But the commercial , deodorised cocoa butters are more brittle and hard .

Soothes burns , rashes and infections : Rub a small amount of pure cocoa butter into burnt skin to help skin replenish . Just make sure it is pure and does not contain any alcohol , fragrances/ perfumes or other additives that can lead skin to become even more inflamed and sensitive.

It is even gentle enough to be used as a natural treatment for eczema or dermatitis . It is also a rash natural remedy .

Helps treat mouth sores: If the inside of your mouth is prone to developing painful sores or your lips develop recurring blisters , use a bit of cocoa butter to keep them moisturised .

Makes a great shaving cream : You can use cocoa butter in your tub to shave and hydrate skin at the same time . It melts easily in warm water and will not clog your drain . Use a small handful before shaving to prevent nicks and to leave just -shaven skin feeling nice and smooth . After showering is another great time to slather it on , since heat opens up pores and makes it absorb products better .

Good for stretch marks: Around the web , one of the most popular uses for cocoa butter is preventing or treating stretch marks , especially during pregnancy . Does this method actually work ? Overall , study results have been mixed regarding its efficacy for stretch marks .

Many people report improvements in visible stretch marks after using it.

Helpful for your hair : Do you want to make your hair more manageable ? Or maybe you want to strengthen your damaged hair? Or just add moisture to your dry hair? Cocoa butter can really help you . If you have a healthy hair, you can still use cocoa butter to add some volume .

It lightens the skin : It helps in lightening visible scars by eliminating the spots on the skin tissue . It efficiently reduces the development of age spots and scars on the surface of the skin . It improves scars and provides smooth texture to the skin . It has rich anti -oxidising properties and it is popular for effectiveness in skin care routine .

It enters the dermis of the skin and aids in fading scars, marks , age spots and sun spots on the skin . It has good anti -oxidation properties that help in effective lubrication of the skin . It has high content of Vitamin E ; this helps in repairing and renewing of the skin .

It also protects the skin from free radicals and toxins responsible for cellular damages on the skin .

It is gentle on the skin and provides natural, soft skin . It has calming properties which are well absorbed by the skin and nutritional value that heals the skin effectively .

It helps in diminishing spots , dark pigmentation , brown splotches and freckles. It reverses dry and dull skin by hydrating the skin and making them firm.

Talking about having a glowing skin , this is what I believe in. When the inside is good , the outside will be good . Your diet has a profound effect on your general wellbeing , so eating a healthy diet is part of what your skin needs to glow . Remember , you are what you eat

You need to know also that your skin is a billboard for what is going on inside your body; some diseases first appear as skin problems . Always listen to your skin .

Nature has an array of things you can use on your skin ; if you do not want cocoa butter , you can use shea butter , coconut oil or palm kernel oil . In fact, the list is endless .

The cocoa butter I am talking about is not the cocoa butter creams and lotions you are used to. I am talking of raw , organic cocoa butter . You can buy it from people who sell organic cream items . However , It is costlier than shea butter . You can follow the process I use in softening my shea butter to soften cocoa butter or melt with hot water as explained above .

If you are able to get it, you will definitely reap all its benefits .

Faluyi writes on healthy eating , nutrition and herbal medicine

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