Cocoa Butter For Skin

All the information you need to find out why cocoa butter benefits both your body and skin.

Cocoa Butter Benefits

What is Cocoa Butter For Skin?

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to hear that cocoa butter comes from the cacao bean. However, what may not be as well-known, is how it’s transformed into the rich, moisturising cream it is today.

Cocoa butter is the natural, plant-based fat that is extracted from cacao beans. The beans are taken out of the cacao plant before being fermented, roasted and pressed to separate out the fat - or as it’s more commonly known as, the cocoa butter. 

Cocoa has always been a very popular ingredient, and dates back to Mayan and Aztec civilizations around 3,000 years ago. Whilst primarily being used for medicinal purposes, in more recent years cocoa products have also proven themselves to be invaluable for other reasons. And no, we’re not just talking about chocolate (although it is delicious). 

You may have noticed cocoa butter present in a range of skincare products - whether that’s lotions, creams, or even lip balms. But in case you weren’t as familiar with the cocoa butter benefits, we’ve got you covered with all the information you need about cocoa butter for skin.


What makes cocoa butter unique?

Despite moisturising with cocoa butter on a regular basis, many people know very little about where it actually comes from.
cocoa butter for skin

4 interesting cocoa-licious facts

  • Cocoa butter is a main ingredient in most types of edible chocolate.
  • Thanks to its high antioxidant content, cocoa butter has a very long shelf life.
  • Although used in sunscreens as a moisturiser, cocoa butter itself offers no protection against UV rays.
  • The texture of cocoa butter makes it ideal for using to thicken lipsticks and soaps.

cocoa butter beans

The history of cocoa butter

Cocoa butter is extracted from cocoa beans, which are grown primarily in the rainforests of South and Central America. Cocoa beans have been grown for thousands of years and were extremely cherished among ancient populations such as the Mayans and the Aztecs. 1828 was the first time a process was invented for extracting cocoa butter – twenty years before the first bar of chocolate came along!
The process involves fermenting the cocoa beans and then roasting them. At this point the cocoa butter can be separated to leave the solid part of the bean, which will later be used to make cocoa powder.


Cocoa butter lotion

What are the cocoa butter benefits when using it in lotion?

Many of the cocoa butter benefits can be traced back to phytochemicals - the natural plant compounds which help keep both your body and skin protected and healthy. There are also many fantastic nourishing qualities to cocoa butter, which make it an ideal addition to your daily skincare routine:

1. Rich moisturiser

Cocoa butter contains a high level of essential fatty acids and vitamins, helping your skin stay hydrated and rejuvenated by locking in moisture. They also help form a protective layer on the skin, which can help maintain the skin’s elasticity and tone whilst also preventing the skin from becoming too dry.

 

2. Contains natural antioxidants

Cocoa butter is packed with antioxidants, making it the perfect barrier against any free radicals that may damage your skin - such as dark patches and premature skin aging. Some of these antioxidants (called polyphenols) are also known to reduce inflammation and protect the skin from sun damage. Win win!

3. Kind to sensitive skin

Cocoa butter for skin is gentle on the touch, making it great for soothing burns, rashes or damaged skin. It is also often used to relieve sensitive skin if you’re suffering from eczema, dermatitis or psoriasis, because of its non-irritable qualities.

 

4. Reduces stretch marks

Many women claim cocoa butter helps to minimise and prevent the visibility of stretch marks, particularly during and after pregnancy. Although many women use cocoa butter for skin care, it isn’t a miracle ingredient for stretch marks and might help to minimise them but also might not.


How do I use cocoa butter lotion?

Because cocoa butter has a melting point similar to body temperature, it provides a velvety, creamy texture when applied as lotion.

Get the best results when using cocoa butter

Apply a generous amount of cocoa butter lotion to your body post shower and massage it in circles until the lotion is all rubbed in. Once dry, your skin will be left feeling moisturised, hydrated and revived. What could be better, or even simpler!

For facial scars, cocoa butter can help by keeping the skin moisturised and supple and is best applied through a routine massage 2-3 times a day. 

 

A quick note:
Cocoa butter is completely safe to use (unless you’re allergic to the cocoa plant), however in some cases it can be known to clog pores for those with more oily and acne-prone skin types. If you’re looking for some further guidance, why not tell us more about your skin type and we can help you find the best skincare routine.

applying cocoa butter lotion to the arms after the shower


NIVEA & COCOA BUTTER

Naturally Good Cocoa Butter

NIVEA NATURALLY GOOD COCOA BUTTER BODY LOTION

The NIVEA Naturally Good Cocoa Butter Body Lotion contains 98% natural ingredients and will effectively hydrate your skin for up to 48 hours - leaving your skin feeling smooth, rejuvenated and deeply moisturised. The Cocoa Butter lotion has been specially formulated for dry to very dry skin and is made with 100% natural Cocoa Butter.

 

 

What else is beneficial for my skin?

Using cocoa butter for skin is a great way to protect and hydrate your skin. But there are a few other things you can do to help with clear skin:

  • Exfoliating your skin to remove any dead skin cells
  • Keeping your skin hydrated by drinking 1.5 litres of water a day 
  • Making sure you get enough beauty sleep 
  • Using sunscreen everyday to protect your skin


Cocoa butter is not just good for skin...

What else can I use cocoa butter for?

Did you know that cocoa butter benefits also extend to other parts of the body?

Cocoa butter for hair

First and foremost cocoa butter acts as a great conditioner for hair, which is no surprise considering how much we’ve talked about its nourishing and ultra-moisturising qualities! It helps keep your hair healthy and thick, so you can start saying goodbye to split ends.

Cocoa butter oil has wonderful softening properties to leave hair looking shiny and healthy. As well as repairing damage to the hair shaft, it prevents future split ends by strengthening each hair. Simply apply as a conditioner or comb in a little after styling to tame frizz.

Cocoa butter for skin

Cocoa butter also contains Vitamin E, which benefits your body in a number of ways. Not only does it help maintain healthy skin, but it also helps strengthen the body’s immune system and blood circulation, meaning you’re much better at fighting off infections. 

Try applying to very dehydrated areas such as knees and elbows to lock in moisture and soothe that tight skin feeling.

Cocoa butter for shaving

Painful nicks and cuts can easily be prevented by applying a little bit of cocoa butter first. It melts in warm water, helps the razor glide along smoothly and will leave freshly-shaven skin feeling soft and silky.

Cocoa butter for soothing rashes & burns

Cocoa butter is gentle and does not contain any additives that could irritate the skin. This makes it ideal for applying to rashes and burns as a natural soothing remedy. 

cocoa butter and shea oil in a bowl

Cocoa butter for food

And it’s not just used in cosmetics either. Cocoa butter is in fact edible, and can be used as a healthy substitute for regular butter in cooking. It’s also a key ingredient in chocolate, so there’s no longer any excuse for not using cocoa butter in some way!

How to make cocoa butter at home

  1. Clean your cocoa beans: Begin by running some cocoa beans under cold water to make sure they are clean, before leaving them out to dry..
  2.  Roast your cocoa beans: Evenly roast your cocoa beans to loosen up their shells at around 40-50 degrees Celsius for approximately an hour and a half. Then quickly cool them off using a fan.
  3. Remove the shells: Using a hammer, tap each cocoa bean to remove its shell and shake the contents through a sieve to separate the shells from their insides – or “nibs” as they are often known.
  4. Grind the cocoa nibs: Use a grinder to melt the fat, turning the powdery nibs into a liquid known as cocoa liquor.
  5. Strain the cocoa liquor: Finally, take the liquor and strain it through a cotton cloth. The cocoa butter should filter through and be ready to store and use.