The Magic of Cacao Butter for The Skin
What is Cacao Butter?
What is the right way to say it? Cacao Butter or Cocoa Butter? The term cacao butter and cocoa butter are used interchangeably. Typically when chocolate is in its raw state, we use the term cacao. For purposes of this article we will use the term cacao butter.
Traditional unprocessed chocolate, on average, is over 50% fat. In order to diversify the divine bean of Central and South America (and now Africa), most commercial chocolate has this fat pressed out. This separates the cacao bean into two products, a lighter and less nutritionally dense cocoa liquor/powder, and cacao butter.
Although separated, many of the nutritional benefits of chocolate come from its natural occurring fats. So when the fat is pressed out of chocolate and left to cool, many of the nutrients inherent in unprocessed chocolate are pressed out with the fat, creating the antioxidant and nutrient rich cacao butter.
Pure, non artificially enhanced cacao butter is edible, with a mildly sweet taste and a light chocolate aroma. Loaded with a variety of antioxidants and natural minerals, cacao butter is fantastic for cooking and great for the skin. It is rare to find such a versatile naturally occurring substance that provides substantial benefits in all of its uses.
Cacao Butter in Skincare
In youth, our skin naturally produces a multitude of antioxidants. Some, such as Vitamin E, protect us from UV rays, while others, such as Vitamin C, even out skin tone and reduce the appearance of fine lines.
Skin ages as we get older. Many skincare products do not effectively absorb into our skin, instead functioning as short term solutions for persistent problems. They provide buoyancy for a day or hour, but not for significant periods of time. Since the UV light that breaks down the naturally occurring Vitamin C on our skin does the same to the Vitamin C in the skincare products we apply, many “anti-aging” or “wrinkle reversing” products remain temporary solutions.
Polyphenols in Chocolate
Instead of focusing on reversing the effects of aging by replacing Vitamin C, turning towards antioxidants that help protect our skin from Reactive Oxygen Species (or “free radicals”) that degrade our skin as we age, can prove to be more effective. These antioxidants that help protect our skin are called Polyphenols. Polyphenols, such as Retinol and Resveratrol, can be found in a variety of plants and foods in various concentrations, and act as great natural and absorbable skincare products.
One great source of Polyphenols, and perhaps the best source, is Cacao Butter. Particularly rich in Resveratrol -a main protector against free radicals, or Reactive Oxygen Species- Cacao Butter is the perfect protector for our skin. While we may not be able to escape the eternal glare of the sun, resveratrol makes sure that this ultraviolent glare does not harm the skin as much as it could.
Cacao Butter and Other Fats For Your Skin
While green tea and red wine are also sources of Polyphenols, neither contains the same variety or amount of Polyphenols as chocolate/ cacao butter.
This great variety of Polyphenols present within chocolate presents scientists with a mystery. With so many active components in chocolate, determining how these various components interact is tricky. What is for certain though, is that the great variety of antioxidants in cacao increases its benefits to our skin. Since antioxidants are the main component in maintaining our skin's healthy flare, an increase in natural antioxidants will improve our skin's overall health and appearance.
DIY Chocolate Skincare
If you want to make your own cacao butter based skincare, make sure you buy raw cacao butter and don't heat it too high as it will burn when melting and mixing various oils. You can always melt the raw cacao butter and pour them into muffin tins, freeze for 1 hour, and then pop them out. You now have your very own moisturizer bar or After-Shower Lotion bars. If the DIY option is not for you, check out our ChocoVivo Skincare line made with cacao butter: Wonderbalm, Chocolate Rose Body-Oil, Paloma Stick.