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Ingredients 101: Cocoa Butter

By: Sherry Tenorio

It tastes good. It smells good. And, it makes us look good. Yes, the cocoa butter (also known as theobroma oil) is the key to making the melt-in-your-mouth chocolates wonderfully sinful, plus it’s also the key to creating the most deliciously smelling moisturizers that heal and relieve our skin from drying and cracking. So, it’s just fitting to know more about this incredible food (and skin care!) ingredient, right?

What is cocoa butter?

The football-sized cocoa fruit is the source of cocoa beans from which the cocoa butter (the ingredient for your skin care items) and cocoa powder (the main element of your favorite chocolate) come from. The cocoa beans are said to be high antioxidant since these contain significant amount of polyphenol and flavonoid. Such antioxidant elements remain in the cocoa butter even after being extracted from the cocoa beans, and so making the cocoa butter a healthy ingredient that raises immunity, improves heart health, and lowers inflammation.

How cocoa butter is made?

Taking the cocoa butter and cocoa powder from the cocoa bean requires a few steps that include cleaning, roasting, stripping and milling the beans into cocoa liquor. Then, the cocoa liquor is pressed at a high pressure thus separating the healthy, mostly saturated fat (which turns to be the cocoa butter) from the remaining material (which turns to be the cocoa powder). To make the mouthwatering chocolate, the cocoa powder and cocoa butter are mixed together. Meanwhile, the extracted natural oil that becomes cocoa butter is used as an ingredient to beauty essentials such as lotions, moisturizers, lip glosses and lip balms, among others.

Why cocoa butter is a beauty essential?

More than its delectable aroma, the cocoa butter has healthy fatty acids and emollient properties that make it a popular ingredient to beauty items. It is indeed an excellent skin moisturizer because more than hydrating the skin, it actually heals from the inside out, too. The saturated fat in the cocoa butter gives its healing properties that are easily absorbed and last long on the skin. And since it is a natural product, it is non-irritant even to the sensitive skin.

Other than its hydrating benefits, cocoa butter is also great for:

  • Healing chapped lips
  • Fighting signs of aging
  • Soothing burns, rashes and infections
  • Treating mouth sores
  • Working as a shaving cream
  • Reducing stretch marks

Sources: Huffington and Dr. Axe 

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