Cocoa butter comes from the cacao bean, which is found inside the cocoa pod, which grows on the cacao tree. The cocoa pod is a large, gourd-shaped fruit; inside the pod are 30 to 40 cocoa seeds. After these seeds are dried, roasted, and pressed, the vegetable fat is extracted from the beans; you can even do it at home if you want. That fat is what we know as cocoa "butter," and what's left over can be ground down to become cocoa powder.
TYPE OF INGREDIENT: Hydrator
MAIN BENEFITS: Heals chapped skin, moisturizes, fights ageing
WHO SHOULD USE IT: In general, anyone who is in need of a body moisturizer—however, if you easily get body acne, you might want to skip this one.
HOW OFTEN YOU CAN USE II: As much as you want, really.
WORKS WELL WITH: Vitamin E oil, shea butter
DOESN'T WORK WITH: Other potentially pore-clogging ingredients
Benefits of Cocoa Butter for Skin
Cocoa butter is an amazing moisturizer, as it's rife with fatty acids. It's also rich in antioxidants!
It's an antioxidant powerhouse: Cocoa butter is high in antioxidants, which help fight off free-radical damage, which can cause skin ageing, dark patches, and dull skin.1 Protecting your skin from free-radical damage is crucial to keep it healthy and youthful-looking. Cocoa butter is also an anti-inflammatory—just another way it helps your skin withstand the passage of time.
It reduces stretch marks and scars: Many women claim that the regular use of cocoa butter kept stretch marks at bay both during and after pregnancy. Now, those claims are obviously anecdotal, but you will find a ton of anti-stretch mark cocoa butter products to choose from. In fact, Palmers, a skincare line devoted to cocoa butter, offers a product just for stretch marks. Similarly, the ingredient is reputed to help heal scars.
It's a rich moisturizer: Cocoa butter is high in fatty acids and hydrates the skin deeply, making it a wonderful addition to body moisturizers and lip balms. It contains oleic, palmitic, and stearic acids, all of which nourish the skin.
It heals sensitive skin: Again, no guarantees, but cocoa butter has been noted by some to help skin irritations such as eczema and dermatitis.