Cocoa Butter: Benefits And Uses You Must Know

Medically reviewed by Staci Gulbin, RD, LDN Staci Gulbin Staci GulbinRD, LDN linkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Ravi Teja Tadimalla BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Experience: 8 years
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Does cocoa butter conjure up images of chocolate bars and chocolate ice cream in your mind? Well, this ingredient has a place in skin creams and beauty products too. Consuming cocoa butter might make you pile on calories, but applying it to your skin doesn’t! Why should you use it on your skin? How does it help? Keep reading for the answers.

What Is Cocoa Butter?

Cocoa butter is a type of fat extracted from cocoa beans. This fat is used in the production of confectionery and cosmetics. The beans are initially taken to the larger cocoa plant, where they are roasted and stripped and pressed. The separated fat is made into cocoa butter.

Cocoa has been in use as a medicine for over 3,000 years. The Aztecs and the Mayans used cocoa beans as currency. In recent times, research has discovered bioactive compounds in cocoa and their potential for skin health (1).

Cocoa butter has a composition of different fatty acids, which include:

  • Oleic acid, 34.5 %
  • Stearic acid, 34.5 %
  • Palmitic acid, 26.0 %
  • Linoleic acid, 3.2 %

Just like coconut oil, cocoa butter is mostly saturated fat, which makes up 57 to 64 percent of the total butter content. How healthy it is to consume the butter can be debated in a different article, but for now, we will see how cocoa butter can do wonders on your skin.

How Does Cocoa Butter Benefit Your Skin?

1. Delays Signs Of Aging

Due to its high fat content, cocoa butter is thicker and denser than other moisturizers. It melts at your body temperature, which helps it better absorb into your skin easily and moisturize it. Hence, it prevents dry skin and helps keep your skin soft and youthful.

Cocoa contains polyphenols that may help diminish the signs of aging. They also help prevent skin sensitivities and degeneration. The influence of cocoa polyphenols on skin elasticity was comparable to that of commercially used products (2).

Cocoa may also help with better collagen production, thereby preventing the early onset of wrinkles and fine lines.

2. Works As An Under-Eye Cream

We know that cocoa butter can improve skin elasticity. This property works especially well with the skin under the eyes, which is particularly delicate and more prone to wrinkles and fine lines. The butter helps tighten the skin around and under the eyes.

Cocoa butter may also help treat under-eye dark circles. Its moisturizing properties can help fade dark circles.

3. Can Heal Chapped Lips

Can Heal Chapped Lips
Image: Shutterstock

Cocoa butter works as an emollient, i.e., it adds a protective layer of hydration on your lips. This prevents your lips from drying out or becoming chapped. Since the butter is edible, you don’t have to worry about toxicity.

Keeping your lips moist and hydrated with cocoa butter can treat mouth sores as well (3).

As per reliable sources, these are the ways cocoa butter can benefit your skin.

A large body of anecdotal evidence suggests cocoa butter can benefit your skin in other ways as well. These include:

  • Reducing Stretch Marks

Cocoa butter moisturizes the skin. It can help improve skin elasticity and may reduce the appearance of stretch marks.

  • Assisting In The Treatment Of Eczema And Other Skin Allergies

The vitamin E in the butter can help. The antioxidant vitamin can fight the microbes causing the allergies and assist in treating the condition. It can also make the affected skin soft and supple.

  • Treating Tattoo Wounds

The moisturizing properties of the butter may help heal tattoo wounds. But we recommend you exercise caution as some anecdotal evidence suggests otherwise.

There is no evidence that cocoa butter can offer the above benefits. Therefore, be sure to talk to your dermatologist before you use it for these purposes. However, there are a few other ways you can use cocoa butter.

How Else Can You Use Cocoa Butter?

1. To Soothe Burns

For this, you must ensure the cocoa butter is pure. It should not contain any alcohol or other fragrances or additives. Gently apply the butter to the affected areas for a soothing effect. this should not be a replacement for mainstream medications.

2. As A Shaving Cream

You can use it to shave and hydrate your skin in your bathtub. A handful of the butter would do. You can again use it after bath as heat opens up your skin pores and allows the product to get absorbed better.

You saw how cocoa butter could improve your skin health. Let’s look at the nutritional profile that gives cocoa butter these skin-friendly prorperties.

What Is The Nutritional Profile Of Cocoa Butter?

Calorie Information
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Calories1927(8068 kJ)96%
From Carbohydrate0.0(0.0 kJ)
From Fat1927(8068 kJ)
From Protein0.0(0.0 kJ)
From Alcohol0.0(0.0 kJ)
Fats & Fatty Acids
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Total Fat218 g335%
Saturated Fat130g651%
Monounsaturated Fat71.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat6.5 g
Total trans fatty acids~
Total trans-monoenoic fatty acids~
Total trans-polyenoic fatty acids~
Total Omega-3 fatty acids218 mg
Total Omega-6 fatty acids6104 mg
Vitamins
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)3.9 mg20%
Vitamin K53.9 mcg67%

Guess what, you can even make cocoa butter at home. Here’s how!

How To Make Cocoa Butter At Home

What You Need
  • Cocoa beans, as needed
  • Cold water
  • An oven, for roasting
  • Fan
  • Hammer
  • Sieve
  • Bowl
  • Coffee grinder
  • Clean cloth
Directions
  1. Clean the cocoa beans with fresh cold water. This will remove the unwanted residue. After cleaning, air-dry the beans.
  2. Roast the beans at 100oF to 135o F for about 90 minutes. The heat must be applied evenly among all the beans.
  3. Cool the beans under the fan. Do this quickly to prevent scorching.
  4. Tap each bean lightly with a hammer to remove the inner nib from the outer shell. The outer shells will have already loosened due to the roasting.
  5. Pour the crushed cocoa beans into a sieve with a bowl underneath. Gently shake and press the beans such that the nibs fall into the bowl underneath. The shells will remain on the top as they are too large to go through.
  6. Grind the cocoa nibs in a grinder. The heat from the grinder will melt the fat in the nibs. The powdery nibs would have turned into a liquid.
  7. You can now strain this liquid through a cotton cloth. You have filtered out the cocoa butter.

Now you know how to prepare cocoa butter right at your home. But before you do that and start using it, there is one thing you must keep in mind.

Cocoa butter may cause skin reactions. Some individuals may face undesirable effects. Hence, do a patch test before you apply it. Stop use if you experience allergic reactions on your skin and consult your doctor.

Conclusion

Using cocoa butter is one natural way to maintain your skin health. While most skin care products in the market use it as the primary ingredient, preparing it at your home could be the best decision you will make.

Have you used cocoa butter before? What was your experience? Do let us know by leaving a comment in the box below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can you substitute cocoa butter with?

You can substitute cocoa butter with shea butter.

How long does cocoa butter last?

It can last for as long as two years and, sometimes, even more. Cocoa butter is stable, and its high saturated fat content protects it from rancidity and spoilage.

References

Articles on thebridalbox are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Cocoa bioactive compounds: significance…”. Nutrients, US National Library of Medicine.
  2. Cocoa polyphenols and their influence…”. International Journal of Cosmetic Science, US National Library of Medicine.
  3. Mouth sores”. American Cancer Society.

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Staci Gulbin
Staci GulbinMS, MEd, RD, LDN
Staci Gulbin is a registered dietitian, freelance writer, health editor, and founder of LighttrackNutrition.com. She has been a registered dietitian with the Commission on Dietetic Registration since 2010 and has over a decade of experience in the nutrition and dietetics industry.

Read full bio of Staci Gulbin
Ravi Teja Tadimalla
Ravi Teja TadimallaSenior Editor
Ravi Teja Tadimalla is a senior editor and a published author. He has been in the digital media field for over eight years. He graduated from SRM University, Chennai, and has a Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition & Research from Wageningen University.

Read full bio of Ravi Teja Tadimalla
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