There was a time when chocolate was considered little more than an indulgence. Fortunately for chocolate lovers everywhere, that theory has been overwhelmingly discredited. Current research shows that dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants, flavonoids, and other essential nutrients. Although cocoa beans have an impressive list of possible benefits, it’s the fatty acids and phytonutrients in cocoa butter that could be most beneficial for your heart, liver, bones, and skin.1
But you won’t need to overindulge in bittersweet chocolate for your skin to benefit. Cocoa butter has been applied topically throughout history to help keep skin smooth, supple, and hydrated.2 But that’s not where the benefits end. Once you know the science supporting this centuries-old practice, it’s easy to understand why so many people are using skincare products made with this natural, wholesome ingredient.
So, What Is Cocoa Butter?
Cocoa butter is the natural fat extracted from beans harvested from cacao trees. Once the football-shaped pods are collected and their wood-like shells split, the cream-colored beans are fermented to remove some of the natural bitterness and add complexity to their flavor. Once fermented, the cacao beans are dried, ground, and roasted. Then the roasted beans are pressed to separate the fermented (non-alcoholic) chocolate liqueur from the cocoa butter.3
Unrefined cocoa butter has a subtle chocolate aroma. Refined cocoa butter is colorless and odorless, but still retains its beneficial properties. Whether refined or unrefined, cocoa butter melts at body temperature. When applied topically, this rich, emollient plant-sourced fat helps skin retain essential moisture.4
Research Shows Several Compelling Skin Benefits
Cocoa butter has a well-earned reputation for keeping skin smooth and hydrated. It also smells great and feels luxurious. Although cocoa butter had an established reputation long before researchers could explain why it seemed so beneficial, today, we have a much better understanding of how individual plant elements can help support healthy skin function. If you’re wondering how your skin might benefit, the following observations could help provide the answers you’re looking for.5
Cocoa butter has considerable anti-inflammatory potential. That makes cocoa butter a great option for nearly anyone living with inflammatory skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis. The anti-inflammatory properties explain why cocoa butter helps reduce redness, calm inflammation, and soothe overall discomfort. The plant oil is also gentle enough to soothe minor burns and abrasions.6
Protecting Skin from UV Damage
Current research shows that certain polyphenols in cocoa butter, particularly its flavonols, could help protect your skin from the impact of UV exposure, the number one cause of premature skin aging. In animal and human studies, topical application helped inhibit skin damage by protecting critical cellular components.7
Boosting Skin Elasticity
The polyphenols in cocoa butter function as antioxidants. Not only can the antioxidants in cocoa butter help calm inflammation and protect your skin from free-radical damage, a small-scale study also shows that cocoa polyphenols help improve skin elasticity. Some sources suggest that benefit is a direct result of the oil’s palmitoleic acid.2,4
Enhancing Moisture Retention
Cocoa butter is a significant source of essential fatty acids that help seal in moisture. When applied topically, each of those many plant components contribute in a different way. For example, the oleic acid (omega 9) in cocoa butter is shown to help reduce the appearance of fine lines, while the linoleic acid (omega 6) supports processes that promote healing.2,4
Accelerating Collagen Production and More
The collagen in your skin helps form the support structure that keeps the surface smooth and firm. The amount of collagen your skin produces starts to decline as you get older. When you protect your complexion with cocoa butter, your skin benefits from the phytosterols, amazing plant elements shown to help accelerate collagen production. One specific phytosterol in cocoa butter, stigmasterol, is also shown to improve circulation and help fade discolorations.8,4
Adding Cocoa Butter to Your Skincare Routine
Based on what we know so far, cocoa butter could work at least as effectively, if not better, than many synthetic ingredients you might find in a moisturizer. While there may not be as many studies devoted to the benefits of cocoa butter as you might find for other natural ingredients, the results tend to speak for themselves. This rich, nurturing emollient could be just what you need to help keep your complexion calm, protected, and resistant to premature skin aging.9
To help ensure your skincare routine has the best ingredients nature has to offer, you have two options. You can make your own cocoa butter moisturizer, or you can invest in natural skincare products made without artificial fragrances and questionable chemicals that can interfere with healthy skin function.10
A quick search will lead you to numerous recipes for body butter, silky lotions, and soothing balms you can make with a few simple ingredients. If you like, you can even add a few drops of your favorite essential oils. Whether you purchase a cocoa butter moisturizer or make your own, apply your cream or lotion to clean, damp skin. Applying moisturizers while your skin is damp helps keep your skin hydrated.11
Harnessing the Natural Power of Plants with BOTA™ Skin Care
If you’re impressed with the many possible benefits of cocoa butter, just imagine how your skin might respond to an entire skincare routine made with time-tested botanicals selected for specific skin concerns. At BOTA™, we’ve identified the best plant elements nature has to offer. Then we created an entire skincare line featuring plant-powered products enhanced with the many potential skin benefits of hemp-derived CBD.
Like the cocoa butter you’ll find in so many of our plant-powered moisturizers, CBD is pretty impressive. Once this active plant element is absorbed into your skin, it interacts with important receptors found on nearly every type of skin cell. That means the full-spectrum CBD in your BOTA™ toner, serums, and moisturizers helps support the receptors regulating oil production, skin cell turnover, moisture retention, inflammation, collagen production, and more.12
If you’d like to learn more about the many possible benefits of a plant-powered skincare routine, feel free to read our Complete Guide to Natural Skin Care. Then browse our selection of CBD skin care products. Every BOTA™ product in our collection is third-party tested, cruelty-free, and made with natural ingredients that leave your skin looking and feeling its best.
1. Healthline. K Gunnars (2021 July 27) 7 Proven Benefits of Dark Chocolate.
2. Medical News Today. A Kandola. (2019 May 21) What Are the Benefits of Cocoa Butter?
3. Science of Cooking. (2021) How is Chocolate Made?
4. New Directions Aromatics. (2017 December 07) Beautifying Benefits of Natural Cocoa Butter.
5. Healthline. S Watson. (2017 March 30) Everything You Need to Know About Cocoa Butter.
6. Nutrients. G Scapagnini et al. (2014 May 19) Cocoa Bioactive Compounds: Significance and Potential for the Maintenance of Skin Health.
7. International Journal of Cosmetic Science. P Gasser et al. (2008 October 30) Cocoa Polyphenols and Their Influence On Parameters Involved In Ex Vivo Skin Restructuring.
8. Beauty Glimpse. (2021) Phytosterols and Their Incredible Benefits for Hair and Skin.
9. Euphoric Herbals (2021) 8 Skincare Benefits and Uses.
10. Treehugger. (2014 June 23) Everything You Need to Know About Natural Skin Care.
11. Healthline. A Santos-Longhurst. (2021 May 24) The Secret to Your Healthiest Glow Ever? Applying Products to Damp Skin.
12. Molecules. (2019 March) Cannabinoid Signaling in the Skin: Therapeutic Potential of the “C(ut)annabinoid” System.