Cocoa Butter: Benefits for Skin, Uses, and More

 

Reviewed by Jaimee Gooley, R.D.

Written by Hannah Marchese

When you think of cocoa butter, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For some people, it might be a tasty treat or something chocolatey. After all, cocoa is in chocolate, right? 

We hate to disappoint you, but cocoa butter isn’t typically used in desserts at all; in fact, it can be used in skin care and topical products. Turns out names can be deceiving! 

That’s not to say you can’t eat it, because you totally can (and may we suggest you do!). Eating it can give you just as many benefits as using it on your skin. Of course, the benefits are a little bit different when used internally or externally, but you get the point! 

Feel free to add cocoa butter to any recipes you come up with. If you happen to create an amazing dessert, good for you (p.s. Please share, we’d love to try it). Cocoa butter smells and tastes slightly like dark chocolate, but it isn’t a strong smell or taste.  

Whether you want to eat it or use it on your skin is totally up to you (we suggest doing both!). Either way, it’s important to know what the benefits are with cocoa butter. It’s also important to know if you need to take any precautions before using it. 

Let’s jump right into everything you need to know about cocoa butter. Kalumi has the info you need!

Benefits of Cocoa Butter

There’s a wide variety of benefits when it comes to cocoa butter. It’s amazingly versatile and highly nutritious. We love the fact that it doubles as a nutrient for your skin both on the inside and out. 

Cocoa butter is rich in fatty acids, which is why it is often touted for its ability to boost elasticity and nourish and hydrate the skin. This is due to the fat in cocoa butter forming a protective barrier to lock in moisture over the skin.

Cocoa butter is also high in phytochemicals, a natural plant compound that is used to improve blood flow and slow down the signs of aging. These substances work by protecting against damage from the sun’s UV rays. 

All of these benefits apply when cocoa butter is used topically. Its skin-healing properties are similar to shea butter, but shea butter has more research backing up its skin benefits. Cocoa butter works great in lotions, but it’s not always the most commonly used ingredient. 

When you consume cocoa butter, the important benefits are that it’s high in fatty acids and rich in phytochemicals. It’s also a decent source of vitamin E, which is great for your overall skin health.

External Uses​

As we mentioned, cocoa butter can be used topically on your skin. It can be used on your entire body from head to toe. You shouldn’t have an issue using cocoa butter on your skin unless you have an allergy or sensitivity. To be sure, you should always do a test patch on your arm or neck to make sure you have no reaction. 

You should, however, be extra careful when using it on your face. Similar to other natural oils and butter (like coconut oil), it can clog your pores if you use too much or have sensitive skin. This is why it’s usually better to not just slather raw cocoa butter on your face without testing an area. 

There are skincare products that have medical-grade formulations that won’t break you out. Of course, if you want to put a bunch of cocoa butter on, say, your feet, feel free to just use raw cocoa butter and slather away! 

One possible external use is that cocoa butter may help with stretch marks, wrinkles, and scars. Just to be clear, there isn’t explicit evidence supporting this, but many women swear by it to support their skin function during and after pregnancy (to help with stretch marks). It can’t hurt to try.

Edible Benefits​

When you eat cocoa butter, you can experience even more benefits that work from the inside out. We already listed the main benefits of cocoa butter above, so let’s take a look at those benefits more closely.

Phytochemicals

These are chemicals that are found in plants. They naturally protect against bacteria, fungi, and viruses (specifically in plants).

Fatty Acids

Fatty acids, such as omega-3s, can do wonders for our bodies. Your body cannot naturally produce them, so it’s essential you get them through the foods you eat, such as cocoa butter, fatty fish, etc. They can help with your mental health, heart issues, and they are great for your skin.

Improves Skin

Given the high content of fatty acids and phytochemicals, cocoa butter can help to repair skin and keep its barrier functioning. While we can’t say definitively what skin benefits you might benefit from personally, some people claim it has helped heal skin conditions and improve rashes.

Risks and Potential Side Effects

The good news is, cocoa butter is a very safe ingredient and product. It is safe to use unless you are allergic or have a sensitivity to cocoa butter. 

If you can eat cocoa butter, it doesn’t necessarily mean your skin won’t have a reaction externally, and vice versa. As with any new product or ingredient, you really just have to test it out and see if it works for you. 

If you are worried about additives or chemicals, you can buy cocoa butter in a whole chunk or stick. You can then melt it yourself and use it as is on your body or add it into your cooking or baking.

Conclusion​

As you can see, cocoa butter is a great ingredient and product. It can truly support your body from the inside out. If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to incorporate cocoa butter in your diet, our Kalumi BEAUTYfood bars are a perfect way to do that as all four flavors of our bars contain cocoa butter!

And um… did we mention the bars are so tasty and delicious? (no brainer, right?!)

Our four flavors include Almond Butter Chocolate Chip, Cocoa Crunch, Lemon Love, and Sweet Potato + Cinnamon. We bet you’re drooling right now, aren’t you? Don’t worry; it happens to us too. 

But wait for it… not only do they contain cocoa butter, they also contain eight grams of premium,  marine collagen. Marine collagen is amazing for skin health and can help your skin glow like whoa. Plus, they contain MCT oil and sweet potato for an extra boost of antioxidants. Basically, our bars are a total powerhouse for your skin! 

Whether you decide you want to try cocoa butter on your skin, or if you want to eat it (preferably daily to see results more quickly), there are a ton of amazing benefits. Try it out and see for yourself!  

Sources: 
Enhancing Skin Health: By Oral Administration of Natural Compounds and Minerals with Implications to the Dermal Microbiome | NCBI 
Omega-3 Fatty Acids - Consumer Fact Sheet | NIH 
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Depression: Scientific Evidence and Biological Mechanisms | NCBI 
Age- and dose-dependent effects of an eicosapentaenoic acid-rich oil on cardiovascular risk factors in healthy male subjects | NCBI 
Healing Fats of the Skin | Science Direct 

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