Cocoa butter: A key ingredient in chocolates, bars (and lotions, too)
Updated: Oct 30, 2019
When you think of cocoa butter, you probably think of nutrition bars, chocolate bark, or other sweet treats you love to keep around the house. And while cocoa butter may take up space in your pantry, it should probably also be taking up a space in your medicine cabinet or bathroom vanity: a key ingredient in many lotions and skincare products, cocoa butter has major benefits for the epidermis.
Extracted from the cocoa bean native to equatorial regions and most commonly grown in West Africa, cocoa butter is a white, fatty substance used in baking, ointments, and of course, chocolate. The substance comes from inside small kernel-shaped cocoa beans, which are removed from inside larger gourd-shaped pods. After being taken out of the pods, the beans are laid out to dry, fermented, and pressed to remove oil from inside of them. That oil is then set for several hours, at which point it hardens into a butter.
The final substance, cocoa butter, is rich in lipids, which, when applied to the skin, form a protective layer around it to lock in moisture and protect it from external threats, like cold weather or dry air. These same fatty acids also help moisturize the skin, improving its elasticity and reducing signs of aging.
The substance is also rich in antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties, reducing the appearance of scars and blemishes and protecting the skin from sun damage. Cocoa butter has been said to reduce symptoms of eczema, dermatitis, and other skin irritations (however, it’s worth noting that it shouldn’t be applied directly to acne).
Bartholomew Sisters is a long-time fan of cocoa butter. Find it mixed into many of our shea butter formulas, an ideal moisture-locking addition to a combination of natural ingredients perfect for keeping your skin smooth and soft as temperatures drop. So next time you’re shopping for chocolate, keep an eye out for cocoa butter-based lotions like ours as well — your skin will thank you for it.