Cocoa butter is a vegetable fat that has many different uses, from culinary to pharmaceutical and cosmetic. It is an ingredient in many products and remedies and it can also be used in its natural form.
About cocoa butter
Cocoa butter, also called theobroma oil or cacao is an edible vegetable fat that is extracted from ground cocoa beans or from cocoa liquor, through extraction in which cocoa butter is separated from solids.
Cocoa is an evergreen plant with pods, which contain seeds. Each of the many seeds in the pod contain 40% to 50% of cocoa butter.
In its pure form, cocoa butter comes in solid chunks of pale yellow or whitish mass. Cocoa butter is used for making chocolate, as a base for suppositories, in lotions, creams, soaps and other cosmetic products. It can be purchased in its pure form or in form of lotions, creams and similar.
Benefits of cocoa butter
Cocoa butter is one of the best skin moisturizers. It is well absorbed by the skin, it penetrates deeper layers and thoroughly moisturizes it without making it greasy or clogged. For this reason, cocoa butter is found in many creams and lotions for body and face, especially in those designed for dry skin. Cocoa butter is also often found in lip balms and topical remedies for chapped or cracked skin.
Cocoa butter has powerful antioxidant properties, and since it is easily absorbed, it can be used to protect the skin from harmful environmental factors. It prevents and reduces stretch marks and helps with eczema and dermatitis. Cocoa butter can even be used to reduce scars.
It is well known that antioxidants play an important role in prevention of serious diseases, because they destroy free radicals. Cocoa butter in dark chocolate provides beneficial flavonoids that are particularly useful for the heart and the arteries. This vegetable fat is widely used in pharmaceutics to prevent heart disease and to reduce pain associated with arthritis.
Even though it is basically a fat, cocoa butter does not raise cholesterol levels. It does not have positive nor negative effect on cholesterol, which makes it safe for use, unlike many other types of fat.
Finally, cocoa butter is very beneficial for the mood. Everyone knows that chocolate improves the mood, but not many people know that this is because cocoa butter raises the levels of serotonin and endorphin, which are responsible for the good mood.
Whether it is used topically on the skin or consumed in form of chocolate and other products, cocoa butter is obviously beneficial for many aspects of human health.