My first experience with cocoa butter was when I was about five years old. My Grandmother had a bottle of Palmer’s Cocoa Butter lotion that she kept in the cabinet under her bathroom sink. She gave me a small dab to rub into my hands. The scent was intoxicating to me—chocolatey without being cloyingly sweet.
I’ve graduated from store-bought cocoa butter creams, that are typically short on cocoa butter, to the real stuff. And let me tell you, the real stuff is heavenly.
I want you to love it too! Are you ready to learn how to use cocoa butter to create healthier skin?
What Is Cocoa Butter?
Cocoa butter is the rich butter harvested from the seed of the cacao tree. This amazing tree grows in tropical climates and gives us cacao, cocoa, and cocoa butter.
I had the opportunity to visit a cocoa farm on Maui and saw these lovely trees and large, beautiful cocoa pods up close. Plus got a crash course in how chocolate and cocoa butter is made.
The large cocoa pods are harvested and the cocoa beans are removed. The beans are roasted and pressed to separate out the rich fat–the cocoa butter. The remaining beans are processed to make cocoa.
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Pure, unrefined cocoa butter is creamy beige in color. While those cocoa butter lotions may include real cocoa butter, they aren’t 100% cocoa butter.
Pure unrefined cocoa butter is easy to find at most health food stores. It’s inexpensive too—less than two dollars for a one ounce stick. Of course, you can get larger quantities of cocoa butter at online suppliers.
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5 Easy Ways to Use Cocoa Butter On Your Skin
Cocoa butter is a great moisturizer. It helps soften and smooth the skin.
It’s also a skin protectant and works wonders on chapped skin and lips. When I use cocoa butter regularly, my skin not only feels better but looks super healthy too.
Beyond that, it smells just like chocolate. Chocolate that you can rub all over your skin! What’s not to love about that?
Here are 5 easy ways to use cocoa butter on your skin.
1. Simple Cocoa Body Butter
Cocoa butter is very hard and brittle at room temperature. But it’s melting point is a lovely 98 degrees–body temperature. This makes it super easy to use as is: rub pure cocoa butter over your skin until it melts, then massage the luxurious oil into your skin.
But with just a few extra minutes, you can craft an amazing whipped body butter. Melt together 1/2 cup cocoa butter with 1/2 cup sweet almond oil. Remove from heat and let cool until the oils become opaque and nearly solidified. Whip with a hand mixer until light and fluffy like frosting. So good!
2. All-Natural Lip Balm
You can use that same stick of cocoa butter as a simple lip balm too. Cocoa butter on the lips is to die for! It feels so creamy smooth. And, yes, it does taste like chocolate.
Cocoa butter is completely edible, and is used in many everyday foods (like chocolate, surprise surprise!). So it’s super safe for your lips.
Cocoa butter is an amazing ingredient in DIY lip balm recipes, like this Peppermint Cocoa lip balm recipe (just three simple ingredients, my friend!)
3. Emollient Cuticle Cream
Between the garden, stacking hay, brushing horses, and general country life, my hands take a beating. But after just a few days of using cocoa butter on my ragged cuticles they look good as new.
Rub a small bit of cocoa butter into your nails and cuticles every night before bed, and anytime throughout the day you need a little extra moisturization or protection.
4. Solid Perfume Bar Base
Cocoa butter makes a super decadent base for a 100% natural perfume bar.
Heat 1/4 ounce cocoa butter until just barely melted (you don’t want it too hot). Add 10 drops essential oils of your choice.
Remember, the chocolate scent of the cocoa butter will come through too. Some delicious choices are peppermint essential oil (for chocolate mint perfume) or sweet orange essential oil (for chocolate orange perfume).
But don’t be afraid to experiment with some outside the box scents. I’ve used sage, patchouli, and lavender and they all smelled fabulous.
Once you’ve added the essential oil, pour the mixture into a lip balm tube. Let set until solid. To use, rub the stick over your neck, behind the ears, or on the wrists for an subtle, all-natural scent.
5. Decadent Bath Melt Base
What is a bath melt, you ask? It’s basically solid bath oil, and they’re so easy to make.
Gently heat 4 ounces cocoa butter in a small water bath. Mix in 50 drops, or about 1/2 teaspoon, essential oils of your choice. You can mix-and-match. For this application I like chamomile, clary sage, lavender, geranium, or a mix of all of these.
Pour the cocoa butter and EO mix into wells of a silicon mini ice cube tray. Let set 24 hours to solidify. Pop out of the ice cube tray and store bath melts in a jar with a lid.
To use, drop 1 bath melt into the tub, let it melt into the bathwater, and soak for at least 20 minutes. Your skin will be so smooth.
Please note, bath melts can make the bottom of your tub super slippery. Please take care and give your tub a quick scrub after use to remove oily residue.
A Few Must-Knows Before You Use Cocoa Butter
There are countless other ways to use cocoa butter in your skin scare routine, but these five will get you started if you’ve never had the opportunity to use pure cocoa butter before.
I don’t recommend using cocoa butter on the face. It’s slightly comedogenic (which means it can clog your pores).
Also, there’s one glaring omission here—nothing about stretch marks! That’s because cocoa butter won’t do anything for existing stretch marks (I’m sorry, I hate being the bearer of bad news.)
And the jury is still out on whether cocoa butter can prevent stretch marks. So, if you’re pregnant I’d say why not? Even if it doesn’t prevent them, cocoa butter can help prevent the itchy feeling (caused by the skin stretching) by keeping it moisturized and lubricated.