If magic really does exist, its secret is likely locked somewhere inside the cacao bean. Chocolate’s enchantment is legit. Whether you’re six or 60, it never loses its ability to make you smile.
But its enchanting benefits don’t stop at ice cream or hot cocoa. One key component of chocolate—cocoa butter—does to your body what eating chocolate does to your smile.
Cocoa butter is the fatty part of the very complex cacao bean (seriously one of the most complex foods on the planet, with hundreds of chemical compounds). The antioxidant-rich purplish-brown polyphenols is what makes chocolate as we know it, but it needs that fat to make it creamy and rich. The chocolate-making process is indeed alchemy (further proving its magic status). It involves separating the bean into its fat and cocoa solids, then mixing them back together with sugar and other flavors (or leaving the fat out in the case of cocoa powder).
Like other skin-friendly butters shea and mango, creamy cocoa butter is a skin-loving fat that helps smooth out dryness, lock in moisture, and keep skin soft and supple. While eating chocolate is an indulgent treat, slathering cocoa butter onto your skin daily is damn near a necessity.
Here are five cocoa butter skin products to try today.
1. Nubian Heritage Patchouli and Buriti Hand and Body Scrub
Skin scrubs are great ways to slough off dry, flaky skin and lock in moisture. Scrubs are usually a mix of an exfoliant like salt, sugar, shells or hulls, mixed with oils to penetrate deep into the skin and hydrate. With a mix of sugar and fragrant patchouli oil, this scrub uses a top-tier blend of oils including shea, cocoa, olive, buriti, and jojoba to let new skin cells shine. Smooth all over rough patches, or, for a really nice treat, use on legs before or after shaving. (But be sure to only use sugar scrubs after shaving as salt will burn!)
2. Shea Moisture 100% Cocoa Butter Lotion
Just like chocolate does not discriminate in its smile-making at any age, this Shea Moisture cocoa butter lotion does the same for skin. Young, old, sensitive, or sturdy, slather this silky soft cocoa butter lotion from head to toe and back again. Shea Moisture is committed to the highest quality fair-trade ingredients. So you can feel even better about what you’re putting on your body because it’s also putting forward an ethical commitment to making the world a better place. A little chocolate for the soul.
Dry skin can turn into a real problem. From the rough and itchy to painful and cracking, dry skin needs healing and prevention. And for anyone who works with their hands regularly, it can be a challenge to keep that dryness at bay. JASON’s cocoa butter lotion is intensely hydrating, making it a perfect lotion for the dryest skin. Soothing chamomile gives your skin and your olfactory senses another calming queue, too. Breath in cocoa and chamomile, and exhale negativity. Moisturize and repeat.
4. Booda Butter Tub of Love
This creamy, dreamy tub of love from Booda Organics contains only five ingredients: shea butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil, olive oil, and jojoba oil. In other words, it’s skincare perfection. All ingredients are organic and fair-trade so you can feel extra good about each creamy finger dip. Rub it generously into every nook and cranny of your body—and because it’s so emollient, a little goes a very long way! It's great as a makeup remover, too. Tame frizzy flyaway hair, and use as a most delicious lip balm as well. Everywhere you go, Booda Butter should go with you. (Just like chocolate.)
For the purist at heart, cocoa butter works wonders on its own. It’s as fragrant as a warm, chocolatey brownie as it melts into your skin. Use this pure cocoa butter as-is, or try your hand at mixing up your own small-batch body butter. Blend up cocoa with equal parts shea or mango butter (or both!). A 4:1 cocoa to extra virgin (organic) olive oil is also a nice variation. And you can drop in your favorite essential oils, too (try frankincense, vanilla, neroli, or ylang ylang). But when you have something as sweet and aromatic as pure cocoa butter, there’s really no need to add anything. Except, maybe, more time to let it soak into every fiber of your being.
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Please note: A product appearing in our blog is not an official Kinder Beauty endorsement. While every product we feature in an article is cruelty-free and vegan, these products do not necessarily meet all of our strict brand standards for curation in a Kinder box.
Jill Ettinger is an LA-based writer and editor focused on vegan and cruelty-free living.