We love cocoa butter!
Rich and chocolatey, the scent of raw, unrefined cocoa butter is unmistakable.
Cocoa butter is extracted from the cacao beans of the cacao tree, which is native to Central and South America. Cocoa butter and cocoa powder are produced from the roasted cacao beans (cocoa is the term used once the cacao beans have been roasted). The butter is rich, smooth and ultra hydrating and is prized for its skin properties. But that’s not all its good for. In fact you’ve probably eaten cocoa butter as it is the key ingredient in chocolate, giving it that melt-in-your-mouth texture. Raw cocoa butter is edible and has the most wonderful chocolatey-vanilla scent. Read on for how you can get all the benefits of this delicious natural butter.
As a plant-derived source of saturated fats, researchers have found raw cocoa butter to be beneficial for cardiovascular health, and it can actually reduce the risk of heart disease. Its high antioxidant content can help fight off illness and improve immunity. It is a very stable fat and retains its nutrients even when heated.
A healthy and delicious way to get in some of the goodness of cocoa butter is to make your own chocolates! These are sugar-free, allergen free and can be made vegan (substitute the honey for a sweetener such as xylitol or stevia).
Homemade Artisan Chocolate
1-2 chunks of cocoa butter
2-4 T cacao powder
2-3 squirts of honey
1 cap vanilla essence
Organic essentials of your choice for flavouring - I used peppermint, sweet orangeand coffee bean oil(optional)
Melt the cocoa butter and blend in the cocoa powder, honey and vanilla (if using). Pour into molds and stir in a few drops of your desired essential oil for flavouring. Leave to set in the fridge or in a cool place, then turn out the molds and enjoy!
Cocoa butter is full of healthy fats and is an excellent skin moisturiser. It actually heals skin from the inside out and prevents dryness, peeling and flakiness. It is a great source of antioxidants too. Cocoa butter can fight the signs of aging, heal dry, cracked skin, soothe burns and rashes, help heal skin infections and can even be used to treat eczema and other skin conditions. It is also a wonderful lip conditioner, giving your lips a silky protective layer, as well as making a delicious chocolate scented hair treatment. Cocoa butter makes a great shaving cream and helps prevent nicks and cuts. It can also be used during pregnancy to help moisturise the skin and prevent stretch marks. Cocoa butter adds richness, thickness and moisturising properties to cosmetics. Try out some of these DIY recipes:
Vanilla Cocoa Lip Conditioner
7g beeswax or a vegan alternative such as kahlwax, carnauba wax or soy wax.
15g cocoa butter
30g sweet almond oil
10 drops vanilla blend (optional)
8 drops of vitamin E oil
Melt the beeswax, cocoa butter and almond oil. You may want to melt the beeswax first as it will take the longest to liquify. Once the oils have melted, add the vanilla oil and vitamin E oil. Then pour into little tins and leave to set.
If you want to make any products vegan-friendly there are a couple of beeswax substitutions available. Try kahlwax, carnauba wax or soy wax.
Whipped Cocoa Body Butter
1 cup raw cocoa butter
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup shea butter (optional or use more cocoa butter instead)
1/2 tablespoon beeswax (optional) or a vegan alternative such as kahlwax, carnauba wax or soy wax.
1/2 teaspoon vanilla oil
Melt the cocoa butter, coconut oil, shea butter (if using) and beeswax in a heavy bottomed pan or in a water bath. Transfer to a bowl when melted and cool in the fridge for 45 minutes or until the oils just begin to solidify. Then use a hand blender/immersion blender to whip the butter until it is soft and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Transfer to glass jars.
Cocoa Butter Bath Melts
Melt cocoa butter and pour into molds or an ice cube tray. You can add a drop or two of your favourite essential oil for extra bath-time bliss. Leave to set then turn out. The butter bath melts will melt easily in the warm water and will coat your skin in a glorious conditioning oil.
Cocoa Mandarin Lotion Bar
54g cocoa butter
15g shea butter
15g sweet almond or sunflower oil
15g beeswaxor a vegan alternative such as kahlwax, carnauba wax or soy wax.
1g mandarin essential oil
Melt the oils, butters and beeswax together, then add the mandarin essential oil. Pour into a mold and leave to set. To use, simply rub the bar into your skin. It melts into warm skin.
In aromatherapy, melted cocoa butter is a fragrant and rich carrier oil for massage, on its own or combined with an essential oil. Go for citrus oils as citrus scents blend best with the cocoa butter.
Best of all, cocoa butter raises your endorphin levels and makes you feel happy, just like chocolate. Even just sniffing the container will make you feel incredibly satisfied, happy and relaxed. Slather it on your skin and you’ll be floating in a cocoa butter cloud of happiness!