Cocoa butter is an excellent moisturizer for the skin, and African Americans commonly use it to keep the skin soft. Made from cocoa beans into a solid or cream, cocoa butter can be used alone or mixed with other ingredients, and is used in hair products and as a lotion to keep the skin moisturized. It also can be used as a fragrance in different products because it has a chocolate-like smell.
People of all skin tones can have dry skin, and cocoa butter is a rich emollient useful in nourishing very dry and dehydrated skin. African Americans are more prone to looking ashy when the skin is dry because the dead, dry skin is lighter in color, making it easier to see on darker skin. Cocoa butter is a heavier cream, so a little goes a long way. It starts out as a solid or cream when placed in the hands, but it melts quickly when rubbed into the skin. Cocoa butter can act as a barrier against the elements and is ideal to use all over the body during colder and windier weather.
African-American skin is prone to losing elasticity more easily, which may cause loose skin and stretch marks. Africans Americans can use cocoa butter to help prevent stretch marks as well as to help fade stretch marks before and after pregnancy. Cocoa butter increases elasticity so the skin can stretch and expand without tearing during weight gain and pregnancy. It is easy to apply and absorbs quickly into the skin.
African Americans tend to need skin-care products that are a little heavier and can penetrate the layers of skin and leave the skin healthy. Daily use of cocoa butter can help to fade dark spots and smooth rough patches of skin -- such as the thick skin found on the elbows, knees, feet and hands. Cocoa butter can heal damaged skin and help correct aging skin that shows fine lines and wrinkles. Before going to bed at night, rub cocoa butter on the feet, and then put on a pair of socks for softer feet in the morning. It may take a few nights of repeating this to see the best results.
Based in Virginia, Veronica Bland has been writing professionally since 2010. She is a licensed practical nurse, and she writes health and skin-care articles for LIVESTRONG.COM. Bland obtained her nursing diploma from Medical Careers Institute in Virginia.