Cocoa butter has been used for centuries by people as it is a good moisturizer and it has healing properties. The cocoa butter is the fat extracted from the cocoa beans through the process called broma. It is used for making culinary products (mostly chocolate), skin care products and pharmaceutical products. It has a light yellow color and it is completely edible. It contains antioxidants that preserve it well and can be stored in a dark cool location between two and five years.
Cocoa butter it is used to make chocolate by large chocolate manufacturers (like Hershey’s for example) and it most commonly added in milk chocolate and white chocolate. Cocoa butter is the fat part of the chocolate and can take different crystalline forms. Exposing chocolate to different temperatures will cause cocoa butter to form a white film on the surface, also called bloom. In other cases, chocolate might become crumby or soft. Besides these changes, chocolate is still safe to consume.
Cocoa butter it is also used to make soap, due to its moisturizing properties. Even in a small amount between 5 percent and 10 percent, it will soften the skin and harden the soap bar. Due to cocoa butter, the lather is not fluffy, but is creamy and stable. It also gives a chocolate scent to the soap, if it is not masked by strong fragrance oils.
Lotion and Cream
There are a lot of cocoa butter lotions and creams available on the market. Producers use cocoa butter to make skin care products, because it has healing properties, softens the skin and it melts at the body temperature. Cocoa butter in lotions and creams slows down moisture loss and hydrates the skin. It is recommended on dry skin and wrinkles and has emollient properties. It contains polyphenol CMP, a chemical substance proved to suppress active oxygen, a factor in cancer. The production of immuno globulin (that aggravates dermatitis) is inhibited by CMP.
Cocoa butter helps your skin get tanned. It can be directly applied on the skin, or mixed with other oils and natural ingredients. Most tanning oils available in the stores contain cocoa butter among other oils. Try to find one containing only natural ingredients (almond oil, aloe vera, lanolin, eucalyptus oil and carrot extract among others). Cocoa butter is only useful for outdoor tanning and will not protect your skin completely from sunburn.
In the pharmaceutical industry cocoa butter is used as a base for medicinal creams and lotions. It is also used as a base for suppositories as it melts at body temperature.