The Healing Benefits of Cacao Butter
If you’ve ever wondered why our zinc cream smelled too good not to eat, it is thanks to one of our favourite ingredients: Cacao Butter.
When you hear the word cacao, your mind probably jumps automatically to chocolate or those sweet Cadbury treats. Yet chocolate is not the only good thing coming out of a cacao bean. The butter it produces is not just great for our taste buds, it is also a natural and nourishing ingredient that brings a whole lot of benefits to your skin - inside and out.
In today’s blog, we dive into the lowdown of cacao butter and its healing benefits for your skin.
Chocolate, Cocoa, and Cacao, What’s the Difference?
Cacao or cocoa comes from the cacao tree. A tree grows large cacao pods in which can be found inside up to 40 cacao beans. The terms cacao, cocoa, and chocolate are very much interlinked up until the cacao bean is harvested and processed.
To make chocolate, the cacao beans must be soaked in banana leaves - to remove the bitterness - before being processed. For cacao and cocoa, the beans are directly processed but at a different temperature. Cocoa will require a higher temperature in order to nurture the bitterness.
In the case of cacao butter, the seeds must be dried, roasted, and pressed to extract the vegetable fat that will become butter. Cacao butter has a rich and heavy texture that also fosters a sweet, chocolaty smell. It is rich in antioxidants and fatty acids, providing great healing benefits both when ingested or layered on the skin.
Cacao Butter Top 3 Benefits For Your Skin
Cacao in itself is considered a superfood, thanks to its antioxidant properties. The cacao bean is filled with polyphenol and flavonoids antioxidants. While a 2008 study conducted in France suggested that the polyphenol in cocoa could boost skin elasticity, a 2020 trial noted that cacao’s flavonoids reduced skin inflammation. These two components have made cacao butter an effective skin healer.
Cacao Butter helps heal stretch marks
For any women experiencing sudden body changes, stretch marks are inevitable. And while cacao butter is not a remedy to prevent and stop stretch marks from appearing - especially during pregnancy - the rich fatty acids it contains can moisturise the skin on a deep level, supporting faster healing. This also applies to any type of scaring in general. A scar implies that one layer of the skin has been damaged. In order to boost its healing process and generate new tissue, the skin needs to be heavily moisturised. The components in cacao butter are effective and gentle solutions for that.
Cacao Butter prevent sun-induced skin damage
We all know that the sun and its UV rays can be extremely damaging to our skin. That’s why protecting ourselves against sun-induced skin inflammation, oxidative stress, and cell deterioration is essential. And cacao butter can help us with that. A study conducted by The University of Alabama found that cacao’s polyphenols could positively supplement sunscreens protection. These positive effects could come from both eating cacao - within a diet - or as a topical application of cacao butter when formulated as part of a sunscreen - like our zinc cream.
Cacao Butter can boost skin regeneration
When our skin is irritated, dry, or inflamed, it is likely being attacked by free radicals. Free radicals are healthy cells that turn into unstable particles as a result of a trauma - think of a sunburn or a harsh chemical applied on your skin. Free radicals make our skin deteriorate and age quicker. But thanks to natural moisturisers like cacao butter, we can fight against them and heal our skin. The antioxidant and fatty acids in cacao butter deeply nourish the dry and itchy area of our skin, boosting it to regenerate more quickly.
Whether you like to indulge in a daily spoon of cacao powder in your smoothie or layer up cacao butter all over your body, it is undeniable that cacao can support your body’s healing process from the inside out. However, dermatologists note to be mindful when applying cacao butter onto your body. For those who have oily skin and are prone to acne, cacao butter can sometimes be clogging into the pores.
The key is to look for natural, fair-trade or organic cacao butter, as it will have hypoallergenic properties and be effective on any skin. At Sun & Earth, we use organic cacao butter for our zinc cream to give you the safest and natural option for your skin - with all the benefits.