Cocoa butter, also called cacao butter, is the cream-colored fat extracted from cacao seeds (cocoa beans) and is commonly used to add flavor, scent, smoothness to chocolate, cosmetics, tanning oil, soap, and a multitude of topical lotions and creams. Cocoa butter is also known as the ultimate moisturizer, and has been used to keep skin soft and supple for centuries. It is one of the most stable, highly concentrated natural fats known, and melts at body temperature so that it is readily absorbed into the skin. Cocoa butter is often recommended for treatment of skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis, when used topically, it creates a barrier between sensitive skin and the environment and also helps preserve moisture. In addition, cocoa butter is often used to add volume to fine hair and increase its resilience for styling by moisturizing and detangle coarse hair.
For decades pregnant women have used to cocoa butter formulations to inhibit and treat stretch marks, but this pleasant-smelling substance is also added to countless other topical preparations as well. Lotions and oils containing cocoa butter are frequently used in aromatherapy massages to promote feelings of relaxation and well-being. Recent research indicates that massaging the skin with cocoa butter may aid in the relief of stress, boost the immune system, and even prevent cancer. This is because cocoa butter, like chocolate, contains a lot of CMP, researchers in Japan reported that CMP inhibits the growth of cancerous cells and tumors by reducing active oxygen levels in the body, and concluded that CMP hinders the oxidation of LDL (good) cholesterol and the production of inflammatory cells; there is some evidence that the CMP in cocoa butter may also help prevent heart disease and ease arthritic symptoms.
Also Cocoa butter can reduce the sting of post-shaving razor burn; it possesses a high in Vitamin E, which has strong emollient properties. Applying cocoa butter to the mustache, beard, bikini, or leg area to soften the remaining hair follicles and reduce the redness and skin irritation resulting from shaving. It also contains cocoa mass polyphenol (CMP), a substance that inhibits the production of the immuno globulin IgE; which is known to aggravate symptoms of both dermatitis and asthma.
Cocoa butter can prevent damage from chlorine in pools; chlorine damages the hair shaft, which makes it more vulnerable to pool chemicals, resulting in dull, dry, weak, brittle or even discolored hair. By applying cocoa butter to the scalp and combing it thoroughly through the hair before swimming gives it a protective barrier against pool chemicals.