Cacao butter is one of nature's best gifts to man: it's a glorified dessert ingredient, a popular element in chocolate chip ice cream, chocolate bars, and above all that, a renowned moisturizer.
Whenever people hear about these products, the first thing that comes to mind is delectable goodies like fudge layer cakes, but not for this one. Its fame is derived from its utility in skincare and beauty products. Indeed, it's one of nature's best moisturizers.
What Is It?
The substance, also known as Theobroma oil, is a light-yellow vegetable fat derived from the beans of the special tree (botanical name: Theobroma cacao).
The beans are grown in tropical areas around the equator, where the warm, humid atmosphere is ideal for growing Theobroma cocao. Such areas include South and Central America, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Ghana, and Nigeria.
For over 3,000 years, it was used in the preparation of organic medicinal products. It was also used as a mode of payment especially amongst the Mayans and Aztecs for its popularity in many recipes.
More recently, researchers discovered that phytochemicals found in the substance may help maintain healthy skin and improve overall body wellness.
As such, theobroma oil is harvested from mature trees whose beans are considerably large. Following this, the beans are fermented, dried, roasted, stripped, and pressed to extract the fatty substance. Roast cacao beans contain about 54–58% of fat, while the leftovers are ground into powder.
Is it true that it can improve the appearance of the skin? Keep reading to find out more about this delectable beauty treat.
What Makes Theobroma Oil a Key Ingredient for Skin Beauty?
It is naturally high in fatty acids like mystric acids, stearic, arachidic, lauric, and palmitic. As such, it deeply moisturizes the skin, which is why it's known for its ability to hydrate, nourish, and improve skin elasticity. The fat also forms a protective layer over the skin, keeping moisture in.
It is also chock-full of antioxidants which aid in the battle against free radical damage, which can lead to skin aging, dark spots, and dullness. It, therefore, keeps the skin bright, healthy, and youthful by protecting against radical damage. Better yet, it also has emollient and anti-inflammatory properties, which means it may help the skin age gracefully.
As if that's not enough, this fat from the tree also contains very high amounts of phytochemicals, which are natural plant compounds. By protecting the skin from the sun's harmful UV rays, these chemicals may increase blood flow and decrease skin aging.
Though it's based on hearsay, women believe that using the special substance regularly prevented stretch marks and scars during and after pregnancy. It is also believed that it helps in fast wound healing. How true it is, only research can say but beauty lines that specialize in the cream e.g. Palmers constantly have stretch mark treatment products that have been said to work.
It has also been touted as a treatment for eczema and dermatitis rashes. When rubbing the product on the body, it may smell nice and feel luxurious, but how true it is that it improves skin appearance is subject to continuing studies. Experience however from users show that the products work.
Does Cacao Butter Have Other Health benefits?
Yes, it does. In its purest form, it is edible. It contains a variety of monounsaturated and saturated fats, as well as a limited number of nutrients. One tablespoon of theobroma oil contains 13.6 grams of fat, 120 calories, and modest amounts of vitamin K and E as per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Vitamin K aids blood coagulation and improves bone health, while vitamin E aids reproduction, eyesight, and blood formation. The oil also contains choline, a substance whose deficiency causes various forms of liver illness. As such, consuming it helps to alleviate the symptoms of liver disease.
Monounsaturated oleic acids, which are monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acids are also abundant in theobroma oil. They are found in many healthful high-fat meals, including vegetable and animal sources such as macadamia nuts and avocado oil. These aid in reducing inflammation and improving heart conditions.
Last but not least, it helps to lower cholesterol levels. High cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease and other illnesses. The substance can aid in the management of this risk factor, lowering the odds of a heart attack.
How to Use Theobroma Oil
Simply choose creams and body lotions with a high content to reap the benefits of theobroma oil for the skin. Sunscreens and lip balms are also available. Note, however, that many lotions and other products include only a little amount of the product, as well as additional components and additives.
For the pure product, buy it in sticky form, which contains 100 percent of the oil. Additives may also be a source of concern for health-conscious people. To manufacture clean, unrefined, safe products, obtain a piece of whole, unrefined butter and melt it in hot water.
Many do-it-yourselfers have progressed beyond the basics of creams and lotions. They've developed their own skincare brands, including shaving lotion, shampoo, and a variety of other items. Try it today!
Are There Any Risks and Warnings?
The cream is generally regarded as safe to use. Its creams are safe to use throughout pregnancy, according to the manufacturers. It may, however, cause a rash or other allergic reaction in people who are allergic to theobroma oil or other ingredients found in its products.
The impact of the chemicals added to the product has however been questioned by some. According to a 2015 study by Trusted Source, some showed anti-estrogenic properties. In this sense, they inhibited the effects of estrogen, a feminine hormone, on the body. Nevertheless, that was an isolated case and further studies are yet to be done to make it a proven cause for concern.
The Bottom Line: A Valuable Addition To The Cosmetic Industry
Many people use the substance because they believe it improves the appearance of their skin or just enjoy the way it feels on their skin. Unless one is allergic to the cream, there's no danger in trying one of these products.
Buy 100 percent real butter and make unique, safe, and clean skincare products when concerned about additives. Faded wrinkles, few stretch marks, uniform skin tone, and many other benefits stand to be enjoyed!