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Medicinal Properties of Cocoa Butter

by
author image Walt Pickut
Walt Pickut has published peer-reviewed medical research since 1971. Pickut teaches presentational speaking and holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors and is editor for "The Jamestown Gazette." Pickut holds bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and master's degrees in physiology and mass communication.
Medicinal Properties of Cocoa Butter
Woman putting lotion in her hand Photo Credit Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

Overview

Chocolate lovers can find a lot to love in cocoa butter, also called oil of theobroma, a yellowish-white solid fat that melts into a smooth, creamy liquid at body temperature and emits a mild chocolate aroma, according to an on line version of Maud Grieve's early twentieth century classic, "A Modern Herbal." The fat pressed from cocoa bean pods can sooth your dry and injured skin. Cocoa butter is a high quality emollient, a skin softening and moisturizing agent.

Sun Soother

Smooth a cocoa butter-based cream over your skin to sooth yourself after a day in the sun. Cocoa butter adds moisture, promotes healing and prevents the drying and cracking that often lead, a few days later, to the unsightly skin peeling that reminds you you spent a little too long in the sun without protection. Many sunblock lotions take advantage of cocoa butter's emollient qualities to provide a skin-friendly medium for other skin health ingredients like vitamins A and C and the sun blocking agent, zinc oxide.

Lip Balm

You can be confident of its safety when you use a cocoa butter-based lip balm to prevent or sooth sun-dried or winter-chapped lips. Any substance you smooth onto your lips is sure to be taken internally, eventually. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, Food Additive Status list, awards cocoa butter their GRAS designation: generally recognized as safe. The Environment Canada Domestic Substance List recognizes cocoa butter as non-toxic, according to a 2010 report by researchers with "Skin Deep Cosmetic Data Base." Lip care specialists at Frost Fish Cove Soaps regard cocoa butter to be among the best lip balm ingredients because, in addition to its soothing emollient properties, healing and sealing your painfully cracked lips, it also contains antioxidants that can help repair your damaged and delicate skin and restore your smile.

Burn Care

Apply cocoa butter to burns for soothing, protective and moisturizing care. According to the physician education website, Wounds Research.com, cocoa butter far exceeded a placebo in relieving pruritis, the itching or burning sensations that commonly attend burn healing, when it was applied with massage therapy. The benefit was noticeable as much as 80 to 165 days after injury. In November, 1998, the U.S. Patent Office granted a patent for a product containing 75 to 100 percent cocoa butter designed to treat first- and second-degree sun or thermal burns. The product promoted 100 percent regrowth of new skin by 8 to 9 days after injury, much more quickly than untreated burns. Many burn care products have since been marketed commercially using this cocoa butter breakthrough.

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