Cocoa butter is a vegetable fat that is extracted from cocoa seeds, Theobroma cacao, and, besides being a component of chocolate tablets, is a very interesting ingredient for cosmetic use. In fact, cocoa butter has antioxidant properties, stimulates the production of collagen for a more tonic and elastic skin and has nutritional, moisturizing and protective properties thanks to the presence of fatty acids such as linoleic and oleic acid. These features make cocoa butter an essential ingredient for lips, dried or cracked, but also for skin, it has in fact an action against stretch marks and is useful in case of dry, mature skin and sunburns. Among the antioxidants, cocoa butter has vitamin E and phytosterols with a repairing, anti-inflammatory and protective action against sun damages.
In addition to this, cocoa butter contains also caffeine and theobromine, substances with a slimming action that make cocoa butter an ingredient for anti-cellulite creams. At room temperature the cocoa butter is solid, while at 32-35° it melts down, that's why the chocolate is solid but melts when you put it in your mouth! To use cocoa butter as a basis for homemade creams and preparations, you should warm it in bain-marie up to 35 degrees bringing it to melt down, you can add other vegetable oils that will confer emollient and protective properties and essential oils, which can give a fragrance and, depending on the type, can also bring different properties. So, to get a cream with a tonic, slimming, draining and anti-cellulite action you can add to the cocoa butter a vegetable oil such as avocado oil and an essential oil such as that of grapefruit, while for an anti-wrinkle effect there are the evening primrose and rose oil. In case of dry and frizzy hair, it may be useful to add coconut oil to obtain a nourishing mask, apply it on the hair up to the tips and leave it on for a quarter of an hour. Finally, for dry and cracked lips, cocoa butter can be used together with lavender essential oil and wheat-germ oil that is very rich in vitamin E, D and A with a protective and plumping action.