The MVP Ingredient This Winter: Cocoa Butter
What you'll learn:
- What is cocoa butter?
- Benefits of cocoa butter for hair and skin
- Hair Treatment containing cocoa butter
All year-round, but especially during the colder months, keep this ingredient in mind when building a winter hair care routine. Cocoa butter hydrates, strengthens, and nourishes the hair and skin.
Image Credit: Tetiana Bykovets
What is it?
Cocoa butter is a yellow vegetable fat that is extracted from the cocoa bean after it has been fermented, roasted, and then separated from the hull. This amazing fat takes a solid form at room temperature, has a very long shelf life, and a velvety texture that makes it great for use in cosmetic products.
Image Credit: Rodrigo Flores
It is a common ingredient in self-care products due to its beneficial anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that promote healthy skin and hair.
The benefits of cocoa butter for the skin and hair
Cocoa butter is rich in fatty acids, similar to coconut oil, with about 55% of its residue containing a high percentage of saturated fats. The saturated fats in cocoa butter are easily absorbed and retained inside the skin, accelerating the healing process of dry skin and keeping hair strands moisturized. Additionally, cocoa butter protects the hair from dryness by adding a protective layer that helps it retain moisture.
Reduces inflammation and enhances healing
Due to its high amount of fatty acids and antioxidants, cocoa butter hydrates and heals the skin from the inside out making it ideal for reducing skin inflammation and other skin problems that lead to scalp concerns such as dandruff. It accelerates the regeneration process of skin cells and gives an immediate soothing relief.
Image Credit: Julie O'Boyle
Its richness in antioxidant compounds helps reduce the effects of aging by neutralizing free radicals:
- Stearic acid is one of many fatty acids that occur naturally in various plants and animal derivatives such as cocoa butter. It is used as a thickener or hardener for several hygiene products such as soap bars.
- Oleic acid, also called Omega-9, controls water loss and makes hair softer and more pliable. Most importantly, it has shown to have positive effects at slowing down the process of hair loss by boosting the performance of a 5a-reductase enzyme blocker that reduces the production of weaker DHT protein receptors on hair follicles.
“Researchers estimate that 90% of hair loss cases are due to genes that make a person sensitive to DTH, a major culprit in genetic pattern baldness.” (Ugro.com)
Protects and Strengthens The Hair
Apart from reducing hair loss, cocoa butter helps repair dry, damaged hair and prevents further damage by adding lubrication to the strands and reducing breakage. It adds strength by penetrating into the hair structure and sealing the cuticles, locking in water and nutrients and fortifying the hair. In fact, you can find cocoa butter as a key ingredient in the Repair Treatment. This treatment restores hair mass with a unique formulation that includes regenerative ingredients such as keratin, corn, wheat, soy proteins, oats, and oat amino acids. It is blended with cocoa butter to help the hair regain volume and strength.
Image Credit: Lauren Richmond