Cocoa butter, also known by the name of cacao butter, is a fat that is obtained from the cocoa beans. Cacao trees are mostly grown in areas that lie near the Equator, may be 15 to 20 degrees to its North or South. These include areas like West Africa, some parts of Asia and Central and South America. For years the local people have used cocoa butter for many purposes, but its use as a skin care product is nearly 400 years old.
An Excellent Natural Moisturizer
The cocoa butter is an excellent natural moisturizer containing antioxidants like polyphenols and tocopherols that help in soothing the skin irritation and making it soft and supple. Being readily absorbed by the skin, it is used in many creams and lotions that are used topically to soothe and soften the skin. It is this property of cocoa butter for which it has been regarded as the ultimate cure for the stretch marks.
Stretch marks occur when the skin’s middle layer that is responsible for keeping the skin elastic, stretches due to weight gain or during pregnancy. Since cocoa butter is assumed to work as a moisturizer for the skin, it is highly recommended to be used on first signs of stretch marks. The natural ingredients of cocoa butter work well for the skin and help in protecting the skin from discoloration which occurs due to stretch marks.
However it is a fact that there are no clinical evidences or scientific studies that show any relationship between cocoa butter and the stretch marks. Some studies do show a relationship between Vitamin E and stretch marks, but that is also limited to the fading of the marks and not complete elimination. Therefore the use of cocoa butter for removal of stretch marks is related to the extent that it is used as an ingredient along with other natural products that are used to remove any existing stretch marks and prevent the formation of new ones.
Side Effects and Safety Notes
As a moisturizer, cocoa butter is great for the skin. But those that suffer from serious skin problems like eczema should always use cocoa butter only after consultation with a physician. Often cocoa butter is used to speed up the suntan process. Though a natural tan can be enhanced by the cocoa butter, there is no sun protection factor in it thus it could lead to the skin being affected by the harmful UV rays of the sun. Cocoa butter is also not recommended for those that suffer from nut allergies.