Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter (Cocoa Butter)

When you think about cocoa butter, your mind likely goes straight to sweet, chocolatey desserts. But this is also a common ingredient in skincare products. Even though it’s edible it can be used topically as well.

Ingredient TypePlant-based
UsesHydration, skin health
Comedogenic Rating4 (fairly high)
VeganYes – 100% plant-based
SafetySafe for all skin types. Not good for acne and blemish-prone skin

What Is Cocoa Butter?

Cocoa butter, or also known as theobroma cacao seed butter, is a type of fat that comes from cocoa beans. The beans come from the cacao plant. Then they’re roasted and pressed to extract the fatty cocoa butter. The remainder is ground up and used for cocoa powder.

This rich, nourishing butter can be found in its pure form (100% Cocoa Butter) but it’s more commonly added as a key ingredient in lotions, moisturizers, and anti-aging creams. Since this ingredient is edible, you’ll also see this ingredient in lip balms.

What Are the Uses and Benefits of Cocoa Butter in Skincare?

Cocoa butter is high in fatty acids, making it a great moisturizer. It melts at body temperature to soothe dry, sensitive skin. It’s also rich in phytochemicals, which are natural compounds that can help protect the skin against sun damage.

  • Skin Health – Cocoa butter is thought to improve skin health by keeping it hydrated and improving skin elasticity. It contains antioxidants and polyphenols which can help reduce inflammation and protect the skin from UV damage.
  • Hydration – The rich, fatty acids in this ingredient naturally moisturize the skin and may form a protective barrier to seal in moisture.
  • Fight Premature Aging – By keeping the skin healthy, warding off dryness, and protecting the skin from sun damage, this ingredient may help you age more gracefully.

This ingredient is commonly touted as a remedy for stretch marks, especially during pregnancy. However, a study in 2016 found that both cocoa butter and olive oil weren’t more effective than the placebo in treating stretch marks or scars.

The benefits of cocoa butter come from the following constituents:

  • Oleic Acids
  • Stearic Acid
  • Palmitic Acid
  • Linoleic Acid
  • Arachidic Acid
  • Palmitoleic Acid
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • alpha-Linolenic Acid
  • Phytosterols

Will Cocoa Butter Clog My Pores?

Yes, cocoa butter is comedogenic, so it may clog your pores. It has a comedogenic rating of 4, meaning it has a fairly high chance of clogging your pores.

It’s best to avoid this ingredient if you’re struggling with acne or breakouts. This is why you’ll see this ingredient more commonly for body use (instead of the face). But it still may be a concern if you struggle with chest or back acne.

Is Cocoa Butter Vegan?

Yes, cocoa butter is plant-based and 100% vegan. Be sure to check all other ingredients in the product to ensure it’s vegan. This ingredient can be found in pure bar form if you’re worried about other ingredients or additives that some companies use. There are also some great DIY cocoa butter recipes out there!

Is Cocoa Butter Safe?

Yes, cocoa butter is considered a safe skincare ingredient. Most cocoa butter based products also claim to be safe to use during pregnancy but check the label to be sure. This ingredient is safe for all skin types but it should be avoided if you struggle with acne or clogged pores.