Do you shop at the Saskatoon Farmer's Market? I don't get there quite as much as I'd like to, but it's one of my favourite spots in Saskatoon. Specifically I can't get enough of Those Girls at the Market! They specialize in "organic raw chocolate that is vegan-friendly and free of dairy, gluten, soy, and white refined sugars". If you haven't tried it you're seriously missing out! I'll be stocking up this week for Valentine's Day.
One of the main ingredients in their chocolate is cacao butter. Cacao butter is the raw form of cocoa butter. Julianna tipped me off to the idea of playing with cocoa butter in some of my skin care services, (so you can all thank her when your hands are feeling extra hydrated). Keep scrolling to learn a little more about why cocoa butter is such a great skin care ingredient from the expert herself.
"As a chocolatier, I get self conscious when someone walks into the kitchen. I very likely have chocolate all over my face because I’m constantly taste-testing each batch and occasionally I intentionally smear a little on myself when my skin is feeling any less than fabulous (for reasons you are about to find out).
We tend to associate chocolate with guilty indulgences and over-commercialized holidays, but it’s about time we change our relationship with this wonderful superfood. I gravitate towards focussing on the internal benefits chocolate has on our body (like reducing our risk of heart disease and lowering blood pressure), but today we’re going to explore why you might want to consider lathering yourself in one of the main ingredients: cocoa butter.
Cocoa butter is what makes a good quality chocolate melt in your mouth. It’s the oil from the seed (sometimes called “bean”) of the cocoa tree. This tree is called Theobroma Cacao and literally (and understandably…) translates into “Food of the Gods”. For centuries, cocoa butter has been harvested in Mesoamerica and the Caribbean and used as a natural skin moisturizer. The oil is a creamy off-white substance that is solid at room temperature due to it’s highly saturated fat content (don’t be freaked out by the word “saturated fat”). It melts at body temperature, allowing it to perfectly absorb into our skin with the friction of massage, leaving us with supple skin and one of the most delectable aromas.
Although one will experience immediate relief from dry, chapped skin, the magic happens at a another level. Cocoa butter creates a barrier between one’s skin and the environment allowing our skin to maintain it’s own natural moisture. Therefore, instead of artificially or superficially moisturizing our skin, it allows our skin to heal from the inside out, which is key to deeply healthy and happy skin! In addition to being rich in antioxidants, such as Vitamin E (which reduces the oxidation or damage of our cells), cocoa butter is specifically prized for containing cocoa mass polyphenol (CMP). CMP is anti-inflammatory and specifically beneficial for those who experience dermatitis (inflammation of the skin). It acts by inhibiting a certain immunoglobulin (called IgE) known to aggravate symptoms such as red, dry, itchy skin. CMP is also well known for its “anti-aging” effects, improving our skin’s elasticity, collagen retention and production, and levels of hydration. This also allows cocoa butter to help us fade the appearance of scarring, reduce pigmentation, and even out skin’s appearance… all while being 100% edible and without any weird or harsh synthetic chemicals.
So next time you get a little chocolate on yourself, instead of wiping it off… try rubbing it in."
- Julianna Tan