What Is Cocoa Butter?
Cocoa beans are native to parts of Central and South America and have been harvested to make natural skin moisturizers in places like Mesoamerica and the Caribbean for centuries. Because it has a mild fragrance, a smooth texture (due to its “emollient” properties) and is ultra-hydrating, cocoa butter is a very popular ingredient today around the world in all sorts of commercial beauty products.
Another amazing attribute of cocoa butter? Cocoa beans are a high-antioxidant food, since they contains a significant amount of polyphenol and flavanoid antioxidants. In fact, cocoa beans themselves have been shown to be one of the greatest suppliers of polyphenols in our diets. Some of these antioxidants remain in cocoa butter even after it’s separated from the beans’ solids, which means it’s beneficial for improving immunity, lowering inflammation and improving heart health — all despite the fact it is a once-feared saturated fat. (1)
Cocoa butter is a healthy fat, mostly saturated just like coconut oil. The amount of saturated fat it contains (as opposed to unsaturated fat) is between 57 percent to 64 percent of the total fat content, depending on the exact kind. Among the different types of fatty acids are:
stearic acid (about 24 percent to 37 percent of total fat content)
palmitic acid (24 percent to 30 percent)
myristic acid (0 percent to 4 percent)
arachidic acid (around 1 percent)
lauric acid (only about 0 percent to 1 percent)