Welcome back to our weekly exploration into some of the amazing superfood ingredients that we use in our organic, raw skincare products here at rawgaia. This week we'll be looking at cacao butter which can be found in all of our raw, organic moisturising balms.
Before we delve into what this amazing stuff can do for your skin, I'm just going to pause to explain what makes it different from cocoa butter.
Although both butters are made using cacao beans from the cacao tree, cacao butter is manufactured without processing the beans using high temperatures. This is done as the butter then 'retains more of the healthy fats and other components found naturally in [cacao] beans'. (1). By using raw cacao butter, we believe that we are enabling the maximum amount of nutrients from these amazing beans to be absorbed into and nurture your skin.
So, how do they nurture your skin? The thing that cacao butter is probably most well known for when it comes to skincare is it's high levels of antioxidants. As you know, antioxidants are crucial in fighting the free radicals that damage your skin. They can help prevent premature ageing as they block these intruders. Cacao is particularly powerful in doing this as the 'polyphenol antioxidants found in cacao belong to the same group of antioxidants as green tea and red wine. These anthyocyanins and catechins protect our cells from premature oxidation or destruction' (2).
A 2014 study into cocoa bioactive compounds agrees and concludes by stating that 'antioxidants found in cocoa protect the skin from the inside by neutralising oxidative stress, a major factor of dermal structure deterioration and premature skin ageing.' (3)
In addition to this, cacao butter contains omega 6 fatty acids which are excellent at replenishing the moisture in your skin as well as helping in cellular healing (4).
These fatty acids also help with skin blemishes, diminishing the appearance of scars, stretch marks and can even help calm skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis. The latter is achieved as 'cocoa mass polyphenol...inhibits the production of immunoglobulin IgE', an antibody which is linked to atopic dermatitis or heredity eczema. (5)
Cacao contains a raw enzyme which can also help accelerate skin cell repair and rejuvenation. And as if this wasn't enough, it is high in vitamin C and magnesium which help with general skin health and it even provides a certain degree of protection against harmful UV rays from the sun (3).
You can probably see why we chose cacao butter as one of the primary ingredients in all our moisturisers. Not only does it provide deep levels of hydration to your skin but it helps fight premature ageing and speeds up cellular healing when needed.
And to top it off, it smells absolutely divine! Chocolate often gets called 'food of the gods' but here at rawgaia, we'd apply that title to anything coming from the cacao tree, not just that which we eat; cacao butter is a truly powerful, nourishing food for our skin, guaranteed to keep it healthy from the outside in.