There are so many benefits of cocoa powder for skin, body, and brain that I didn’t know about!
Like most humans on this planet, chocolate is a weakness of mine. And why wouldn’t it be? It’s delicious, sweet, and lovely, and it won’t leave you, taking the expensive rug that really “tied the room together” and hawking it to feed a different kind of weakness, but I digress.
I enjoy my fair share of kale and quinoa, but my diet mainly includes whatever I can muster up from the dwindling contents of my fridge, though I always seem to have some dark chocolate. Now I assumed, like many, that it was a guilty pleasure of mine to keep on the down low. Not anymore! Chocolate is now good for you!
*Cue balloons and marching band*
Not good...great — excellent even. The caveat is it has to be honest, plant-based dark chocolate that has been minimally processed. So, don’t start downing Mr. Goodbars and other “mock-o-late” readily available at the checkout counter of your local grocery store.
Raw Cocoa Powder
According to many recent studies, raw cocoa powder is an incredibly beneficial ingredient for skin health and beauty. Made from raw cocoa beans and rich in antioxidants like flavonoids and polyphenols, it helps to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals caused by UV exposure, smoking, and pollution.
The unique combination of these antioxidants also helps to reduce inflammation and can even improve blood flow to the areas of the skin where it is directly applied. This improved circulation can help to provide a more youthful look to the skin as it helps promote collagen and elastin production.
Raw cocoa powder is also known for its high omega-6 fatty acids, which can help keep skin soft and supple by helping retain moisture while maintaining excess oils. Cocoa butter has long been used as a natural moisturizer due to its ability to form a protective barrier over the skin’s surface — this barrier locks in hydration while preventing environmental toxins from entering.
Using cocoa powder for skin may also play a role in treating certain conditions like eczema or psoriasis, by reducing inflammation, calming irritation, and improving overall skin texture thanks to its abundant nutrients.
Studies have suggested that it can help protect against sunburns by increasing epidermal thickness and melanin content — both acting as natural sun blockers when applied topically or eaten internally.
As you can see, there are several benefits of cocoa powder for skin. Let's dive a bit deeper into the specifics.
Benefits of Cocoa Powder for Skin
The supportive properties found in cocoa powder are not just abundant internally, they also provide many of the same effects externally. Just as the antioxidants help stop the premature breakdown of cells in plants, it does the same for your skin. Using raw cocoa powder for skin helps protect it from free radicals and helps prevent signs of ageing.
Cocoa powder made from raw cocoa beans maintains skin health due to flavanols. Flavanols decrease the harmful effects of UV rays on the skin while enhancing elasticity and hydration. These properties help to soften, clear, and detoxify your skin. It can also increase the elasticity of your skin, which helps with fine lines and wrinkles and reduces the appearance of scars. It truly is the food of the gods!
Cocoa powder must also be minimally processed, as close to the tree as possible. Organic cocoa offers the best results. Much of what is commercially available has gone through a method called “Dutch processing,” which strips the cocoa of the properties that make it great.
We only use organic Fair Trade Certified and Ethically Sourced cocoa in our Haute Cocoa Body Butter that has been minimally processed, so it retains what makes Cocoa so great for your skin!
Benefits of Cocoa on Your Body
And while cocoa powder skin benefits deserve to be praised, it can also be very good for your body.
Plants use antioxidants to stop their cells from “premature destruction” caused by heat, air, moisture, and light exposure. These antioxidants do the same for your body as well! They protect the body from premature ageing and help reduce some illnesses’ likeliness.
Cocoa made from raw cocoa beans helps prevent heart disease. It may lower bad cholesterol, raise good cholesterol, and may help improve the overall health of your circulatory system. These compounds also help to increase blood flow and lower blood pressure. Dark chocolate could be incredibly beneficial for the heart for these reasons and more. I always knew it did my heart well to eat chocolate.
Cocoa Benefits on the Brain
Not only does cocoa have many positive effects on the body, but it also contains many compounds that are good for the mind.
The mood elevator compounds in the chocolate release the main feel-good chemicals, serotonin, and dopamine, in your brain. The mood-lifting effect is also partly due to it being a stimulant and its propensity to release endorphins.
Cocoa has a significant effect on the chemistry of your brain, also reducing stress hormones.
Are There Any Potential Side Effects of Using Cocoa Powder for Skin?
While raw cocoa powder is generally considered safe for most individuals, some people may experience adverse reactions or allergies. It's important to conduct a patch test on a small area of your skin before applying cocoa powder to your face or body to check for any reactions.
You may want to be cautious of using cocoa powder if you have extremely sensitive or acne-prone skin, as it could make it worse. If you experience any redness, irritation, or discomfort, discontinue use and consult a dermatologist!
Does Raw Cocoa Powder Work On All Skin Types?
Raw cocoa powder can generally be used on most skin types, but it's important to consider individual sensitivities and reactions.
People with dry or mature skin may benefit from cocoa powder's moisturizing and anti-aging properties. However, individuals with oily or acne-prone skin should use caution, as cocoa powder can potentially clog pores and causing breakouts. Remember to do a patch test before working cocoa powder into your regular skincare routine.
Is Cocoa a Misspelling of Cacao?
No — they are related terms but refer to different stages of the same plant and product. Cacao refers to the plant species known as Theobroma cacao, which is native to tropical regions. The term "cacao" typically refers to the tree, its fruit, and the beans inside the fruit.
Cocoa, on the other hand, refers to the processed form of cacao beans.
So, while cacao and cocoa are closely related, they represent different stages of the same product, cacao being the raw form and cocoa being the processed form.
Incorporate Cocoa into Your Routine
We hope you'll consider using cocoa in your skincare routine, whether with one of our products or other brands!
When you feel that chocolate craving, give in to it and smear some cocoa powder based on your face. Mix it with some raw honey, maybe yogurt or carrot juice first! Make sure the cocoa powder is minimally processed and organic for the best results. Now that you know all of the cocoa powder skin benefits, consider using it yourselves.