Ingredient Spotlight: Cocoa & Shea Butter
If you’ve read the labels on many natural skincare products, you’ve likely come across these two little gems: cocoa and shea butter. However, many physicians and consumers alike want to know, what is cocoa butter and what is shea butter? Here at Rejuvaskin, we love these two ingredients so much that we’ve included them in two of our products: our Stretch Mark and Advanced Firming Creams. Why do we love them so much? Let’s take a look and find out.
What Is Cocoa Butter?
Derived from the processing of cocoa beans, cocoa butter is a solid fat with beneficial properties; this makes it highly useful in skin care products. As a natural byproduct of the creation of cocoa powder and chocolate, cocoa butter is readily available and easy to mix into all kinds of personal care products and creams.
Cocoa Butter Benefits:
1 - Potential Skin Benefits
Cocoa butter contains small amounts of polyphenols, vitamin E, and vitamin K. These compounds can be helpful in boosting general skin health and reducing inflammation, though more scientific inquiry might be needed on these topics. Pure cocoa butter is harmless, so there’s no reason not to recommend a cocoa butter product to your patients.
2 - Minimize and Prevent Stretch Marks
Pregnant women have been using cocoa butter for many decades to help moisturize the skin and prevent stretch marks. Proper moisturization can help people avoid many skin problems, of which stretch marks are most known.
3 - Reduce Lines and Wrinkles
Just like with stretch marks, wrinkles and lines respond well to moisturization and anti-inflammatory skincare products. Let your patients know they can use their Stretch Mark Cream on their wrinkles, too!
What Is Shea Butter?
An extract of the nuts from the shea tree (Vitallaria paradoxa), shea butter is a silky-smooth fat that is loaded with vitamins and minerals. Its high vitamin content makes it a great cooking ingredient (only if raw and unrefined), but most people don’t use it this way.
Shea Butter Benefits:
1 - Minimize Wrinkles and Lines
Much like cocoa butter, shea butter has remarkable moisturizing properties一 this is mainly because of the fatty acids. The fats within shea butter help to lock in the skin’s natural moisture, reducing the amount of liquid released from skin to the air. Shea butter’s moisturizing benefits can be increased by mixing with other ingredients like oils, vitamins, and minerals. We add shea butter to our firming cream because proper skin hydration is extremely important in reducing lines and wrinkles!
2 - Prevent and Reduce Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are caused by growth or other stretching of the skin that occurs too rapidly. Healthy, well-moisturized skin can withstand quite a bit of tension and not be harmed; however, some stretching is just too severe and causes scar tissue to be produced to fill the gaps. Shea butter, a potent moisturizer, can help reduce your accumulation of stretch marks by keeping the skin soft, elastic, and hydrated. This product can also help reduce the appearance of existing stretch marks, too!
3 - Hypoallergenic, Anti-Inflammatory, and More
Oddly enough, this product (extracted from a tree nut) contains little to no active proteins that can be recognized by the immune system of a person with a tree nut allergy. The refining process is very thorough, leaving only fat and vitamins at the end. What’s more, shea butter is anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial, and high in antioxidants! These properties all make shea butter a great choice as an addition to or a base for skincare products.