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Many woman hear that cocoa butter is amazing for stretch marks. I wanted to look into this claim for myself and share my findings with you. In this article we will talk about:
- What cocoa butter is.
- Why cocoa butter is good for the skin and how it can help stretch marks.
- A scientific study that showed cocoa butter did no better than a placebo at preventing stretch marks.
- How diet and lifestyle are important in preventing/healing stretch marks.
- How to find a high-quality cocoa butter product.
What is Cocoa Butter?
Cocoa butter has a mild chocolate aroma, it is obtained from fermented and roasted cocoa beans and is the main ingredient in most chocolate preparations. It is what gives chocolate that melt in your mouth quality. Cocoa butter is solid at room temperature and melts at body temperature.
Cocoa butter is a vary stable fat, resisting rancidity for 2 to 5 years. It is high in saturated fats from stearic and palmitic acids. Cocoa butter does not contain caffeine and theobromine like cocoa powder does.
Why is Cocoa Butter Good for the Skin?
Cocoa butter is the ultimate all-natural skin moisturizer, helping from a barrier between your skin and the elements, keeping much needed moisture in. It is non-allergenic and can be tolerated by sensitive or damaged skin.
Cocoa butter contains Vitamin E and other antioxidants that combat free radical damage that leads to aging. Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, and C help heal and repair skin damage. Applying cocoa butter daily will help keep your skin soft and pliable by locking moisture in. The body needs this moisture in order to regrow skin tissue.
Cocoa butter is high in cocoa mass polyphenol (CMP). CMP inhibits the production of immunoglobulin IgE, helping to soothe eczema and dermatitis. These compounds also balance out excessive T-cell activity which is at the root of problems like psoriasis.
How Can Cocoa Butter Help Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks are caused by rapid growth or weight gain that tears the middle layer of our skin, allowing the lower layers to show through. They tend to happen during pregnancy when a woman’s belly stretches and grows with her baby.
Cocoa butter can:
- help prevent stretch marks by keeping the skin hydrated. This gives the skin more stretch and helps it resist tearing.
- help heal stretch marks by nourishing the skin with it’s antioxidants and vitamins.
Dermatologists recommend massage as a treatment for stretch marks. Massage the area with oil, using your fingertips, in circular motions. This helps stretch your collagen and elastin fibers, making them more pliable and normal looking. Incorporating cocoa butter as your massage oil would be a perfect way to restore moisture and nourish your skin.
Is There Proof that Cocoa Butter Can Get Rid of Stretch Marks?
Cocoa butter has been used for centuries and many people swear by it’s effects. However, a recent scientific study found that Cocoa butter did no better than a placebo at reducing stretch marks.
In the study they used a lotion containing cocoa butter and a placebo lotion not containing cocoa butter. The women were given the lotions in their first trimester and used it until delivery. The study found no difference in the appearance of stretch mark between the two groups of women.
What I would like to know about this study is how much cocoa butter was contained in the lotion? And what other ingredients were in these lotions? Did they contain irritating ingredients that would ultimately dry the skin? I would like to see a this study done with pure cocoa butter.
What are Some Diet/Lifestyle Actions that Can Help Stretch Marks?
Gentics play a role in how your skin responds to being stretched – how elastic your skin is. You can help your sin be at it’s best by following a healthy diet and lifestyle:
- staying hydrated
- eating real, whole, unprocessed foods
- exercising to get your blood and lymph’s flowing.
These habits will keep your body working the best it can.
For those of us who end up with stretch marks from our pregnancies, remember – You are a tiger who has earned her stripes! Love the results of your bodies ability to make a precious baby 🙂
What Kind of Cocoa Butter is Best?
You want to find unrefined, pure cocoa butter that hasn’t been mixed with anything else. Finding a fair trade product is important if you care about the community your product is coming from.
My Final Thoughts
I personally love using cocoa butter on my skin, it works wonders on my dry hands. I do, however, find it hard to use, because it is so solid and hard at room temperature. I used some on my belly when I was pregnant with my first, it sure helped keep my skin moist and helped relieve itching. I didn’t get any stretch marks – but that is probably just genetic. I would recommend pure cocoa butter to anyone wanting a simple but effective way to keep their skin protected and hydrated.
Tip for using cocoa butter: Put your jar in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes to let some of it melt for easier application.
If you really want to pamper your newly growing belly, check out my review on May Lindstrom’s Blue Cocoon Beauty Balm. This stuff is purely amazing, and it contains cocoa butter. It smells divine and contains high-quality ingredients for soothing the skin.
Do you have any experience with Cocoa butter and stretch marks? Leave a comment below and share your story!
Yours In Beauty,
Cocoa Butter Image from Flikr