Build A Bundle - Save Up To 30%icon
Free Standard Shipping on Orders Over €50
Free Standard Shipping on Orders Over €50
Free Standard Shipping on Orders Over €50
Free Standard Shipping on Orders Over €50
Free Standard Shipping on Orders Over €50

Is cocoa butter good for skin?

  • 4 min read

Cocoa butter is a staple skincare ingredient for a lot of people, and has been for years on end. Sometimes known as theobroma cacao butter, cocoa butter offers various skincare benefits that make it a wonderful ingredient to include in the formulation of skincare and bodycare products – moisturisers in particular. 

Cocoa cultivation is thought to have begun with the Mayan civilisation and Olmec people. It’s thought that cocoa beans became a form of food, currency, and also a unit of measurement. The cocoa tree was found in abundance in these regions of Mexico – along the Yucatán – where the Mayans and Olmecs lived. 

Since then, the importance of the humble cocoa bean has been respected across the ages – for more than its ability to be made into a tasty treat – as the cocoa bean has a variety of other uses too. 

Technically speaking, the cocoa bean is actually a seed: the dried and fully fermented seed of the cacao tree. From this seed, cocoa butter can be extracted. Find out the benefits of using cocoa butter for skin. 

Cocoa butter benefits for skin

1. Scavenges free radicals

Free radicals, while produced naturally in the body, can cause cell damage if they are produced in excess. They are molecules with one or more unpaired electrons in its outer shell. Free radicals ‘steal’ an electron from a healthy molecule to form their missing pairing, which subsequently damages the healthy cell. 

Free radicals and oxidants can bring the body into a state of oxidative stress, which can alter the cell’s structure. Antioxidants work to destroy free radicals to prevent skin damage, but during this process, the antioxidant itself becomes oxidised. This is why it’s really important to keep replenishing the antioxidants in your body.

2. Restores skin elasticity

Cocoa butter is known to contain a large quantity of essential fatty acids and phytosterols. These help the skin by working to restore its elasticity and help conditions such as dermatitis and eczema. 

3. Helps to protect against UV damage

Cocoa butter has been found to provide a broad-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB radiation effects. However, as we always try to emphasise, skincare ingredients that provide protection against UV damage are never a substitute for using a mineral sunscreen every day, whatever the weather!

The effects of sun damage can be seen on the skin, even if you haven’t been exposed to the sun long enough to get sunburn. Building up over time, the physical effects of photoaging include: wrinkling, redness, a rough and uneven skin texture, decreased elasticity of the skin, and among other things, pigmentation changes. 

4. Excellent moisturising properties

Arguably one of the biggest benefits of cocoa butter for skin, the fatty acids in cocoa butter that help to restore the skin’s elasticity also work to provide intense nourishment and moisture to the skin. Fatty acids – with the addition of a sphingoid base – make up the structure of a ceramide

These fatty acids are a type of lipid, and work to help to keep the skin as moisturised as possible. Ceramides are known to be intensely nourishing, helping to improve the skin’s complexion and deeply hydrating the skin by preventing water from escaping. 

5. Gentle on sensitive skin

Research has shown that due to cocoa butter’s soft and creamy consistency, the ingredient works well as a stabiliser for emulsions, meaning it has a wide range of applications in the making of moisturising, soothing, regenerating, and anti-aging cosmetic products. 

Gentle and soothing on the skin, cocoa butter works to nourish the skin with essential nutrients, without irritating the skin. 

Cocoa butter FAQs

Can cocoa butter irritate skin?

Cocoa butter is safe for use on the skin and generally doesn’t cause irritation. However, if someone is particularly sensitive to cocoa butter as an ingredient, they could experience some redness or irritation.

It’s important to remember that cocoa butter is used extensively in the world of cosmetics as the ingredient acts as a good stabiliser for emulsions – meaning you’ve likely encountered the ingredient in formulations before. 

Does cocoa butter darken skin?

No, cocoa butter does not darken the skin. The ingredient helps to add intense moisture to the skin and also works to protect against UV damage, the result of which can cause pigmentation changes to the skin. 

Cocoa butter vs coconut oil for skin

Both cocoa butter and coconut oil offer extensive benefits for the skin when used in the right concentrations. Used either on their own or in a skincare formula, cocoa butter and coconut oil both provide intense moisturisation and hydration to the skin.

Coconut oil is also used to cleanse the skin as well as moisturise it, with people sometimes choosing to use this as a makeup remover. 

Cocoa butter infused UpCircle products

1. Face Moisturiser with Vitamin E

Our deeply nourishing Face Moisturiser with Vitamin E is formulated using cocoa butter to be gentle on sensitive skin, and bring an added hit of hydration to the skin. 

Vitamin E helps to boost collagen production in the skin, which in turn helps to maintain skin hydration, boost skin elasticity and protect the skin’s natural barrier. Soothing and balancing, this award-winning face moisturiser is suitable for all skin types, from dry or dehydrated to oily. 



2. Natural Body Cream with Aloe Vera

Our non-greasy Natural Body Cream with Aloe Vera is also formulated with nourishing cocoa butter. This rich, lightweight formula leaves a wonderful non-greasy finish on the skin.

This body moisturiser upcycles date seeds, which are clinically proven to help reduce redness. Date seeds are also high in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and help to improve skin elasticity. Soothing even the most sensitive of skin, use this luxurious body cream on clean and dry skin. 



Discover our full range of upcycled ingredients, given a new lease of life. Shop for skincare, haircare and fragrance at UpCircle.