Ingredient Close-Up: Cocoa Butter

Skin is Important

We know that the skin does an important job of regulating the body in many ways. Its ability to act as a vehicle to absorb and release salts, fluids and toxins is very useful, however it can also cause problems when we unknowingly apply toxins onto our child’s skin.

At Honestly Store we strongly believe that what we put on our baby’s skin is just as important as what we put in our baby’s bodies.

This is just one of the many reasons we decided to create a range of organic baby skincare that uses only wholesome and natural ingredients, cruelty-free and palm-oil free. We are proud of our raw materials and we wanted to share with you each and every ingredient, so you can see why we chose to use them in our baby care and how they can benefit you and your family.

Magical moisturising cocoa

It’s the magic ingredient in chocolate that gives it that melt-in-the-mouth consistency. It also adds that lovely glide to our Baby Lotion Bars. But did you know cocoa butter (Theobroma cacao) is also used in the pharmaceutical and skin care industries?

Yup, in pharmacy they use it as part of suppositories, giving them the ability to melt and release the drugs upon entering the body (via the bum). Who knew? And I apologise for sharing that fact in the same paragraph as talking about chocolate.

Hot, humid and fermented

Native to South America, cocoa is grown in humid tropical climates and most of today’s cocoa comes from Western Africa.

Harvested all year round, the beans are removed from cocoa pods. Fermentation of the beans occurs over a few days in wooden boxes (this is to develop the flavour and cut the bitter tannins in the beans). The beans are then roasted and shelled. The nibs of chocolate are ground up until they become a liquid. The cocoa liquor is then pressed to harvest cocoa powder (the solids) and the butter (the liquid).

Interestingly, sometimes the cocoa powder is alkalized which raises the pH of the cocoa powder, making it less bitter increasing the chocolatey taste. This process is “Dutching” so if you’ve ever seen Dutch cocoa powder then this is what it is! But I digress…

Cocoa butter is usually refined and deodorised (ours is) before use in any industry, as it has a strong burnt chocolate-like smell to it that is pretty unpleasant.

Deodorising involves steam being injected into the cocoa butter to remove the volatile fragrance molecules followed by treatment with diatomaceous earth to remove the colour pigments. So no chemicals being used to treat the cocoa butter, meaning no chemical residue is left on baby’s skin.

Moisturising and protecting

Highly moisturising and protecting to the skin, cocoa butter is the only plant-based ingredient recognized by the FDA for its “skin protectant” activity. We love it so much we put it into both our Bath Fizzles and Baby Lotion Bars, yet what makes up cocoa butter to give it these properties?

See next page for more…

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