Cocoa Butter for Dry Skin

Have you heard about the benefits cocoa butter can offer your skin? If you're battling dry skin, this could be the key to getting the moisture and nourishment you need. 

Cocoa Butter 101
According to legend, the cocoa bean was a gift from the gods to the Mayans, who were the first civilization to grow cocoa trees, and later, to the Mayan's successors, the Aztecs. Chocolate was the drink of the nobility, although the concoction at time had very little resemblance to today's beverage.

Although Christopher Columbus had already brought samples of cocoa to Spain, it wasn't until Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortez conquered the Aztecs in the early 1500s that chocolate started to take off in Europe. However, it took until 1828 for the technology to be developed to separate cocoa butter during the process of making cocoa.

Cocoa butter is a vegetable fat that melts at body temperature, making the butter easy for your skin to absorb. However, cocoa butter is stable and hard at room temperature and has a long shelf life, as much as three years or more. Store your cocoa butter in a cool, dark place. 

Cocoa Butter and Dry Skin
Cocoa butter contains vitamin E, which is not only an antioxidant, but also a tool for helping the skin absorb moisture. As an extra bonus, cocoa butter may also help with cholesterol.

When you use cocoa butter, you may notice a sheen on your skin. The cocoa butter acts as a barrier between your skin and the outside world, preventing moisture from leaving your skin.

Best of all for all of you chocolate lovers, cocoa butter has the faint fragrance of cocoa.

Look for cocoa butter as an ingredient in soaps or lotions. In addition, you can purchase cocoa butter as a product in and of itself. In fact, you may be able to find organic cocoa butter in your local organic food stores or online.

If you have eczema or other skin disorders, talk with your doctor before using cocoa butter. While your physician may okay the use, it's best to be safe and not take the chance that the butter will cause more damage. In addition, have that discussion with your primary care giver if you are allergic to nuts.

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The foundation of dry skin care is a good, regular skin care regimen. Your daily routine should include three steps: cleanse, tone and moisturize. If your skin is extremely dry, cleanse only once a day, preferably in the evening.

You'll need to devote a little more time and attention to your skin during the cold months. Winter skin care calls for more moisturizer and sunscreen. Also pay special attention to your lips and your hands, as both of these areas have thin skin.

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Winter time can be the hardest time for people with dry skin because the air is dryer and it tends to take away any little bit of moisture that is already in the skin. Even slathering on excessive amounts of creams and moisturizers doesn't keep the dryness at bay.

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