Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter Benefits: Facts and Uses

Do you know why cocoa butter is great for your skin? Read on to find out about cocoa butter and shea butter benefits and how to incorporate cocoa butter and shea butter into your daily routine.

Cocoa butter is an oily substance that’s extracted from cocoa beans – the same cocoa beans that are used to make chocolate! While it may not taste quite as good as chocolate, cocoa butter has many benefits, from naturally healing dry skin to keeping skin supple. All this makes cocoa butter a great addition to your cosmetic skincare regime, whether you’re using a pure cocoa butter lotion or a lotion made with cocoa butter and other ingredients. As always, consult your dermatologist before starting any new skin care regime.
Cocoa butter and shea butter are often combined in beauty products, as they can both be used to provide deep moisturization for a range of different concerns.
cocoa butter for stretch marks
What is Cocoa Butter?
Cocoa butter is extracted from cacao. Cacao has been grown for over 3,000 years and is native to South American countries. One of the world’s largest suppliers of raw cocoa is Ivory Coast, located in Africa. 
Cocoa contains flavonoids. Flavonoids are compounds that have antioxidant effects and are thought to have all sorts of additional health benefits. For that reason, cocoa is regularly studied for its positive impact on reducing heart disease, maintaining a healthy blood pressure, and improving skin conditions.
What is Shea Butter?
Shea butter comes from nuts on the African shea tree, and is used in a variety of ways. It can be used to moisturize very dry skin, treat dry lips, and is thought to be gentle enough to be used for eczema- prone skin or dryness associated with psoriasis. Shea butter is not as fragrant as cocoa butter, but this often means it can be paired with different ingredients without changing their natural scent.
Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter for Skin
Cocoa butter is also known as theobroma cacao, or cocoa seed butter. Cocoa butter benefits the skin because it’s a great emollient, which means it works to moisturize deep down to keep skin soft and supple. Its thick consistency makes it ideal for keeping skin moisturized in winter. Cocoa butter is also perfect for areas prone to especially dry, rough skin like the elbows, knees, and heels.
Shea butter works similarly to cocoa butter and provides moisturization to very dry skin. It is also believed to have a low sun protection factor, but it not strong enough to stop your skin from burning during exposure to the sun, so be sure to also use a sunblock.
If you want to know the answer to questions such as “does cocoa butter get rid of stretch marks?”, “does shea butter get rid of stretch marks?”, “can lotions containing cocoa butter reduce the appearance of scars?” and “can shea butter reduce scarring?” then here’s everything you need to know. Read on for how and why you should introduce cocoa butter and shea butter lotions or lotions containing cocoa butter and shea butter into your daily skincare routine.
Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter Benefits and Uses
  • 1
    Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter for Scars
    Understanding Scars
    The dermis – the middle layer of the skin – can become damaged if the skin is broken, for example if you get a cut or scratch. The body responds by producing more of a protein called collagen to heal the area and, as a result, a scar tissue can form. Often this has a slightly different appearance to your normal skin; for example the skin may appear raised.
    Can You Use Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter for Scars?
    Unfortunately, cocoa butter won’t remove your scar. If you regularly use cocoa butter, a scar’s appearance may improve slightly but it can be difficult to get rid of scars completely. You can, however, use a cocoa butter moisturizer to stop scars from drying out and it will help to keep the skin supple. Shea butter has similar moisturizing benefits.
    Understanding Acne Scars
    Acne scars are caused by inflamed, sometimes painful acne which can penetrate the skin deeply and damage the tissue underneath. Failing to treat acne early can also result in scars. But, most importantly, don’t pick, pop, or squeeze your spots as this can increase the risk of scarring.
    Can You Use Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter for Acne Scars?
    Again, a cocoa butter lotion or one made with cocoa butter won’t actually help to diminish acne scars. Instead, if you have dry, flaky skin due to acne scars then you may be able to help restore smooth, soft skin by keeping it moist.
    If you do moisturize your acne scars, it’s best to select a product that is non-comedogenic, which means it won’t clog your pores, as clogged pores can lead to acne in some cases. Vaseline® Jelly Cocoa Butter for example is non-comedogenic and gentle on skin.
    Shea butter works in a similar way to cocoa butter. If you have acne prone skin, shea butter is believed to be okay to use as it shouldn’t clog pores.
  • 2
    Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter for Stretch Marks
    Understanding Stretch Marks
    Stretch marks happen when the skin stretches – most commonly due to pregnancy or quick weight loss or gain. The middle layer of skin breaks down, causing red or pink glossy streaks to appear on the skin. During pregnancy, stretch marks are completely normal and are usually caused by changes that affect your skin.
    Can You Use Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter for Stretch Marks?
    As stretch marks are a form of scarring, they can’t be removed completely, but good skin care may help to improve the appearance of them.
    The skin relies on moisture to retain its elasticity and keep it looking supple, so using a good moisturizer, like a cocoa butter or shea butter lotion, or one containing cocoa butter or shea butter extract, can help you seal in moisture and keep your skin healthy-looking, particularly when it’s recovering from a scar. Plus, the actual act of massaging any type of moisturizer into the skin is thought to be beneficial for helping reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
    How Can You Use Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter for Stretch Marks?
    While cocoa butter lotions or lotions made with cocoa butter may not be able to get rid of stretch marks, they are known to be very effective at soothing the skin if your stretch marks are particularly dry and itchy.
    The same can be said about shea butter, which is effective at moisturizing skin and may help to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, but cannot remove them from skin completely.
    Vaseline® Intensive Care™ Cocoa Radiant™ Body Butter for example is made with the deep-healing moisture of Vaseline® Jelly micro-droplets and helps repair dry skin to restore its natural glow.
    How Can You Prevent Stretch Marks?
    It’s not always possible to avoid stretch marks, especially during pregnancy. But, there may be steps you can take to help minimize your chances of getting them, such as moisturizing skin to keep it supple.
  • 3
    Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter for Skin Care in Winter
    Caring for your skin is especially important during winter. Extreme temperatures and itchy fabrics can take their toll on your skin and dry it out, leaving it dull and irritated. During winter, your skin loses moisture much quicker as the cold air outside lacks moisture and heating inside can deprive your skin of the hydration it needs.
    Moisturizing daily and taking a handy moisturizer with you when you’re out or at work can help lock in moisture and keep the harsh winter weather out. Here are a few daily tips for your winter skin care routine.
    Prepare Your Skin
    Gently cleansing and occasional exfoliating of your skin can help to remove any dead skin cells. Then, by applying a moisturizing cocoa butter and shea butter lotion or a moisturizer made with cocoa butter and shea butter, you’re giving your skin the hydration it needs to stay healthy-looking. Be gentle while cleansing and exfoliating to avoid irritation. Also, avoid extra hot showers as they can damage the lipid barriers that protect the skin.
    Make sure you moisturize daily to lock in hydration. Vaseline® Intensive Care™ Cocoa Radiant™ Smoothing Body Butter is a great daily moisturizer as it‘s made with the soothing ability of cocoa butter to help heal dry skin to restore its natural glow. It’s also fast-absorbing so it’s perfect for busy mid-week mornings.
    Use a Soft Towel
    Rough, scratchy towels can damage the skin, making it feel itchy and raw. Before applying a moisturizing lotion, use a soft towel to gently dry your body.
    Apply Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter
    Massage a cocoa butter or shea butter lotion or a lotion made with cocoa butter and shea butter into the skin using circular motions to hydrate the skin. Vaseline® Intensive Care™ Cocoa Radiant™ Lotion contains cocoa butter and shea butter and heals dry skin for a healthy glow.
    Cocoa butter is a handy cosmetic skincare product to have around the home, whether it’s for daily moisturization or to help soothe dryness associated with scars or stretch marks. Carrying a useful little tub of Vaseline® Jelly Cocoa Butter around with you will also help keep your skin moist and glowing when you’re outdoors in the winter. For healthy-looking and nourished skin, choose a lotion containing cocoa butter and shea butter.

See all of cocoa butter’s benefits for winter skin care here. >

Find more healthy skin tips and facts on the Skin Health page. >

The advice in this article does not constitute medical advice, it is solely available for information purposes.