Cocoa butter is the solid edible natural fat of the cacao bean, extracted during the process of making chocolate and cocoa powder.
Cocoa butter is obtained from whole cocoa beans, which are fermented, roasted, and then separated from their hulls. About 54–58% of the residue is cocoa butter. It is one of the most stable fats known, containing natural antioxidants that prevent rancidity and give it a shelf life of two to five years. Cocoa butter softens and lubricates the skin, and melts at body temperature making it good for massage creams. The velvety texture, pleasant fragrance and emollient properties of cocoa butter have made it a popular ingredient in products for the skin, such as soaps and lotions.
The moisturizing abilities of cocoa butter are frequently recommended for prevention of stretch marks in pregnant women, treatment of chapped or burned skin and lips, and as a daily moisturizer to prevent dry, itchy skin. It is rich in Vitamin E. Cocoa butter’s moisturizing properties are also said to be effective for treating mouth sores.