Nicole Fornabaio/Rd.com, iStock
The brisk winter months have great impact on our health, ranging from sad moods to a weakened immune system to dry hair and skin. That last part is fairly easy to combat, thankfully, because of one drugstore wonder product in particular: cocoa butter. You can get it in raw or refined forms; do note, however, that unrefined cocoa butter has more potential purposes and contains extra healthy fat—you can even use it to cook.
Cocoa butter is a mostly saturated fat that is derived from cocoa beans, which grow in Central and South America, reports Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS of Dr. Axe.com. It contains different amounts of specific fatty acids: myristic, lauric, stearic, palmitic, and arachidic. Cocoa butter is also full of antioxidants and has amazing health benefits. Aside from moisturizing your skin, it can also reduce inflammation and help your heart.
So why, exactly, is cocoa butter so wonderful for your skin? For one, it’s easily absorbed, and the antioxidants within the butter repair bodily tissues and protect skin, your body’s largest organ, against free radicals, which can wreak havoc on your cells. Quite literally, cocoa butter improves the condition of your skin from the inside out.
The product is especially helpful for flaky, peeling, or eczema-prone skin. (Related: Get more home remedies for eczema here.) It’s also a miracle worker when it comes to soothing itchy skin during pregnancy. Plus, it can ease rashes, fight wrinkles, and keep your skin looking younger. You can mix it with argan or coconut oil or melt it over the stove, should you want more of a lotion-y texture. Massage it into your skin after towel drying off from your shower so it locks in hydration.
Bonus: You can also put cocoa butter in your hair. Massage a little between your fingers and rub on your strands as desired. Leave on for 20 minutes then rinse it out.
The best news? Cocoa butter is totally affordable, retailing in most drugstores for around $10.