Cocoa butter is one of the superheros of natural skincare! You’ll find this rich plant butter is a friend of your skin, tackling everything from stretch marks and wrinkles to dry spots, eczema, and even sunburn. In this blog post, you’ll discover cocoa butter’s amazing benefits and properties for the skin and more.

What is Cocoa Butter?

Cocoa Butter is a natural fat expressed from the dried and roasted seeds of the Theobroma cacao tree.

It’s not a carrier oil, per se, but rather a solid fat, and has a plethora of skin nourishing properties. For this reason, cocoa butter is a popular base for aromatherapy products like lip balms, body butter, massage blends, creams, and other natural skin care product

What are the Benefits of Cocoa Butter?

Cocoa butter boasts loads of benefits for the skin, making it a popular ingredient in a wide range of beauty products.

  1. Moisturizing: Cocoa butter is an excellent moisturizer that helps keep the skin hydrated, preventing dryness and flakiness.
  2. Reducing Stretch Marks: Regular application of cocoa butter can contribute to reducing the appearance of stretch marks, especially during pregnancy or periods of rapid weight change.
  3. Anti-Aging Properties: The rich antioxidants in cocoa butter may help combat signs of aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines, promoting a more youthful appearance.
  4. Healing Qualities: Cocoa butter contains compounds that aid in the healing of damaged skin, making it beneficial for addressing issues like scars, dermatitis, and eczema.
  5. Sunburn Relief: The soothing properties of cocoa butter can provide relief for sunburned skin, helping to alleviate redness and discomfort.
  6. Improves Skin Elasticity: Regular use of cocoa butter may enhance skin elasticity, promoting a firmer and more supple complexion.
  7. Natural Emollient: It serves as a natural emollient, creating a protective barrier on the skin’s surface that helps retain moisture.
  8. Delightful Fragrance: In addition to its skincare benefits, cocoa butter often carries a pleasant, chocolate-like fragrance that adds a sensory appeal to skincare products.

When incorporating cocoa butter into your skincare routine, it’s essential to choose high-quality, pure forms to maximize its effectiveness.

Cocoa Butter Aroma

The aroma is unmistakable. Unrefined cocoa butter smells like chocolate!

When my grandson was small he loved it when I would massage his little feet and legs with cocoa butter and would never fail to let me know that “Nana, now I want fudge!” Keep in mind that this same lovely aroma can overpower the fragrance of essential oils in a blend. The chocolatey aroma is less noticeable in refined or deodorized cocoa butter, but refined cocoa butter also offers fewer benefits to the skin.

Cocoa Butter Texture

Be warned, this is one rock-solid butter. It softens at body temperature but can be difficult to work with at room temperature, especially if you buy a big block of it. You’ll almost need an ice pick to break it up. For this reason, I love working with cocoa butter wafers.  The wafers are round and about the size of a quarter making them so much easier to work with, plus they melt faster.

Remember to choose organic, unrefined cocoa butter, free of chemicals that are used in bleaching and refining.  Refining removes its wonderful skin-healing properties.

What is the Shelf Life of Cocoa Butter?

The shelf life of cocoa butter is influenced by its natural composition and storage conditions. Typically, high-quality, unrefined cocoa butter has a longer shelf life compared to its refined counterparts. The presence of antioxidants, particularly polyphenols, in cocoa butter contributes to its stability and resistance to oxidation.

Proper storage is crucial to maintaining its freshness, which is true for all natural aromatic ingredients. Store your cocoa butter in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight and heat. This will help prevent rancidity. When stored under optimal conditions, cocoa butter can have a shelf life of two to five years. However, it’s essential to keep checking that your cocoa butter is still usable and has not changed in aroma, color or texture, especially when you’ve had your supply for a long time.

Can I Mix Essential Oils with Cocoa Butter?

Absolutely! The combined advantages of essential oils and cocoa butter offer a potent remedy for addressing dry and irritated skin issues. Again, remember that the aroma of unrefined cocoa butter will smell “chocolate-y” so remember to consider that when blending.

An uncomplicated method to add essential oils to cocoa butter is by incorporating a few drops of your preferred essential oil into a jar of  melted cocoa butter – in other words, in its liquid state. Once the blend has solidified, it becomes a lush and soothing remedy for the skin.

Cocoa Butter Recipe

Whipped Chocolate-Orange Luxurious Body Butter 



  • In a double boiler, combine all the ingredients except the Shea Butter and Orange Essential Oils
  • Bring the water to a soft boil and continue to stir until the ingredients are melted.
  • When all the harder ingredients have melted, add the Shea Butter and stir until this too, is melted. This keep it from crystallizing.
  • Remove this hot melted liquid from the heat and set the pyrex cup on a heat-safe rivet.
  • Now, add the Orange Essential Oil and stir until everything is mixed together well.
  • Place in the refrigerator for 1 hour until it just begins to harden.
  • Use an immersion blend and whip for 10 minutes until it has the consistency of icing.
  • Return the blend to the refrigerator for 15 minutes to set.

Store in a glass jar with a lid and use liberally over arms, legs, entire body.  This blend can even be used to nourish the skin on your face because Sweet Orange essential oils do not contain the furocoumarins that make other citrus oils phototoxic.

Learn about essential oil phototoxicity in Episode #36 of the Aromatic Wisdom Podcast!

Do you use Cocoa Butter?

Let us know how you use Cocoa Butter in the comments below.  I’d love to hear from you!


Updated on January 27, 2024 for relevance and accuracy. This blog post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase using them. The commission is paid by the retailer at no extra cost to you.

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