Coconut oil needs no introduction, but those new to skincare would not have heard of cocoa butter. Cocoa butter is also a popular skincare ingredient that makes the skin attractive. Coconut oil vs cocoa butter is not a new comparison. People have wondered which one is better for skin health. Here we will look at the ingredients, composition and pros and cons of both these items.
Cocoa Butter – What Is It?
Cocoa butter, also called theobroma oil, is from the cocoa beans and chocolate, and is considered to be a luxurious fat. Cocoa butter is used as an ingredient in ice creams and chocolates, so it is likely that those who have not heard of the butter might have tasted at least tasted it. Cocoa butter is a sought after item and is used as an ingredient in several skin care products.
You can check the ingredient list of your favorite skincare products (creams, and lotions) and the likelihood of cocoa butter being in it is high.
A 2014 study on the effect of cocoa bioactive compounds on skin health was published in eth journal Nutrients (1).
Coconut Oil – What Is It?
Coconut and coconut edible oil is quite popular throughout the world, not only for its culinary uses but also for its therapeutic properties. The oil is obtained from the coconut kernels. This oil is used in cooking and for skincare purposes. The oil from the coconut tree is considered to be one of the healthiest oils as it is a monounsaturated fat.
(Monounsaturated fat is considered to be one of the healthy fats good for cardiovascular health.)
Coconut oil is used to treat skin conditions including eczema and dermatitis. It has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe irritated skin.
Cocoa Butter vs Coconut oil – Which to Use
Let’s start with the benefits of coconut oil and cocoa butter. Both the products are beneficial for skin health. Both these products are known to hydrate and nourish the skin, let’s find out more.
Benefits of Cocoa Butter for Skin
Cocoa butter has many advantages for the skin. The butter is a rich source of Vitamin E for the skin, which has anti-aging properties and improves the suppleness of the skin. Vitamin E also restores the skin tone.
The influence of cocoa polyphenols on the skin was studied and published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science in 2008 (2).
Some of its benefits include: –
1. Cocoa Butter is Antioxidant
The ageing factors that affect the skin are wrinkles, sagging skin, dark spots and dullness of skin. The presence of Vitamin E makes cocoa butter an antioxidant that gives the skin a youthful complexion. Applying cocoa butter on the skin increases its elasticity and gives it a nice texture. It also fades the age spots.
2. Cocoa Butter is Moisturizer
Cocoa butter has the ability of softening the skin. This emollient property of the butter hydrates the skin and prevents dryness of the skin. The butter has fatty acids including palmitic, stearic, lauric, and myristic acids, which nourishes the skin. They also form a barrier on the skin and protect it from dryness and external elements.
3. Cocoa Butter Vitamins & Minerals
Cocoa butter is also rich in vitamins and minerals including Vitamins E and K, and magnesium, copper, iron and choline. The minerals have its unique effect on the skin. For instance, copper found in fishes and nuts increases collagen production and elastic levels. The iron found in green veggies increases the radiance of the skin.
4. Cocoa Butter Reduces Marks and Spots
Cocoa butter is applied by new mothers on their abdomen to fade away the pregnancy stretch marks. It also lessens the stretch marks and can be used as a supplementary treatment as it gives suppleness to the skin, and hydrates and soothes the skin.
The butter is also useful in diminishing other scars and age spots. It is used throughout pregnancy to prevent stretch marks and slow the aging process. It can be used for skin conditions including dermatitis and eczema.
Benefits of Coconut Oil for Skin
Coconuts and its oil are popular throughout the world. It has been used since centuries for skincare and hair care. Some of its other benefits include: –
1. Coconut Oil For Moisturizing
Coconut oil has been used for ages to moisturize the skin and hair. It creates a strong barrier on the skin and keeps the moisture within. Coconut oil is applied on the face before sleeping after applying other products. Leaving the coconut oil on the face for the whole night will revitalize the skin cells because coconut oil contains good composition of fatty acids.
2. Coconut Oil Anti-Ageing Agent
Besides being a good hydrating source for the skin, coconut oil also has antioxidant properties. These properties of the oil helps it fights against the free radicals that cause oxidative stress and faster ageing. Coconut oil also has the ability of stimulating the active component of other oils and serums.
3. Coconut Oil Makeup Remover
Wearing makeup everyday can gradually damage the skin. Removing it with a natural oil such as coconut oil not only removes the makeup smoothly, but it soothes any skin irritation. The oil can be applied and rinsed as face cleanser. Many women prefer natural oil including coconut oil to remove cosmetic makeup from the face.
4. Coconut Oil Skin Barrier
Coconut oil is highly viscous yet permeable. It gets absorbed into the skin fast and forms a skin barrier. The fatty acids in the oils provide good barrier for the epidermis. This property is useful for those with sensitive skin and atopic dermatitis.
Cocoa Butter vs Coconut Oil – Nutrients
Cocoa butter has higher content of Vitamins E and K compared to coconut oil. The presence of monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat is also higher in cocoa butter. However, coconut oil supplies 114% more saturated fats to the body than cocoa butter, which has less saturated fat. The content of Vitamin K in cocoa butter is 41 times more than the Vitamin K in coconut oil. Vitamin K protects the collagen and has anti-ageing properties.
The Journal of the American Oil Chemist’s Society in 2015 published a report that highlighted the nutrients in coconut oil including lauric acid (3).
A 2009 study on the chemical properties of virgin coconut oil was published in Journal of the American Oil Chemist’s Society (4).
Cocoa Butter Vs Coconut Oil – Uses
- Cocoa Butter For Skin
The fatty acids of cocoa butter moisturize the skin and nourish it, thus making the skin elastic. The butter also helps the skin retain its moisture content. It prevents damage to the skin due to environmental factors.
- Coconut Oil for Skin
Coconut oil too moisturizes the skin and prevents the skin from getting dry. It too has fatty acids that helps retain moisture content. This oil has antimicrobial properties that eliminate bacteria from the skin.
- Cocoa Butter for Hair
Cocoa butter is good for those with frizzy hair as it holds the hair firm. It can be used as a mousse or pomade for hair. It also acts as a conditioner after shower.
- Coconut Oil for Hair
Coconut oil hydrates the hair and retains the moisture. Regular use also prevents protein loss. The oil gives the hair a shine. The nutrients in the oil also nourish the hair and regulate the sebum secretion in the scalp.
- Cocoa Butter for Marks and Scars
Cocoa butter has more penetrative powers than other butters. It can enter into the dermis and nourish it and diminish the scars and spots. In the deep layers of the skin, the butter retains moisture.
- Coconut Oil for Marks and Scars
The emollient nature of coconut oil moisturizes the skin and helps retain this moisture. A well moisturized skin has better healing and it fades the scars and stretch marks efficiently. The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of coconut oil also speed up the healing process.
Cocoa Butter vs Coconut Oil – Comparison Table
|Cocoa Butter||Coconut Oil|
|It moisturizes and hydrates the skin||Yes||Yes|
|It has anti-inflammatory properties||Yes||Yes|
|It has antimicrobial properties||Yes||Yes|
|It has antioxidants||Yes||Yes|
|Compatible skin types||Regular, dry, sensitive, combination||Regular, dry, sensitive, combination|
|Natural SPF value||Around 6||1|
|Can be made at home||Yes||No|
|Possible issues||Might block pores||Might block pores|
|Saturated fats||Less than coconut oil||More than cocoa butter|
|Nutrients||More vitamins and minerals than coconut oil||Less vitamins and minerals than cocoa butter|
|Uses||Even out the skin tone and texture; moisturize and hydrate the skin; Delays effects of ageing; Good for the face. Nourishes the skin.||Wound healing; delays wrinkles and fine lines; Moisturizes the skin; Repairs skin barrier.|
Cocoa Butter vs Coconut Oil – Recipes
#Recipe 1 – Cocoa Butter Recipe for Body Cream
- Half a cup of cocoa butter
- 2 tablespoons of jojoba oil
- 1 tablespoon of calendula-infused extra virgin olive oil (or just extra virgin olive oil)
- 6 drops of lavender essential oil
- 2 drops of tea tree essential oil
- Glass jar
- Heat the mixture of cocoa butter and jojoba oil with constant stirring.
- Allow the mix to cool.
- Now add the remaining ingredients.
- Mix the blend well.
- Pour the contents into a glass jar and she it well.
- Refrigerate jar till the contents solidifies.
#Recipe 2 – Coconut Oil Recipe for Skin Moisturizer
Coconut oil is a base oil that can be directly applied on the skin or mixed with essential oils to moisturize the skin and upkeep skin health.
- Quarter cup of unrefined coconut oil
- 4 drops of helichrysum essential oil
- 2 drops of carrot seed essential oil
- 4 drops of frankincense essential oil
- Half teaspoon of vitamin E oil
- Mildly heat the coconut oil. You can place the oil container in warm water.
- Mix the other ingredients.
- Stir well.
- Store the contents in a cold place for 1 hour.
- Apply the homemade moisturizer on the face and skin.
Using coconut oil or cocoa butter on dry skin hydrate your skin and protect the skin. Cocoa butter is preferred over shea butter for its distinctive aroma. One might have heard that using coconut oil or cocoa butter has many benefits.Many women use cacao butter lotions to help attain richer, beautiful skin and body and for a healthy glow.
Compare cocoa butter vs coconut oil and their use for skin care. Both the oils are believed to improve the flow of blood to your skin. Its natural ingredients are rich in fatty acids and other pure substances.
The argument of cocoa butter v/s coconut oil might not give us a clear winner as both cocoa butter and coconut oil have their benefits for the skin. Cocoa butter has more vitamins whereas coconut oil has more percentage of saturated fats and minerals. It is better to get the best of both worlds and include both products in regular skincare regimen.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between coconut oil and cocoa butter?
Coconut oil has 114% more saturated fats than cocoa butter. Using coconut oil daily will meet the body’s requirement for saturated fats. Cocoa butter on the other hand has more Vitamin K, Vitamin E, and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat compared to coconut oil.
Can I use coconut oil instead of cocoa butter?
Coconut oil can be used as a substitute for cocoa butter as the lauric acid in coconut oil has similar properties as fatty acids. However, it is recommended to use both the oils simultaneously.
Is cocoa butter or coconut oil better for the face?
The nutrients in cocoa butter are more than that of coconut oil. Coconut oil also has several benefits for the face. Blending both the products and using it on the face is a good way of getting the benefits of both cocoa butter and coconut oil.
. Cocoa Bioactive Compounds: Significance and Potential for the Maintenance of Skin Health https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/6/8/3202/htm?crsi=662497591
• Cocoa polyphenols and their influence on parameters involved in ex vivo skin restructuring https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1468-2494.2008.00457.x
• The Properties of Lauric Acid and Their Significance in Coconut Oil https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11746-014-2562-7
• Chemical Properties of Virgin Coconut Oil https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11746-009-1351-1