Chocolate As A Cosmetic
There's plenty of evidence to indicate that chocolate is a mood booster and powerhouse of mood-changing chemicals, but surely there’s no reason to believe that using chocolate in cosmetics can benefit your appearance, health and wellbeing?
Well actually, there’s some new research that suggests we might all benefit from rubbing a little chocolate on our bodies, but not in the way that many health spas and beauty therapists try to convince us will be beneficial.
Cocoa beans contain a range of amazing ingredients that alter the mood. The two chemical compounds can be found in cocoa that actually penetrate the dermal barrier: tryptophan, which boosts the body’s antidepressant compounds; and caffeine, which reduces tiredness and stimulates the brain. Caffeine has begun to appear in a range of cosmetic treatments – most notably those for under-eye circles and bags – where it has a measurable effect on skin tightening and brightening.
So while we may not gain all the benefits by rolling in chocolate that we’d gain by eating a few high-quality grams of the food, we will still find benefits from using it to cleanse, soothe and treat our skin. There’s also a substantial psychosomatic benefit. Simply talking about chocolate, smelling it and seeing the packet of a favorite brand can be enough to generate mood-changing endorphins. So for a chocolate fan, knowing that they are about to be steeped in their beloved food may actually do them as much good as eating it would. This is because the endorphins that such a prospect induces serve to remove stress from the body, promote healing and change the neural pathways, creating positive rather than negative thought patterns in the brain.
Chocolate Cosmetic Options
The range of treatments is large, from cocoa butter based products, such as lotions and lip balms, to the exfoliating abilities of cocoa powder. Looking at the function of such ingredients, it’s clear that both have substantial treatment value:
Cocoa butter – has both physical and psychological impacts on the body. Physically it offers a high degree of moisture retention, skin-softening compounds and the ability to relieve mild itching. These attributes make it ideal for rubs and massages, nourishing conditioners for the hands, hair and feet and for lip treatments. It also has a strong role in limiting and to a degree preventing, stretch marks and scarring after surgery.
Cocoa powder – is a gentle exfoliation treatment that can be usefully applied to the body to remove old skin, brighten the complexion and tighten surface areas.
Both products offer the familar and highly evocative scent of chocolate, with its stress-reducing properties