Cocoa (Theobroma cacao)
| Cocoa butter (also known as Cacao butter) contains a large number of different antioxidants that act synergistically to present a massive offensive against the free radicals that destroy your skin cells and lead to premature aging. As such, therefore, it is the ideal skin care product.|
Let's look at that statement again. Why the 'ideal' skin care product? To answer that question, we have to look at what antioxidants are, and what cocoa butter can do them , and after that why it is better than other skin care products on the market.
Free radicals are small molecules forms during the body's metabolism when energy is generated from glucose in the mitochondria of every cell in your body. They are also formed by exposure to pollutants such as pesticides, and particularly the various toxic components of tobacco smoke. Cigars and pipes are no less dangerous than cigarettes, and filter tips make no difference to the production of free radicals.
What they do is to destroy cells, and when these are skin cells you begin to age. Your skin wrinkles and dries up, and you begin to take on the look of somebody years older than you are. They do this through a process known as oxidation, and antioxidants can prevent it. They neutralize the free radicals, and prevent your skin cells from being destroyed.
Cocoa butter contains a number of different antioxidants that can kill off a wide range of different free radicals and superoxides, including hydrogen peroxide. Vitamin E is a strong antioxidant - the strongest of all the antioxidant vitamins in fact, and can easily kill off hydrogen peroxide and any other oxidizing agent. The others are vitamins A and C, but they cannot approach the effectiveness of vitamin E.
It also contains phytochemicals (posh name for plant chemicals) such as flavanoids that are also strong antioxidants. Polyphenols are very effective at neutralizing free radicals, and the cocoa mass polyphenols are particularly effective. In fact, cocoa butter contains a much higher antioxidant concentration then even blueberries and other so-called superfoods.
In order for cocoa butter to be effective, it should get in contact with as many of your skin cells as possible, which involves rubbing it well into your skin. The skin is very absorbent and will destroy free radicals in the lower depths of your skin as soon as they are produced, and before they can do damage.
It has been scientifically proved that cocoa butter will prevent skin degradation due to the harmful effects of the UV light in the rays of the sun - UV radiation generates free radicals that are very effective at destroying skin. Just look at the effect of sunburn! However, there is more to cocoa butter than just that.
It contains a large proportion of minerals including calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, manganese, copper and iron, all of which are in a highly bioavailable form that render them more effective that commercial vitamin supplements. Not only that, though. It also contains tryptophan, involved in the formation of serotonin, the 'feel good' neurotransmitter, and also dopamine and phenylethylamine, all good substances. It is a brain food as well as food for your skin.
Scientists have already found that cocoa can contain more antioxidants per cup than red wine or green tea do. The latest good news about chocolate, from the Journal of Nutrition, is that ingesting certain compounds in cocoa can smooth the skin and decrease its sensitivity to the sun. In a double-blind study in Germany, women who drank a cocoa beverage high in antioxidants called flavonols daily experienced reduced skin redness in response to UV-light exposure—15 percent less than usual after six weeks and 25 percent less at 12 weeks—while a group given a low-flavonol cocoa drink had no change. The women also showed significant improvements in their skins' texture and hydration, which the investigators believe were attributable to measurably improved blood flow to the skin. Flavonols are abundant in dark chocolate and the low-calorie, high-flavonol cocoa powder.
Disclaimer: The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.