While the idea of using chocolate as eye cream may seem too good to be true, that's essentially what you're doing when you use cocoa butter. This topical ointment comes from cocoa beans, which are separated from their hulls after being fermented and roasted. The resulting residue is smooth, aromatic cocoa butter, which lends itself to innumerable off-the-shelf eye creams. Cocoa butter is more than just a beauty product buzz word -- its benefits cover many aspects of under-eye skin care.
It's no secret that moisturizing is key to healthy skin -- moisture helps protect your face and keep your skin soft and supple, including the delicate areas around your eyes. Applied as a topical eye cream, the emollient cocoa butter creates a barrier between your skin and the environment, which locks in moisture. Cocoa butter also contains a wealth of skin-friendly vitamins, including A, B1, B2, B3, C and E, the latter of which specifically aids in skin repair.
Eyes are often a trouble area for skin, a place where signs of aging -- from wrinkles to dark circles -- first make themselves known. Meanwhile, cocoa butter is famously rich in antioxidants which, according to the free radical theory, are a valuable asset in the fight against aging. Antioxidants combat harmful free radicals (products of pollution, sunlight, alcohol and smoke that break down and age the skin). In addition to repairing skin, the antioxidants present in cocoa butter eye cream help strengthen blood vessels and protect the skin's collagen.
According to the cocoa butter suppliers at Nuna Village, cocoa butter also promotes skin elasticity. Further, the substance has a slight sun protection factor, which may help reduce signs of aging related to sunlight exposure. In addition to its pleasing texture, cocoa butter even has a faint chocolate scent.
The Eco Angle
While other eye creams may rely on synthetic ingredients, cocoa butter is a naturally derived product. In fact, pure cocoa butter is edible, and often lends itself to baked goods. Although the world's reliance on cocoa in everything from candy to cosmetics raises concerns about its sustainability, UTZ Certified cocoa -- cocoa recognized as sustainable by the nonprofit UTZ program -- doubled in 2013 due to renewed industry interest in sustainable cocoa growing.