6 DIY Beauty Recipes for Your Face, Hair, and Body

Inexpensive beauty recipes

What is beauty? Science tells us that beauty is a function of our ancient instincts giving us some insight about the health of a person and whether they would be a good genetic match for our own genes to further our species. National Geographic tells us, “studies suggest attractive people make more money, get called on more often in class, receive lighter court sentences, and are perceived as friendlier.” That’s right. We’re a bunch of cover-judgers. We just can’t help it.

With or without the science, “beauty” is a booming industry. It doesn’t come cheap and it’s easy to get swept up in the “buy more to be more” mentality. As you organic beauties know, most of the products out there have chemicals in them and even though those chemicals might help maintain the phenotype of beauty, they certainly don’t help keep your body healthy and strong.

Because we think that beauty is a side-effect of eating well, taking care of our bodies, and taking care of our skin, I’d like to share some inexpensive ways to feel healthy and beautiful.

For Your Face

Herbal Face Steams

Let’s start with the easiest beauty trick out there—and my favorite. Herbal steams are such a good way for your body to receive herbal love. They help hydrate your skin and release impurities.

Just put a few drops of essential oil or a couple of tablespoons of your herbs into a pot of water and let it simmer on the stove. Get a big towel and drape it over your head and the pot of water so that the towel traps the steam from the pot. Take deep breaths of the steam. That’s it! Easy, right? And, because your skin is hydrated and your pores are open, your skin will readily accept your skin care routine. So following up with a hydrating serum or moisturizing oil is a good idea.

There are lots of different herbs you can use in your steam. For an easy, all purpose steam that feels good and smells amazing, herbs like rose, lavender, and rosemary are perfect.

Facial Masks

We have talked about face masks before, but I’ll give you another recipe that’s a cheap and easy way to keep your face beautiful.

Facial Mask for Normal or Dry Skin:

  • ¼ an avocado
  • 1 spoonful of plain greek yogurt or kefir

Mix it up and slather it on. Leave it for 15 minutes. Wipe or rinse it off and continue with your routine.

Facial Mask for Oily Skin:

  • Juice from ¼ a lemon
  • 1 spoonful of raw honey, softened

Mix it together and spread it evenly on your face. Leave for about 15-20 minutes and make sure to wipe or rinse it all off when you’re finished.

For your Hair

The best piece of advice I can give you to growing luscious locks is to make sure that your body gets the vitamin A and the protein that it needs (there’s that health piece). Your hair, skin and nails are made of keratin, which is a tough form of protein made in your body. What you ingest has a huge impact on your production of keratin.

Hair Rinses

An apple cider vinegar rinse once a week after shampoo and conditioning is great for balancing the acid mantle of the scalp and removing any leftover soap that may be trapped there.

For one rinse:

  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar

Just pour the mixture over your whole head, massage it into your scalp and let it dry.

I like to add herbal teas that help with the color, for a mixture that’s half apple cider vinegar and half tea. I’m fair-haired so I like adding chamomile tea to the rinse. For dark hair, adding a decoction of walnut husk to to the ACV will keep it shiny and nice. Don’t worry, the vinegar smell will dissipate after your hair dries.

Note for you darker-haired honeys: use a dark colored towel because the walnut may stain a lighter color towel.

For herbal hair rinse ideas, see this blog post.

The Best Love is Free Love

The best thing that I have found for the hair is free! Give yourself a scalp massage and finger-comb your hair!

I like to stand outside with my head upside down (it’s a little silly looking but it feels awesome) and run clean fingers through my hair. Your hands are a lot different than a hairbrush because they are porous and thus they are the best at stimulating and distributing your hair’s natural oils.

Plus. the extra oils and hairs can easily be removed from your hands, so you don’t have to worry about the build up on the brush. This is really helpful for split ends, dandruff and for keeping your hair healthy and growing long.

For your Body

Baths

I hope you have a bathtub because they can be SO healing for the skin and they’re not all that expensive. You’ll want to have a tub strainer because you don’t want all these herbs going down your drain. It’s not important to measure this out perfectly, but it is important to have fun with it! Here’s my favorite herbal bath, you don’t need all of these herbs or salts, any mixture of herbal love is great:

Herbal Bath Recipe

  • A cup or two of oatmeal – organic rolled oats are wonderful!
  • 2+ cups of good salt – I use Dead Sea salt and Himalayan pink salt but epsom salt or any good salt you have works great
  • A couple tablespoons of baking soda
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of coconut oil
  • Herbs like rose, lavender, kava, skullcap, yarrow and rue are great to add to the bath. The best way to add them is to put them into a little teabag or a sack, but I like to add handfuls of herbs straight to my water and then strain it out when I’m finished.

Foot Soaks

We have nerve endings in our feet that relate to different parts of our whole body, it’s important to take good care of our hooves so that we can feel great and be beautiful.

It’s like a small scale bath recipe that you can make on your stove and enjoy anywhere in your house – I love to do a foot soak while I’m doing dishes! Just keep your feet in it for at least a half hour (I like it better for an hour):

Herbal Foot Soak Recipe

  • 1/2 cup of good salt
  • A couple teaspoons of baking soda
  • A heaping teaspoon of coconut oil
  • Herbs like rose, lavender, kava, skullcap, yarrow, and tea tree are great!

Pro tip: Do a face steam with your pot of water while you’re making your foot soak. Add in a mask while you’re sitting with your feet in a soak and turn it into a special night. 🙂

What’s your favorite inexpensive beauty trick?

Sources:

Mars, B. (2006). Beauty by nature. Summertown, Tenn.: Healthy Living Publications.

National Geographic: The Enigma of Beauty

Life Cell Skin Fans: Vitamins and Foods that Increase Keratin Production

The following post 6 DIY Beauty Recipes for Your Face, Hair, and Body was first published on Annmarie Skin Care.

The 4 Crucial Ingredients for a Salad that Satisfies

If you’re getting bored with your salads then you’ll love these 4 easy salad tips from our friend Danette May

Dan Gold

How many times have you pledged to have a salad every day? And how many times have you given up midweek? Was it because you were just too hungry and your salads didn’t hold you?

A salad a day is a great weight loss tool but if it doesn’t have the power to fill you up, it can work against you.

Getting hungry between lunch and snack time (yes, I eat 5 to 6 times a day and so should you!) makes it more likely that you’ll eat the wrong things—high-fat processed foods, salty snacks, and sweet treats are that much more tempting.

The goal is to make sure you stay full until snack time and don’t indulge.

To do that you need to mix plenty of protein, fiber, carbs and healthy fats in with your greens.

This combo is the key to a salad that satisfies.

4 Things to Add to Every Salad You Ever Make Again

Protein

Protein takes more energy for your body to digest, and that helps to keep you feeling full longer.

It also helps build and repair your cells, helping keep your muscles and skin strong and healthy. When you eat protein, your body makes a hormone called leptin that helps your brain know that you’re full.

Some of the healthiest protein choices for a salad include wild caught salmon, grass fed chicken, hard-boiled eggs or beans. You can also throw in some nuts or a dressing made from Greek yogurt.

Fiber

Fiber helps your digestive tract moving, but you have to eat the right kind – your salad greens are not enough.

Soluble fiber soaks up liquid in your intestines, and this makes you feel full for hours.

Great add-ons for your salad include slices of apple, raspberries, beans, or artichoke hearts.

Complex Carbs

Complex carbs are loaded with minerals and amino acids which are great for your health.

They also take a long time to digest. That means they release their energy over hours, keeping you feeling full.

They’re also easy to add to salads. If you make a batch of quinoa or brown rice at the beginning of the week, you can mix it into your salad to give it staying power.

Fat

Fat always seems like it’s the wrong thing for a salad, but when you add just a bit it will send your brain a message that you’re full.

Great choices include nuts, seeds and oils, or treat yourself to a few delicious slices of avocado.

In a nutshell, the fiber helps to make you feel full right away while the protein keeps you feeling full longer. The carbs give you extra energy and the fat sends your body a message to stop eating. If you stop thinking of salads as nothing but lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers and start adding in these important elements, you’ll find yourself enjoying them much more, and even looking forward to them.

For an added flavor, slice up some fresh herbs like dill or basil, or mix in some chopped jalapeno to give your salad a dose of heat!

If you want some healthy recipes that aren’t all salads all the time, you’ll love all the quick and easy, super delicious recipes in my Bikini Body Recipes cookbook!

What do you add to your salad to make it ultra satisfying? Let us know in the comments below.

The following post The 4 Crucial Ingredients for a Salad that Satisfies was first published on Annmarie Skin Care.

Love Your Face More by Learning the 4 Types of Skin

This article is shared from our friends over at Live Your Truth

Gerrit Klein Roses

Picture yourself in front of the mirror.

You lean in close, and you look at it again: a flaw in your skin that you just don’t love. Maybe you zero in on those lines by your eyes. Or blotchy cheeks. Or a pesky blemish.

I’m here to tell you that your skin is more beautiful than you give it credit for!

There are lots of reasons you judge your skin too harshly, but here’s the big one…

The beauty industry shows you only one kind of skin as the standard of beauty for everyone. Tiny pores. Even skin tone. Porcelain features. Those features are just not reality for most women.

And when we don’t measure up, we tend to blame ourselves.

The truth is, there are 4 Types of beauty—and 4 Types of skin

Your Type of skin has unique qualities and tendencies.

Many skin care products try to eliminate those tendencies but when you work with your type of skin, rather than against it, you have healthier, happier skin.

Annmarie Gianni and I hosted a video broadcast to share skin care tips for all 4 Types. Watch the recording here Or keep reading for quick takeaways:

Type 1: Clear, Youthful Skin

Type 1 skin has a random, animated quality to it. That means things are moving! This Type of skin tends to have a combination of oily and dry spots that don’t always stay in the same place. Your pores are medium to large in size and you find that your skin care routine focuses on purifying.

Tendencies to manage

Red, blotchy skin tone and persistent, light blemishes. (For tips and examples of Type 1 skin, watch here at 17:15)

Tendencies to embrace

Your skin has a brightness and a freshness about it. You’ll always tend to look youthful, no matter how old you are.

Type 2: Soft, Relaxed Skin

Type 2 skin has a softened quality of complexion. Your features naturally move downward, so you may notice more hooded eyelids and skin that seems to drape over the bone. Your pores are medium to medium-small in size and you find that your skin care routine is best when it’s consistent and geared toward sensitive skin.

Tendencies to manage

Sensitive skin and under-eye darkness or puffiness. (For tips and examples of Type 2 skin, watch here at 27:23).

Tendencies to embrace

Everything is softened, even your wrinkles. As long as you care for its sensitivities, Type 2 skin will tend to age with a natural elegance.

Type 3: Active, Textured Skin

Type 3 skin has more texture. You’ll notice more deeper facial lines and creases in this skin, no matter your age. Your skin expresses more movement. Your pores are medium to medium-large and your best skin care friends are hydrating products.

Tendencies to manage

Hyper-pigmentation, cystic acne, deeper lines that can become exaggerated. (For tips and examples of Type 3 skin, watch here at 33:35).

Tendencies to embrace

Your facial lines! They’re not wrinkles. Type 3 women of all ages tend to have deeper and even multiple smile lines that give them a dynamic look. I have Type 3 skin, and I love it as an expression of the woman I am.

Type 4: Porcelain, Still Skin

Type 4 skin tone tends to be even in its coloring and complexion. Your pores are small, barely visible and your favorite skin care routines will have be focused on a great moisturizer. (When looking at arms’ length. Don’t be deceived by Photoshopped images that show non-existent pores. Every person’s skin has pores if you zoom in close.)

Tendencies to manage

Dry skin. Any imbalance tends to show up in all-or-nothing extremes. (For tips and examples of Type 4 skin, watch here at 45:45).

Tendencies to embrace

The even, porcelain quality of your skin. Without fail, the women who appear in skin care advertising have balanced Type 4 skin.

Your Type of Beauty is More Than Skin-Deep

Your skin is just one part of your true beauty.

The same qualities that show up in your skin also show up in your other features and tendencies—both inside and out.

I want to help you understand yourself and feel confident about how you look. I want to help you bring out your unique beauty and look better than you ever have. I’m excited to show you how.

Click here to discover your type for free

Do you already know your type? Let us know in the comments below!

The following post Love Your Face More by Learning the 4 Types of Skin was first published on Annmarie Skin Care.

Our Cup of Tea; Healthy Lunch Edition

Our Cup of Tea is Annmarie Skin Care’s monthly series featuring the team members’ favorite things! From recipes to workouts to nights on the town, we’ll share the things we love with you. You’ll get to know our team a little better and who knows, you might just find a new favorite thing.

Brooke-Lark-Lunch

Our focus on sharing health with our community also transcends into our lives. Among other things, this means that our office kitchen is a high-traffic zone. With 15 people in the office, there always seems to be at least one person in the kitchen whipping up something delicious—and you can always tell when it’s lunchtime because the scent of the collective yum wafts throughout the whole work space.

That smell is what inspired this month’s Cup of Tea article. We shared our favorite go-to lunches that help keep us healthy and in full work-mode throughout the day. Check it out!

Jasmine

I’ve been on a salad craze for lunch lately. Here’s my usual:
1 cup chopped romaine lettuce
1 chopped tomato
1 chopped persian cucumber
1/2 cup chopped arugula
1/4 cup chopped cabbage
1 small sliced avocado
1 sliced hard boiled egg
Top with 3/4 cup black beans

Toss with 1.5 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and whatever other spices look good (usually garlic powder and cayenne).
If I’m feeling naughty, I’ll crumble some tortilla chips—Yummm!

Nat

My absolute go-to is:
1 cup chopped broccoli
1 chopped sweet potato
1 chopped zucchini

Coat with coconut oil and bake at 400 for 20 minutes
Top with avocado, Tapatio and coconut aminos. YES PLEASE.
If I’m feeling bananas I will throw some spinach and apple cider vinegar in there.

Abby

If I’m feeling light, I drink 20 oz. of bone broth from Osso Bone Broth (The Revive the Gut pouch is the best!)

Otherwise I make a salad with greens, radishes, cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, chickpeas, hardboiled egg, avocado, chicken and some type of nut or seed.
I always top it with nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, coconut aminos and olive oil with lemon juice or vinegar for dressing.

Gwen

My new favorite bowl to throw together for lunch consists of:
1 cup shredded purple cabbage
1 sliced cucumber
½ half an avocado
A couple of tablespoons of sauerkraut
1 cup of roasted broccoli smothered in coconut aminos!

Such a delicious mix of veggies and the aminos give it a sweet twist. This recipe also fits the bill if you’re gluten free, vegan, and/or paleo 🙂

Aubrey

My favorite quick lunch is a chia smoothie.

In the morning time I take a few tablespoons of chia seeds along with some herbs—usually marshmallow root, cinnamon, licorice root powder, and wheatgrass powder but if you have a protein powder you like, that’s great too—and put it in a cup mason jar.

I add water or almond milk and shake it up. By the time lunch rolls around, it’s ready to go! If you use more chia it’s more of a pudding, less chia and it’s a shake!

Chandra

Spinach, kale, chard, banana, pineapple, mango, strawberry, basil, chia seeds, flax seeds, non-dairy milk smoothie. Blend and top with coconut flakes, granola or buckwheat groats, and orange slices.

Leah

One of my favorite lunches is this carrot soup with za’atar hazelnuts from Snacking in the Kitchen.

It is easy to make and satisfying!

I also love the classic “clean out the fridge salad.” My most recent concoction consisted of greens, curried cauliflower, potatoes, and peas topped with some chopped roast turkey.

Lauryn

Collard Wraps have been my go-to quick meal lately.

I just grab one from the crisper and spread on some mendo mustard or hummus as a base, pulled chicken or chopped up Dr Praegers veggie patty, sauerkraut, cherry tomatoes, feta, onion, cilantro and avocado – the possibilities are endless.

Throw on some salt, pepper, nutritional yeast and coco aminos, then wrap up and you have a nutritious and delicious on-the-go meal!

What’s your go-to quick lunch? Let us know in the comments below!

The following post Our Cup of Tea; Healthy Lunch Edition was first published on Annmarie Skin Care.

Introducing the Newest Natural & Organic Skin Care Product: Antioxidant Lip Balm

As one of the most requested beauty products by our customers over the years, it’s honestly about time we launched an organic lip balm. Not only is it a less complex product to make in comparison to the rest of our facial formulas, but it’s absolutely an essential part of the complete Annmarie beauty routine. Lips need love, too!

We admit we’ve been a little biased with what parts of our skin need the most attention. While formulating potent, anti-aging skin care products has been our focus over the years, our lips (if not taken care of) can show premature signs of aging as well. This truth can no longer be neglected, so our simple, yet effective natural lip balm creation has finally emerged! And what a beautiful compliment it is to Annmarie Skin Care.

What we love about lip balm and the application of it, is that it literally takes no longer than three seconds to put on. A complete facial routine however, takes time, time that we are already spending to maintain a healthy complexion. So, since the the lips are such an easy thing to care for, why not adopt this as a daily ritual? Oh, how they will thank you…

Why Lip Balm is Essential

Similar to the skin around the eyes, the lips have much thinner and more sensitive skin than anywhere else on the face. Lips have no oil glands, so they really need that extra moisture and protection throughout the day. Otherwise, you risk your lips getting dry, chapped and even the occasional peeling—and it isn’t until our lips experience these discomforts that we put much thought into the importance of keeping them moisturized all of the time.

While some of us live in seasonal or even extreme weather conditions, which are the biggest culprits of dry lips, there are also other factors that lead to lip sensitivities. A lack of hydration in the body, underlying health issues, licking your lips too much or simply choosing the wrong type of chapstick—you know, one with synthetic ingredients that don’t moisturize properly—are all potential causes of parched lips.

Regardless of the cause, a couple of applications throughout the day can really keep your overall lip health in check!

Pro tips:

  • Always keep a natural lip balm in your bag or pocket wherever you go. Keeping one stored in the bathroom, in your car and one next to your bed will help you be consistent with your applications.
  • Apply the moment your lips feel dry. Continue to apply throughout the day until lips feel smooth and soft.
  • Drink a lot of water! Your lips will feel full and plump when you are internally hydrated.
  • Exfoliate your lips. Exfoliating the lips with an ultra-gentle exfoliant (ie: brown sugar) will help to remove any dead skin and will increase the absorption of our Antioxidant Lip Balm, keeping your lips super moisturized for longer.
  • Apply balm before tint. If you apply lip tint or lipstick, moisturizing your lips prior to lip color application will allow for smooth, even coverage. Sometimes bright lipsticks can settle into cracks in the lips and make them look more pronounced. (The last thing we want to do is bring attention to dry, scaly lips!)

Benefits Of Our Antioxidant Lip Balm

Though lip balms are designed to moisturize the lips and keep them soft and nourished, not all of them are created with that in mind. Conventional lip balms often contain petrolatum, synthetic waxes, alumina, parabens, hydrogenated oils and artificial fragrances and colors.

In our opinion, these aren’t really ingredients we want to be licking off of our lips (and then swallowing) throughout the day. Nor do we want to be using ingredients that exacerbate dryness and serve almost no nutritional purpose for keeping your lips healthy.

For a skin care product that is intended to be applied several times a day on your mouth, the entry to your body, it should be made up entirely of pure and edible ingredients.

We adore our Antioxidant Lip Balm which is comprised of lip-loving olive oil, cocoa butter, beeswax, sea buckthorn fruit oil, buriti fruit oil, cacao extract, rosehip fruit oil and rosemary extract.

Not only is our lip balm made up of proven natural moisturizing oils, but it also contains protective and breathable barriers for the lips. In addition to the balm’s base, we add in antioxidant-rich fruit oils that deliver intense nutrition to keep the skin on and around the lips full, lush and restored.

Another perk? It tastes like chocolate!

Are you excited about your new Antioxidant Lip Balm? Let us know in the comments below!

The following post Introducing the Newest Natural & Organic Skin Care Product: Antioxidant Lip Balm was first published on Annmarie Skin Care.

The Top 6 Travel Tips from the Annmarie Community

A traveling friend even sent us a photo from his latest trip!

The past few months we’ve been asking our community questions via email about things like your favorite smoothie recipe or favorite summer salad. We choose one awesome response to share with everyone and send a special gift to the person who supplied it.

This time we did things a little bit differently—we still sent our question through an email (which you can sign up to receive at the bottom of the page) and we still sent a special gift (this time it was a Travel Kit!), but this time we couldn’t choose just one.

We asked you to share your favorite travel tips, what gets you through that difficult plane ride, makes your trip better, or helps you remember your travels?

True to form, we got amazing responses from all over the country. It was hard to narrow these down, but here are the top 6 travel tips that you shared with us—please feel free to add your own favorite in the comments too.

TR Bozeman from Rio Linda, CA

It’s important to stay balanced, as traveling is always unpredictable. I always bring homemade snacks—nuts, dried fruit, a small bit of cacao, along with fresh lemon water. With hydration and hunger both taken care of I can enjoy my traveling! Happy travels!

Vanessa W. from Tucson, AZ

I love to spend one day traveling without taking any photos. I studied photography and I love taking photos, but this is my way of balancing the time I spend behind the camera and the time I spend just purely enjoying wherever I am. It’s like a little treat to myself: to flow through a full day without trying to document or hold onto it in any way.

Karen S. from Leland, NC

I travel often for work and my travel tip is to always dress in layers when traveling. Temperature extremes are likely when traveling by air; the airplanes are hot when first boarding, but usually freezing by the time you land. Also your destination is likely to have a different temperature than your departure city. I love to travel with a Pashmina, it fits easily in my carry on, but can be taken out anytime when the temperatures go down.

Jane K. from West Baldwin, ME

My best travel advice is to sink in as deep as possible to the culture you are visiting. Stay in a bed and breakfast or small locally owned hotel, talk with the local people, learn something of their history and the struggles they have gone through, eat in their homes, enter into their real lives—learn their joys and their sorrows. Treasure what they share with you.
If all I do is walk around with a tour guide, stay in an American chain hotel, and eat American meals, I will stay on the surface as a tourist and will have missed out.

Darlene S. from Ava, MO

I like to collect a small stone from each place I visit and write on the bottom side with a permanent marker where it came from. I place them on my flower bed and feel as if I brought a bit of the joy home with me! Many times the stones I find are in the shape of hearts, which is such a great way to remember the love is found everywhere if you are looking.

Faezeh T. from Irvine, CA

There are a couple of things that I put in my luggage before everything!
One of them is a few Tb spoons of chia seed, or psyllium with a glass jar. No matter where I am staying, every night I put half or 1 Tb spoon of the seeds in the jar, add water and let them stay over night. In the morning I drink it before breakfast. This keeps me regular for the whole trip!

I also carry a small bottle of lavender essential oil to smell or apply on my skin, refresh and sooth my body. Annmarie Skin Care perfume blends work great for this too.

This is probably our favorite question so far. We’re a team of travelers and we will definitely add a lot of these suggestions to our travel routines!

Do you have more travel tips for us? Let us know in the comments below!

The following post The Top 6 Travel Tips from the Annmarie Community was first published on Annmarie Skin Care.

The Wonders of Cocoa Butter

Organic Cocoa Butter

We’re guilty of being a team of chocoholics, but that’s not why we’re excited about this ingredient today. We’re getting to know the cacao tree because we’re using cocoa butter in our newest product. Like all of the ingredients we use in our products, our cocoa butter is organic and sustainably sourced. We research everything that goes into our products and we’re so enthralled with this healthy fat that we want to share a bit about it with you.

A Little Bit About the Cacao Tree

We can’t talk about Cocoa butter without talking about where it came from—the cacao tree.

The Latin name for this evergreen tree is Theobroma cacao and it means “food of the gods,” which we think is pretty apt considering all the chocolatey goodness that comes from this wonderful plant.

The cacao tree is in the Malva family (the same family as another of our favorites, the marshmallow plant) and is native to the Amazon Rainforest, Western Africa, and tropical Asia.

It is a smallish tree living under the canopy of the taller trees in the rainforest and very much evolved with the protection of other tropical plants. That means that on its own is very susceptible to pests, disease, and its environment—it doesn’t like too much wind or cold weather, it needs quite a bit of rain and deep, well drained soil.

Because of it’s very particular taste in environment and vulnerability, the cacao tree is difficult to cultivate and is best grown on very small farms or in small groves in rainforests. Even with the perfect growing conditions, it is not uncommon for a farmer to lose a lot of the crop each year, adding evermore to the sacred energy of the tree.

The cacao seeds grow in large pods. Each tree can yield about 70 pods annually, and each pods contains about 20-60 seeds (or beans).

These cacao beans are collected from pods and processed into the various chocolate-y options including cacao powder, cocoa powder, cocoa butter, cacao butter, and cacao nibs.

Like we mentioned before, we’re using cocoa butter in our newest product so we’re diving deep into this ingredient to get to know it a little bit better.

Exactly What is Cocoa Butter?

This might seem obvious, but it might be new for you too so we want to make sure that you know exactly what it is.

I know we talked about cacao tree—so where did the term “cocoa” come from? Well, they’re the same plant but the difference is in the processing. A “cocoa” product, like cocoa powder or cocoa butter, is a cacao product that was processed with heat. The heating process changes the nutritional value of the cocoa, otherwise cacao and cocoa are interchangeably used.

Cocoa butter is the fat that is rendered from the cocoa bean during the processing to make cocoa powder. The cocoa beans are fermented, then roasted and then separated and pressed.

Cocoa butter is a vegetable fat and its rich flavor makes it a wonderful ingredient in desserts—most notably, it’s the main fat in chocolate and it’s what gives our favorite chocolate bars that creamy texture we love. Although it’s great for heart health in low doses, cocoa butter is one of those high-calorie fats that can cause weight gain when it’s over consumed. (So even though we wouldn’t even tell you to drop your chocolate habit, it might be good to curve it a little.)

Cocoa butter is solid at room temperature but melts right around our body temperature, which may be a downside if you have a chocolate bar in your pocket, but definitely makes it great for skin care and other cosmetics.

Cocoa Butter in Skin Care

Cocoa butter makes a phenomenal addition to any skin care routine—especially if you’re looking for a stable oil with a long shelf life to firm up the overall consistency of a product—for you DIYers, try adding deodorized cocoa butter to your deodorant recipe to add a thicker consistency and superior moisture.

Here are some other awesome benefits of this ingredient in skin care:

  • Essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids firm and tighten the skin and cocoa butter is loaded with them.
  • Anti-aging. Great for mature and dry skin types, cocoa butter is often used to relax and soften the parts of us that hold stress (and create lasting fine lines and wrinkles).
  • Antioxidant. Protect from environmental stressors that cause the appearance of aging.
  • Soothing. Cocoa butter has a protective dose of polyphenols, which are soothing to temporary redness.
  • Aromatherapeutic. It has an amazing chocolate-y smell that enlivens your senses and almost forces a smile to your face.

Plus, it’s absolutely one of the safest and most effective moisturizer around. It holds in hydration and lets your skin radiate health and beauty.

Do you have a favorite way to use cocoa butter? Let us know in the comments below!
References:
“6 Surprising Cocoa Butter Benefits.” Organic Facts. N.p., 12 June 2017. Web. 26 July 2017.
Fuhrman, Joel. “Cocoa Butter.” Ayurvedic Oils. N.p., 4 July 2017. Web. 26 July 2017.

The following post The Wonders of Cocoa Butter was first published on Annmarie Skin Care.