For years, we’ve been buying skin products that positively glisten with virtue because they contain cocoa butter or shea butter or sometimes even avocado butter. But it’s possible that many of us haven’t the faintest idea what these glamorous, gooey substances actually do for our skin. So here’s a quick, slick primer.
What it is: Extracted from the soft, oily, buttery part of cocoa beans, cocoa butter can go in your mouth when processed into chocolate, and on your face as a skin cream.
Properties: Also called theobroma oil, it is very rich in antioxidants that prevent cell damage and promote cell regeneration. Natural cocoa butter also promotes skin elasticity and suppleness, which makes you look younger.
When to use: Cocoa butter is excellent for dry skin and is often used in herbal healing treatments. Make a face cream with cocoa butter, a few drops of honey and orange juice and massage it gently in to invigorate your skin.
What it is: Made from the seeds of the fruit of Africa’s shea tree.
Properties: Shea butter contains vitamins A and E. Its fats are an excellent moisturiser for ageing skin since it supports the regeneration of collagen.
When to use: Shea butter’s active ingredients help the skin stay soft and moisturised.It reduces redness and skin breakdown due to excessive sun exposure. It also reduces stretch marks from pregnancy, acts as a lip balm in winter and is an ingredient in hair masks that helps reduce hair fall.
What it is: Made from the pulp of the avocado fruit, avocado butter is often eaten as a guacamole dip, and also used as a skin product.
Properties: Avocado butter is rich in vitamins K, C, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, folic acid, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium and antioxidants, making it both good to eat (especially for people with heart conditions) and as a face mask.
When to use: Avocado butter can be applied on the skin during pregnancy. Avocado butter or oil can be used anytime to counter dry skin and also for dry hair as it is cooling.
From HT Brunch, June 26, 2016
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