FOOD FOR YOUR SKIN • IMPACT FOR YOUR SOUL

Cocoa Butter for Scars Treatment

  • 6 min read

Cocoa butter is a type of vegetable fat that is derived from the seed of the Cacao tree fruit. The cacao tree is commonly grown in tropical regions owing to favorable weather conditions. The tree itself and its fruit are famous for being the basis for the world's most decadent dessert ingredients that is cocoa powder and chocolate. 

But with time, different uses of the ingredients derived from the Cacao tree fruit have been put into practice, not only in the African tropical areas but across the world.

To extract Cocoa butter, the seed from the Cacao tree fruit is dried, roasted, and then exposed. After which it is crushed using different machines. During this process, the vegetable fat component known as Cocoa butter is extracted. 

While the remaining shell is further processed into a fine powder that we know as Cocoa powder. Cocoa butter is not only rich in fatty acids but also contains high concentrations of vitamin E, vitamin K, and choline. The natural occurrence of these ingredients in the butter has made it one of the top choices for organic skincare products

This popularity has led to its use in different products even directly to target scars, their appearances, and treatment. But contrary to popular belief Cocoa butter is not a favorable option for scar treatment.

Ingredients of Cocoa Butter 

Cocoa butter has a lot of benefits when it comes to its use in skincare and beauty regimes. But when we look at the best natural option to treat scars, cocoa butter is not the first choice when compared to other naturally occurring butter such as Shea butter. We will now look at how the ingredients present in cocoa butter contribute to its different properties. 

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is known for its ability to fight off damage caused by free radicals and UV rays to the skin. It can do so because of its antioxidant properties and nature. But these properties do not help in repairing a scar or improving its appearance. 

Not only that, the clogging nature of the vitamin E combined with its antioxidant action triggers an inflammatory reaction that sometimes even takes the form of contact dermatitis on the scar itself. This not only worsens the look of the scar but also adds discomfort and pain to an already pertinent issue.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is known in the medical world for its blood clotting properties that of course is helpful under certain conditions. But using that same property on an already raised scar, will not only worsen the appearance of the scar but also add redness to it due to the blood clotting factor. 

While vitamin K is a suitable option when it comes to healing wounds, for scars it does more damage than good. Also due to its collagen retaining properties, vitamin K’s presence in Cocoa butter ends up adding certain plumpness to even a flat scar, making it more noticeable.

Choline

Choline helps in maintaining skin’s elasticity, firmness as well as helping nails and hair maintain their strength and not become brittle. Generally accepted as a good add-on to your skincare regime or diet, choline fails as a beneficial ingredient when it comes to healing and treatment of scars. 

Choline possesses the property to maintain and enhance the firmness of the skin. When applied on a scar, choline present in the Cocoa butter firms up the soft skin around the scar and the scar itself. 

The hardened scar then of course is more difficult to reduce and treat in appearance and becomes a permanent issue in some cases. Its skin firming property also makes it difficult for other beneficial ingredients that you might be used to penetrate the scar and treat it.

Fatty Acids (Stearic Acid, Oleic Acid, Palmitic Acid)

While fatty acids are an amazing skin moisturizer and skincare ingredient, when it comes to the use of Cocoa butter for scars, the presence of fatty acids makes it an inappropriate choice. Fatty acids help retain moisture within the skin and prevent loss of hydration. 

To ensure that the healing process is infection-free and a quick one as well, dermatologists recommend that the scars be exposed to open air and allowed to heal on their own. When Cocoa butter is applied to the scar, it prevents loss of hydration and thus hurdles the healing process. 

Not only that, but the moisturizing properties also actually contribute to giving a plump look to the scar, which makes it more obvious and aesthetically unappealing.

What To Use Instead of Cocoa Butter To Treat Scars

With these concerns and conclusions supported by medical research, the question that arises is what natural ingredient one should use to treat scars instead of Cocoa butter.

The obvious answer, supported by research, is Shea butter. Extracted from the seed of the Shea tree, Shea butter has been clinically proven to be safe and effective in the treatment of scars. Not only that it also imparts other beneficial properties to the skin, which makes it a top choice in natural skincare ingredients.

Shea butter has been proven extremely effective in the treatment of acne scars, which are left behind once an individual gets rid of active acne. These scars apart from having a certain appearance, also have a psychological impact on the individual’s confidence and social life. Therefore, their treatment in a 100% effective and natural manner through Shea butter is welcomed open-heartedly in the organic skincare industry.

Clinical Studies That Confirm Cocoa Butter for Scars Is Not the Right Choice

Now let’s look at some clinical studies that were conducted to understand the effectiveness of Cocoa butter in the treatment of scars. These studies have concluded that the use of Cocoa butter in the treatment of scars does not provide any tangible results.

Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology

In a research published in 2015 in the  Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, two groups, one being the control group and the other being the test group, were given two different creams to treat scars. One of the creams contained Cocoa butter as an ingredient, while the other was a placebo. At the end of the research, it was concluded that both creams produced the same results when treating scars.

International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (BJOG)

The results of a  clinical trial conducted in 2008, published in BJOG, concluded that Cocoa butter or creams containing Cocoa butter as an ingredient do not have any impact on scar treatment, especially in the case of postpartum women. It was a blind, randomized, multi-centered, and placebo-controlled trial.

What Are The 3 Types of Scars?

Let us explore the different types of scars that can be treated with the use of 100% natural and organicShea butter.

Hypertrophic Scars

These scars are formed from the excessive collection of collagen under your skin. They are raised in nature and sometimes present a reddish or pinkish outlook. They're usually caused as a reaction by the skin to surgical incisions and healing of burns.

Keloid Scars

These scars often appear as shiny and firm nodules that are raised and firm to the touch. They can also appear as lesions, especially in the case of surgery scars. They're formed during the healing process, especially after injury when the tissue growth takes the form of a scar that is usually darker in color than the surrounding skin.

Contracture Scars

These scars are characterized by tightening of skin to an extent where it becomes difficult for you to conduct your daily movements. These are commonly associated with severe burn marks and their healing after treatment.

Conclusion

Scars, no matter what the type, apart from having a physiological impact, also have a psychological effect on the individual. Therefore, be it acne scars or surgical scars, or stretch marks in the case of postpartum women, a suitable and natural treatment is most definitely required by the individuals suffering from its effects. 

We recommend the use of Shea butter as an organic treatment for scars. This suggestion is based on conclusions of clinical trials and is not only supported by research but also promulgated by dermatologists as well.

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