By Natural Advocate | March 21, 2012 - 5:27 pm - Posted in Herbal & Natural Beauty

So I’ve been tanning to get my dose of vitamin D in a specially designed UVB tanning bed that my husband and I purchased. I have to admit, it’s nice to also lay back in this bed and pretend it’s summer time, and with the long winters here, we really need to feel like we have a break from all the gloomy grey weather and frigid temperatures – not to mention the lack of sunlight.

As a natural tanning lotion, I took it upon myself to make one up out of a nontoxic lotion base I had purchased (no parabens, no preservatives, no petroleums or any of that chemical stuff).  So what I did was make a nice, smooth chocolatey scented tanning lotion that is totally nontoxic and smells wonderful.

I added cocoa butter to achieve the wonderfully warm scent of one of my favorite indulgence foods, chocolate (see our past article on flavanols in chocolate health benefits).  Cocoa butter is of course derived from the cocoa bean, which is the bean that is used to make chocolate. It has many health benefits, including several anti aging antioxidant properties which actually make dark chocolate a reasonably healthy dessert choice.

I got the raw organic kind, and man the scent of chocolate is very strong. I love it. It’s very hard at room temperature, but you can melt it. It takes a longer time to melt than other plant oils like coconut oil or shea butter, both of which are solid at room temperature, but less solid and “formed” than cocoa butter.

Cocoa butter has the following benefits for the skin:

1.)  It has long been used as a remedy against stretch marks due to it’s nourishing and hyper-moisturizing properties.  Since it is a deeply penetrating moisturizer, stretch marks can be minimized since the skin stretching doesn’t do as much damage and show as much “tearing” as it does when it is not properly moisturized.

2.)  There are a ton of antioxidants in cocoa butter, which help to mop up and kill free radicals, which are harmful organisms that kill and harm healthy skin cells. See our past article on aging and free radicals.  It can help to reduce the effects of things like UV damage on the skin as well as protect it from the other ravages that the skin is exposed to on a daily basis by our environment and of course also by the products we use if we don’t happen to use all natural products (especially all natural deodorants, one of the most important).

Cocoa butter is really an excellent addition to your skin care products, but take note that it really must be melted and mixed with a lotion – it is not soft enough to realistically apply to the skin when it is in its hard state at room temperature.

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