Cacao Powder Benefits for Skin Health
Disclaimer: This content has been produced purely for informational and educational purposes only and is never intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical guidelines including diagnosis, advice, and treatment.
Cacao, the root ingredient of chocolate is not only delicious but also surprisingly healthy. Cacao powder can offer various health benefits, from skin health to cardiovascular health to hair and nail health. Do you want to know about some cacao powder benefits for skin health? Keep exploring with us till the end.
This article will explore some of the most purported benefits of cacao powder for skin health from a more scientific standpoint. But before we get into how cacao powder can help with skin health, it’s worth having a fundamental knowledge of it first. So, let’s get started.
Table of contents
- What is cacao powder?
- Nutritional and pharmacological value of cacao powder
- Cacao powder benefits for skin health
- How to use cacao powder
- Precautions and side effects
- Final words
What is cacao powder?
Cacao powder is the raw and essentially the purest form of chocolate which is much less processed and contains the highest concentrations of nutrients in their natural forms intact.
Because of being made from relatively unprocessed and unroasted cacao beans right from the cacao pods unlike cocoa powder which is made of roasted ones, cacao powder is far higher in nutritional value than cocoa powder. This is the reason why it’s widely known as “raw cocoa” and is often valued as a natural “superfood”.
Unlike standard chocolate, cacao powder does not contain any added sugar or a dairy ingredient in its pure form, making it highly desirable for vegan people or people who otherwise want to avoid dairy or sugar.
Nutritional and pharmacological value of cacao powder
Cacao powder is a rich source of essential micronutrients, especially flavonoids, phenylethylamine (PEA), iron, and magnesium, as well as others.
Flavonoids are plant chemicals that act as powerful antioxidants and help protect cells and tissues from free radicals and oxidative damage. PEA plays an essential role in boosting mood and energy, which is why often called a “love chemical”.
Iron is critical for many functions including blood cell formation, oxygen transportation, and also the synthesis of hormones, all of which are vital for normal growth and development. This important mineral is typically found in animal foods. For people who want to live on a plant-based diet, cacao powder is obviously a great option.
Magnesium acts as a cofactor for hundreds of important chemical reactions in the body that affect many different bodily functions including bone and teeth health, blood pressure regulation, and energy production, just to name a few.
Cacao powder benefits for skin health
Cacao powder and the phytochemical compounds it contains can help the skin in a number of different ways. Let’s take a look at some of the most common of them:
Anti-aging - extremely high amounts of plant antioxidants, including polyphenols and flavonoids, possess a tremendous capacity to neutralize free radicals, the unstable damage-causing particles that cause premature aging of the skin by inducing loss of elasticity, dullness, and fine lines.
Boosts skin complexion - there are various vitamins and minerals such as vitamins E, K, iron, and copper in cacao powder that can hugely help boost skin complexion. Copper plays a crucial role in enhancing collagen and elastin which are vital for soft and supple skin. Iron is critical for promoting circulation, making the skin better nourished and glowy.
Reduces and soothes skin inflammation - natural polyphenols and flavonols found in cacao powder possess properties to soothe inflamed and sensitive skin and thereby, can enormously help with several skin conditions such as irritations, rashes, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, and more.
Helps in keeping skin moisture - cacao powder contains stearic acid, palmitic acid, oleic acid, and various fatty acids, all of which have the capacity to lock in moisture and deeply hydrate the skin by forming a protective skin barrier.
Protects from sun damage - polyphenols, flavonoids, and other antioxidants in cacao powder can help protect the skin from harmful rays of the sun and prevent various sun damage such as sunburn, redness, discoloration, and even certain types of skin cancer.
Helps in skin healing - cacao powder is packed with anti-inflammatory agents like tannins that can help in healing the skin in many ways. It helps regenerate new skin cells by removing dead skin cells. It’s also useful in treating acne and all sorts of blemishes. Moreover, cacao powder also has the ability to lighten any sort of scars and stretch marks too.
How to use cacao powder
Cacao powder can be used in many different ways including both taken by mouth and applied directly to the skin. The actual method of use and possible oral recommendations differ from person to person depending on the personal symptoms and specific needs.
Therefore, it’s always important to consider working with a natural medicine professional to determine individual recommendations. However, in general, cacao powder is assumed to be safe up to 40 gm per day for oral use.
Precautions and side effects
Although cacao powder is generally safe and is not reported to cause any serious side effects so far, some people may experience uncommon and rare adverse effects and allergic reactions that may include increased urination, rapid heartbeat, migraine headache, nausea, and skin rashes. Therefore, it’s highly important to work with a licensed natural medicine professional to determine the exact dosage and safety profile before using cacao powder.
Cacao powder is loaded with natural micronutrients and many of which work wonders for skin health. Though a large number of cacao powder benefits for skin health are often purported in the skincare community, some benefits are proven so far such as anti-aging, reduction in inflammation, and skin healing. But it’s important to use cacao powder appropriately and asking a professional healthcare practitioner is always a good idea to avoid any unpleasant adverse effects.