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I bought Naissance Cocoa butter (Unrefined) in a bundle of products from the company on Amazon. I used this to make some solid body butter bars, mixing it with some unrefined Shea and oils. The finished bars are stable, hold their shape, melt properly on the skin and smell amazing. For added zing, I included vanilla seeds from the pod.
(If you want to see how these have turned out then have a look here http://i.imgur.com/0lSrwWH.jpg)
Cocoa butter is in everything these days. You will find it in lip products, body creams and of course it is a main ingredient in chocolate. Unrefined Cocoa butter is the stuff that smells amazing and it is a super product for the skin. Cocoa butter is known for its moisturising qualities, and it has another skin benefit in that forms a protective barrier on the skin. This makes it useful for conditions such as eczema and dry skin. Cocoa butter is a solid fat which comes from cocoa beans and the Naissance one contains no parabens, sulphates, colours or fragrances.
WHY USE UNREFINED?:
Unrefined cocoa butter retains that lovely chocolate scent and is a creamy yellow colour. The Naissance one will come in large raw chunks. Refined cocoa butter has next to no scent which is very useful if you want other scents to feature in your final product and not be overtaken by the chocolate aroma. I grabbed the unrefined version so that I could utilise the vanilla/chocolate scent in some of the body bars without strong essential oils.
There are a few ways to refine cocoa butter including expeller pressed where the butter is mechanically extracted and heat is used to purify. Clays are often used to purify in this method. Other methods include solvent extraction which gives a butter free of impurities, micro-organisms and scent.
Deoderising is another way to process the neat butter which involves the removal of the chocolate smell. This often removes a lot of the creamy yellow colour too and if over-zealously completed can deplete the healing properties of the butter, namely vitamins and minerals. So generally speaking, refined cocoa butter will contain less of the good stuff but this can be balanced by adding nutrient rich oils and butters. An Unrefined butter can be used as it is on the skin, or you can melt a blob of it in the bath, and it is full of nutrients.
THE SCENT AND TEXTURE:
I much prefer the unrefined cocoa butter to the refined stuff because I just LOVE that rich and chocolatey scent that wafts up your nose when you sniff it. This is very chocolatey smelling product, but not overpowering. The texture is waxy and hard, you will need to warm it slightly to get it out of the tub, or break a piece off. Once on the skin it will start to melt as it reaches body temperature. It is not as yielding as Shea for example but it is just as moisturising.
NAISSANCE COCOA BUTTER:
The unrefined cocoa butter that I purchased is organic and very high quality which can be judged by the way that it looks, smells and melts. It looks edible (you can eat this or cook with it if you wish as it is food grade). It comes in a white tub with a secure clip lid, which has simple details on the label.
If you are not familiar with this product in its natural form, then you may find it a challenge to remove it from the pot. I generally use a hot spoon on the waxy surface and it starts to melt. The whole tub can be placed in a bowl of hot water (a couple of inches is enough, obviously you want no water getting into the product) which will loosen it so it is easier to work with. This is especially useful if you are making butter bars etc and need a larger quantity. For everyday use you could decant a smaller amount into a tiny 50ml jar, or use the warm spoon method.
I used this for butter bars, so I melted mine by standing it in a bowl of very hot water for ten minutes and then popped the rest in a bain marie. The liquid cocoa butter was a slightly yellow oil which had a delicious scent. There were no "bits" in it or impurities showing that the butter had been well filtered at source.
If you want to try cocoa butter out then go for a small 100g tub to start with and choose unrefined if you love the chocolate scent, refined if you want scentless.
100g of unrefined cocoa butter is £4.59, 100g refined is £4.09 from Naissance (on Amazon).
Cocoa butter is a very stable fat and therefore has low spoilage rates. It is high in antioxidants which adds to it's longevity. It is a popular ingredient in stretch mark creams, lip butters, soaps and of course the company Palmer's sell a whole range based just on Cocoa butter. This unrefined and chocolate scented raw butter is best used direct on the skin, shaved into the bath for a deep moisturising session, or it can be used direct on any part of the body. It leaves a silky film of moisture but it is not overly greasy, and will soon disappear into the skin. It gives the skin a slight sheen making it look healthy.
It is high in vitamin E, full of fats and nutrients. There are unlimited uses for this and I consider it to be a household essential.
I have gone into a lot of detail about cocoa butter on my Naissance Refined cocoa butter review, so will not repeat it here.
Just like the other ingredients that I have bought from this company, this was an excellent product that arrived quickly and was easy to use. The pot that it came in is solid, did not crack and has been washed ready for the next bit of hubble bubbling that I do in my kitchen....
I am NOT affiliated in any way with this company but I am impressed with them so have used Dooyoo product suggestions to add them into the inventory.
I was more than happy with this product and will be using it for many things including soap and solid bars.
100g costs £ 4.59 on Amazon with other sizes available.