What is the difference between shea butter and cocoa butter?

Shea butter and cocoa butter are used on stretch marks.

The biggest difference between shea butter and cocoa butter is where they come from. Shea butter is extracted from shea nuts and cocoa butter is extracted from cocoa beans. Cocoa beans are fruits of the cacao tree, native to the Amazon rainforest and also found in other parts of Peru and Mexico. The shea nut tree is found exclusively in Africa. Both butters are fatty and have similar uses but have slightly different properties.

Cocoa butter is made from the cocoa bean.

Both products are extracted from their respective fruits by applying pressure, but in different ways. For shea butter, the nuts are boiled and sun-dried before being ground and made into a paste, from which the fat is extracted and made into butter. Cocoa butter is extracted from cocoa beans by extrusion or by using an expeller, screw press or hydraulic press.

The fruit of the shea trees is the source of shea butter.

The beauty industry makes good use of both butters. One or the other can be found in many cosmetics, soaps, lotions and creams. Cocoa butter is commonly used to treat skin conditions and stretch marks. Shea butter is also used as a treatment for skin and stretch marks, as well as hair. Skin conditions that the two butters can help treat include dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema.

Cocoa butter melts at body temperature.

Cocoa butter is a highly concentrated fat that melts at body temperature, meaning it is easily and quickly absorbed by the skin. Shea butter is also readily absorbed by the skin because it contains large amounts of fatty acids. While both are popular moisturizers, cocoa butter is more likely to be used in aromatherapy or lotions and massage treatments because many people find it smells better than shea butter.

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Making cocoa butter involves collecting the fat that runs off the cocoa beans.

A substance called cocoa mass polyphenol (CMP) is found in cocoa butter and makes the butter effective for relieving stress and boosting the immune system when massaged into the skin. Shea butter contains vitamin A and vitamin E. These vitally important vitamins help keep your skin and eyes healthy and are the reason why shea butter can also boost your immune system. Shea butter also contains cinnamic acid, which can help protect your skin from ultraviolet (UV) damage.

Shea butter and cocoa butter are also used in food and can be included in chocolate. Shea butter can also be found in other patisseries and in margarine. In Africa, shea butter tends to be used as a cooking fat.

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