If you’re a regular reader of my blog (or our product labels), you probably already know that we only use organic, sustainable ingredients in Poppy Soap Co. products. Over the next couple weeks, I want to take some time to share what that really means by introducing you to what goes into our products and where it comes from. Today we’re going to talk about one of my favorites – cocoa butter!
Even though cocoa butter sounds like something for for the kitchen, you may be surprised to learn that it is an ingredient in every one of my soaps – and there’s a reason for that. Through a process called “superfatting,” cocoa butter serves as an ingredient that helps our soaps hydrate, rather than dehydrate, your skin. Superfatting is essentially just a fancy name for the process of adding extra fats (in the form of oils or butters) when formulating a soap recipe. This intentional imbalance creates more fat in the mixture than the lye can chemically react with. Superfatting leaves behind a portion of unincorporated oils in the finished soap, which results in an end product that packs superior moisturizing and emollient properties. (And that means happy, happy skin for you.)
So. What the heck is cocoa butter? (I’m so glad you asked.) As much as I’d like to tell you it comes from the same brown cows that make chocolate milk…that’s not the case! 😉 Along with cocoa powder, cocoa butter is one of two major products made from the cocoa bean. After farmers extract cocoa beans from the inside of a larger, fleshy cocoa fruit, the beans are cleaned, roasted and smushed. The resulting product? Cocoa butter. The remaining solids are processed into cocoa powder.
And just in case you’re wondering, yes, the cocoa butter in your soap is the same thing that’s in your candy bar. Cocoa butter and powder (along with their friends sugar and milk) are combined to create chocolate. Almost everything you need to make chocolate is already inside the cocoa bean. (That would be kind of like making a pumpkin pie using nothing but the pumpkin seed!)
I get my cocoa butter from a local chocolatier. All the cocoa butter they source is organic and fair trade certified, which I’ll be touching on in a future post.