Chocolate: 7 Do It Yourself Treatment’s To Make You Say, "Mmm."

Here’s some news: Chocolate is good for your skin!
Many of us grew up with the concept that chocolate causes blemishes.
Instead, scientists have discovered that chocolate can contain more antioxidants per cup than red wine or green tea. In fact, certain compounds in chocolate even help smooth the skin and decrease its sensitivity to the sun.
Chocolate is good for your skin because of its high content of cocoa butter, which is a natural skin softener and conditioner. It is also an antioxidant, which means it prevents free radical damage to your skin and protects its natural elasticity. To receive the full benefit, choose commercial products or recipes with chocolate, cocoa and cocoa butter as the main ingredients. Also, dark chocolate seems to be much more effective than milk chocolate or white chocolate {which many argue is not really chocolate}. Chocolate is considered dark if it contains at least 35 percent cocoa.
In skin care, chocolate, cocoa and cocoa butter are all excellent moisturizers. Chocolate also contains caffeine which can stimulate your circulation and give your skin a healthy glow when used in a massage cream or body scrub. The scent of chocolate releases serotonin, the same hormone that we experience when falling in love and for many people promotes happy feelings and reduces stress. So next time you have a craving for something sweet enjoys a bit of chocolate with the bonus of better skin and a better mood.
Here are some cocoa-based recipes to create at home.
Mocha Facial Mask
Makes 4 ounces, enough for 1 application.
Facial masks are a great way to deep cleanse your skin so that it will work more efficiently. Plus, clean skin holds more moisture and looks brighter. The milk and espresso contain natural food acids that help rid your skin of surface debris and dead skin cells while the chocolate or cocoa powder helps condition and soothe your complexion. Use weekly to wake up a dull complexion!
4 tablespoons finely ground espresso or coffee
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
8 tablespoons whole milk
1. Mix together all ingredients until you have a smooth paste.
2. Spread over a clean face and neck, avoiding the eye and mouth area.
3. Let sit for 15 minutes and rinse well with warm water.
Chocolate Walnut Body Polish
Makes 8 ounces.
Exfoliate weekly with a body scrub for healthy, glowing skin. This rich recipe, full of natural nut oils, will gently scrub and soften the skin all over your body. Ina pretty jar with a big bow, it also makes a wonderful gift. You can find walnut oil at the grocery store in the cooking oil section. You also might want to experiment with other natural nut oils, such as almond and macadamia.
1/2 cup raw sugar
1/4 cup walnut oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1. Stir together all ingredients until well mixed.
2. Standing in the shower or tub, massage into damp skin, rinse well and pat dry.
Chocolate Lip Balm
Makes 1/2 ounce.
Protect your lips this winter with a rich chocolate and cocoa butter lip balm. Cocoa butter, a key ingredient in chocolate, is a creamy, fatty wax that is obtained from the seeds of the cocoa plant. You can find 100 percent cocoa butter at the drugstore it’s sold in sticks or small jars.
1 1/2 teaspoons grated cocoa butter
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon grated dark or milk chocolate
1-2 drops essential oil {optional, see note}
1. Combine all ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl or double boiler on the stove top and gently melt until you have a smooth liquid.
2. Pour into a small jar or lip balm tube and allow to cool completely.
Note:
Try adding pure orange, mint or lavender essential oils for unique gourmet lip balms.
 
Hot Cocoa Bath
Makes 16 ounces, enough for 1 bath.
Milk baths are classic beauty basics. They are effective because the lactic acid in milk helps soften and soothe the skin. Chocolate milk is equally effective; combined with the power of honey, this yummy bath will refresh your skin. Be extra decadent and sip a cup of cocoa while bathing. It is especially relaxing in the evening before going to bed.
2 cups chocolate milk
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons mild liquid soap
1. Stir together all ingredients.
2. Pour under the running water as you fill your tub.
3. Bathe and relax for 15 to 20 minutes.
Cocoa Butter Cuticle Cream
Makes 1 ounce.
Cocoa butter is a popular ingredient in creams and lotions because of its smooth texture, chocolaty fragrance, and rich emollient properties. Many women use pure cocoa butter to rid their skin of stretch marks and scars. Combined with coconut oil, it is perfect for conditioning your cuticles. Massaging this cream into your cuticles daily will help boost circulation and promote healthy nail growth.
1 teaspoon cocoa butter grated
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1. Gently heat cocoa butter and coconut oil in a small pot until melted.
2. Stir well and pour into a clean dish or container. Allow to cool completely.
3. Massage a small amount into your cuticles.
Chocolate From The Ground Up
 
Chocolate is made from the seeds of the cacao tree. This tree is native to Central America and Mexico and dates back to 1100 B.C. The Mesoamerican people used the seeds to make beverages. The seeds are dried, cleaned and roasted to produce cacao nibs, which are ground and processed into two different substances: cocoa and cocoa butter. Chocolate as we know it combines these two components, along with other ingredients such as sugar, milk, and sometimes herbs and spices.
Cocoa Mint Foot Scrub
Makes 6 ounces.
Invigorate your feet at the end of a tough day with this rich and minty scrub. The raw sugar scrub will smooth and cleanse while the cocoa butter makes your feet super soft. Peppermint oil is a well-known energizer. Use this scrub anytime your feet and spirits need a lift.
2 tablespoons coca butter, grated
2 tablespoons almond oil
1/2 cup raw sugar
4-5 drops peppermint essential oil
1. Gently heat cocoa butter and almond oil until cocoa butter melts; stir well.
2. Add sugar and peppermint oil and mix.
3. Massage into clean feet and rinse with warm water. If your feet are extremely dry, massage in a bit more cocoa butter and cover your feet with clean cotton socks for 15 to 20 minutes.
Chocolate Massage Butter
Makes 4 ounces.
This rich moisturizer is great for extra-dry skin or classic rough skin spots, such as feet, knees, and elbows. Also, this recipe can be used as the ultimate massage balm. Warm up a small amount between your palms and treat a loved one to a decadent and relaxing massage for chocolate lovers.
1/4 cup grated cocoa butter
1 tablespoon grated dark chocolate
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon grated beeswax
1. Place all ingredients in a microwave-safe container or on the stovetop in a double boiler. Melt gently, stirring often.
2. Pour the hot liquid into a clean container. For small individual bars, pour into an ice cube tray and let cool completely.
3. Massage into clean skin.