Skin is Important
We know that the skin does an important job of regulating the body in many ways. It’s ability to act as a vehicle to absorb and release salts, fluids and toxins is very useful, however it can also cause problems when we unknowingly apply toxins onto our child’s skin.
At Honestly we strongly believe that what we put on our baby’s skin is just as important as what we put in our baby’s bodies.
This is just one of the many reasons we decided to create a range of organic baby skin care that uses only wholesome and natural ingredients, cruelty-free and palm-oil free. We are proud of our raw materials and we wanted to share with you each and every ingredient, so you can see why we chose to use them in our baby care and how they can benefit you and your family.
Magical moisturising Cocoa
It’s the magic ingredient in chocolate that gives it that melt-in-the-mouth consistency. It also adds that lovely glide to our Baby Lotion Bars. But did you know cocoa butter (Theobroma cacao) is also used in the pharmaceutical and skin care industries?
Yup, in pharmacy they use it as part of suppositories, giving them the ability to melt and release the drugs upon entering the body (via the bum). Who knew? And I apologise for sharing that fact in the same paragraph as talking about chocolate.
Hot, humid and fermented
Native to South America, cocoa is grown in humid tropical climates and most of today’s cocoa comes from Western Africa.
Harvested all year round, the beans are removed from cocoa pods. Fermentation of the beans occurs over a few days in wooden boxes (this is to develop the flavour and cut the bitter tannins in the beans). The beans are then roasted and shelled. The nibs of chocolate are ground up until they become a liquid. The cocoa liquor is then pressed to harvest cocoa powder (the solids) and the butter (the liquid).
Interestingly sometimes the cocoa powder is alkalized which raises the pH of the cocoa powder, making it less bitter increasing the chocolatey taste. This process is ‘Dutching’ so if you’ve ever seen Dutch cocoa powder then this is what it is! But I digress…
Cocoa butter is usually refined and deodorised (ours is) before use in any industry, as it has a strong burnt chocolate-like smell to it that is pretty unpleasant.
Deodorising involves steam being injected into the cocoa butter to remove the volatile fragrance molecules followed by treatment with diatomaceous earth to remove the colour pigments. So no chemicals being used to treat the cocoa butter, meaning no chemical residue is left on baby’s skin.
Moisturising and Protecting
Highly moisturising and protecting to the skin cocoa butter is the only plant-based ingredient recognized by the FDA for its ‘Skin Protectant’ activity. We love it so much we put it into both our Bath Fizzles and Baby Lotion Bars, yet what makes up cocoa butter to give it these properties?
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As the major fatty acid in Olives (hence Oleic), it also makes up ~35% of cocoa butter. An easily absorbed Omega 9 unsaturated fatty acid oleic acid will give moisturising properties, just like baby’s own natural moisturising factor (NMF) which also has fatty acids. Keeping baby skin soft and moist. I love that word. Moist.
Stearic Acid & Palmitic Acid
Combined these fatty acids make up the major components of cocoa butter (~60%). As saturated fats they make cocoa butter solid at room temperature, melting once in contact with skin (33-35°C). They are also hardy fatty acids and can offer a good protective barrier on the skin, filling in holes in the epidermis. Allowing skin to repair itself and replenish its water content without loss. So perfect for keeping baby’s protective barrier in place, especially when eczema or nappy rash is affecting them.
This an essential fatty acid (Omega 6 fatty acid) that our bodies cannot produce. It that makes up ~5% of cocoa butter. Omega 6 fatty acids play important roles in cellular signalling, inflammatory response (immune response), mood regulation and behaviour. Linoleic acid has an additionally specific role in maintaining the water permeability barrier of our skin. So not only can baby’s skin be kept in tip-top shape but it can improve their mood and behaviour…who knew?
Cocoa butter is excellent at keeping your child’s skin soft, providing a barrier to protect their skin from the elements and reducing water loss. Oh! And making them the best behaved child ever*.