Does Cocoa Butter Lighten Skin & Can it Fade Hyperpigmentation?

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Cocoa butter is nature’s gift that keeps on giving. From the sweet scent to the assurance of replenished, hydrated, and plumped skin, this ingredient delivers when it comes to skin, hair, and body care.

While we agree that cocoa butter is unrivaled and has a lot of lovable properties, a lot of brands seem to have stretched their claims a little too much to move products. We can all agree that our skincare goals start from simply eradicating texture to full-on aiming for glass skin.

It helps the course when we are guaranteed a natural product that can lighten the skin and give a brighter complexion. But are the claims true? Does cocoa butter really lighten skin and fade hyperpigmentation? Stick around to find out.

What is cocoa butter?

Cocoa butter is a type of fat that is harvested from the cocoa beans of the cacao plant. The extraction process involves roasting, stripping, and then pressing the cocoa beans to release the butter. This butter is then used as a base ingredient for body butters, lotions, and even hair care products. Cocoa butter has antioxidant and hydrating properties that make it healing and soothing to the skin.

The Benefits of Using Cocoa Butter on Your Skin

Cocoa butter consists of a number of fatty acids, vitamins, and other key nutrients, meaning that it’s able to deliver a wide array of benefits to the skin:

Gives You a Clear & Even Skin Tone

Cocoa chocolate body massage treatment

Unlike many of the other skin lightening ingredients out there, cocoa butter on its own won’t have an effect on how much melanin your skin produces, which is the pigment that leads to darkened areas and an uneven skin tone.

That said, cocoa butter is packed with antioxidants, which can be extremely useful when it comes to skin lightening and heal damaged skin.

These antioxidants repair skin cell damage, which can help to even your skin tone and leave your skin moisturized.

Has a Hydrating Effect

One of the biggest benefits of cocoa butter for skin health is its hydrating and moisturizing properties.

This is all down to its fatty acid content. Apart from increasing the skin’s moisture levels, cocoa butter forms a protective barrier over the surface layer of the skin to prevent moisture from evaporating away.

By doing so, cocoa butter helps rough and dry skin in a major way.

Reduces the Appearance of Fine Lines & Wrinkles

Thanks to its antioxidant and emollient properties, cocoa butter is able to increase skin elasticity and turn back the clock on skin aging [1].

The saturated fats in cocoa butter keep the skin looking plump and firm. Additionally, pure cocoa butter diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles thanks to its antioxidant content.

Could Potentially Help to Fade Scars & Stretch Marks

There isn’t a huge amount of research on cocoa butter and stretch marks /acne scars. That said, while the science may be shaky, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence out there to suggest that the ingredient could in fact be extremely beneficial in fading scars and stretch marks.

It’s also important to note that the effectiveness of cocoa butter may depend on the severity of the scar or stretch mark. For example, cocoa butter may be more effective for mild stretch marks or scars, but may not have much effect on more severe cases.

while cocoa butter may potentially help to fade scars and stretch marks, its effectiveness may vary depending on individual factors such as the severity of the scar or stretch mark. It’s always a good idea to consult with a dermatologist or healthcare provider before using any topical treatment on your skin.

Cocoa butter body skin treatment

Reverses sun damage

Prolonged exposure to the sun can not only cause sunburns but also increases the number of free radicals in our bodies which can lead to dull and prematurely aged skin. Due to its antioxidant properties, cocoa butter neutralizes the free radicals and causes your skin to appear brighter and plump.

In the event of sunburns, cocoa butter’s hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties are useful in locking moisture in and soothing the skin.

How Long Does Cocoa Butter Take to Remove Dark Spots? Before and After Results

How long cocoa butter takes to lighten dark pigments on the skin depends on a few factors.

Firstly, you’ll need to use cocoa butter regularly if you want to see results. You’ll also notice its effects much faster if you go for a formula that combines cocoa butter with another major skin lightening substance, rather than using raw cocoa butter on its own.

Do all of that and you should start to see improvements in your skin after just a couple of weeks.

RELATED: How to Lighten Skin With Almonds

How to Use Cocoa Butter to Lighten Discoloration & Get Rid of Dark Spots

When it comes to using cocoa butter for skin lightening and other purposes, you have a couple of options available:

Buying Cocoa Butter Skincare Products for the Face & Body

Cocoa Butter Lighten Skin

The easiest way to get good skin lightening results with cocoa butter is by purchasing products that have been formulated with the ingredient.

Some will contain pure cocoa butter, but, as mentioned, the best cocoa butter lotions will be formulated with essential oils and other lightening ingredients, such as lemon juice and aloe vera, to give you faster results.

While you could look for a mild cleanser formula containing cocoa butter, we would recommend going with products designed to remain on the face for long periods of time, such as cocoa butter creams.

Each time you apply cocoa butter lotions, massage the product well- this boosts blood flow, which can also help to make your skin lighter.

RELATED: Best Skin Lightening Creams for Black Skin

Making Your Own DIY Cocoa Butter Lotion

If you’d like to be in full control over the ingredients that you put into your skin, then whipping up your own cocoa butter lotion would be a good option.

To do this, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup of unrefined cocoa butter
  • 1/4 cup of jojoba oil
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil
  • 20-30 drops of essential oils (lemon essential oil, carrot seed oil, lavender essential oil, geranium oil, and chamomile essential oil work well)

Use the double boiler method to melt your cocoa butter and then freeze it for 20 minutes to solidify. Then, put it into a blender with the coconut oil and blend until you have a fluffy, white consistent mixture. Pour this out into a container before mixing in your other essential oils.

Once you’re done, applying cocoa butter couldn’t be easier. Simply slather your cream onto your skin as thickly as you want. You can apply it to your entire skin or focus on the areas with dark pigment. Either way, if you do this twice a day, you should notice brighter and moisturized skin in no time!

If you’d like to keep things simpler, you could also apply melted cocoa butter directly to your skin.

However, this means that you’ll be missing out on the skin lightening properties provided by other ingredients, and these are what you really need if you’re trying to tackle dark discolorations.

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Is cocoa butter non-comedogenic?

No, it is not. The molecules in cocoa butter are tightly packed together which means it will clog your pores once you apply it on your face. If you struggle with acne or oily skin, you should not use avoid using cocoa butter on your face. Try to read ingredient lists to ensure that the products you purchase do not have cocoa butter as one of their first seven to eight ingredients to be on the safe side.

Is cocoa butter better than shea butter?

The battle of the butters is always in full swing as choosing just one to add to your routine is no small task. While both these butters are great for your skin, choosing one comes down to a matter of preference. Here is a breakdown of their most glaring differences;

Cocoa butterShea butter
Firm textureSpreadable and light texture
Contains saturated fats; oleic acids, palmitic acids, and stearic acidContains saturated fats; oleic acids, stearic acids, linoleic acids, palmitic acids, and arachidic acids.
Contains trace amount of Vitamins E and KContains significant amounts of Vitamins E and A
Is extracted from cocoa beansExtracted from nuts and churned to make butter
It clogs poresDoes not clog pores
It is great for dry skinCan be used across all skin types
It has a sweet chocalaty scentIt has a mild nutty scent

As you can see, both these butters have nearly identical compositions with very few distinguishing factors. This also means you can get away with using either of the two provided they do not cause breakouts.


Q: How long does cocoa butter take to lighten skin?

It takes about 2-3 weeks for the skin lightening results of cocoa butter to be seen.

Q: Will cocoa butter lighten dark spots?

Yes, cocoa butter can help to lighten dark spots, especially when combined with other ingredients.

Q: Which cocoa butter is good for dark skin?

All forms of cocoa butter are good for dark skin.

Q: Is cocoa butter good for the face?

Yes, cocoa butter can be safely used for skin lightening on the face.

Q: Will cocoa butter remove acne marks?

Cocoa butter hasn’t been proven to remove acne marks, but many people have found that it helps.

Q: Is cocoa butter good for eczema?

Yes, cocoa butter is great for eczema and sensitive skin.

Q: Does cocoa butter help with hyperpigmentation?

Yes, cocoa butter can help with hyperpigmentation if it’s used regularly.

Q: Does cocoa butter make your skin darker?

No, cocoa butter won’t make your skin darker.

Q: Does cocoa butter protect you from the sun?

The phytochemicals in cocoa butter work to offer a small amount of sun protection, but this doesn’t come close to the amount of protection offered by sunscreen.

Q: Shea butter vs cocoa butter for dark spots – which is better?

Shea and cocoa butter act as skin lightening butter. However, shea butter is lighter, making it better for those with oily skin that is prone to acne

Q: Does the Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Stick contain beneficial ingredients?

Palmer’s cocoa butter formula contains several beneficial ingredients, such as vitamin E, in addition to its skin lightening butter.

Q: Can Palmer’s cocoa butter lighten skin?

If you use it regularly, then this product could help in your skin lightening quest.

Q: Is Vaseline Cocoa Butter cream good?

Yes, Vaseline produces some fantastic cocoa butter products.

Q: Does cocoa butter clog the pores?

Since cocoa butter is considered to be moderately comedogenic, it can sometimes end up clogging pores, which could lead to breakouts causing damaged skin.

Q: Does cocoa butter help to heal dry areas of the skin?

Yes, in addition to skin lightening, cocoa butter will help to moisturize and heal dry patches making your skin soft.

Q: Do the cocoa butter products from Queen Helene and Queen Elizabeth work?

Yes, both of these products would be useful if you want to try using cocoa butter for skin lightening.

Blonde woman applying lotion on skin

Summary: Is it Worth Using Cocoa Butter for Skin Lightening?

So, back to the main question; does cocoa butter lighten skin? The answer is yes, but we would recommend combining the ingredient with other skin lightening compounds if you’d like to see results as quickly as possible.

Whether you buy a product that does this or decide to come up with your own cocoa butter formulas, you’ll not only notice that your skin soon takes on a lighter and brighter appearance, but it’ll also look hydrated and healthy too.



Avatar for Megan Foley

Megan has been a freelance writer and editor since 2016. In that time, she’s penned a diverse collection of articles for online publication, with a focus on skincare and beauty. From in-depth product reviews to concise marketing content, Megan is passionate about developing content that informs, entertains, and inspires.