Saturday, May 27, 2006

"a little of what you fancy does you good"

My first ever lipstick was 72% pure Dark Chocolate.
At the tender age of 8, I used my pocket money to buy chocolate - not just any old chocolate it had to be plain dark chocolate - the best that my meagre allowance could buy.

I would break off a small bit, use the pointy corners as a lip liner, and then smother my lips with the rest to make it look as if I were actually wearing lipstick.

To this day I still use dark chocolate in my cosmetics. It's still difficult to find natural face powders that match my skin tone, won't make me break out in acne spots, or look "off colour" around the jaw line. So I make it myself!


Nourishing Homemade Face Powder
Just mix a little 100% organic Cocoa Powder (an anti-oxidant) with pure cornstarch (to absorb any excess oil) and TA-DA - the perfect couture face powder for my dark skin. It's more beneficial than using synthetic powders full of titanium dioxide and other skin-clogging ingredients. This mixture sinks straight into my skin providing an even skin tone and when I remove it my skin is left soft & supple.


Happy Days!
There's a well known “feel good” chemical called Anandamide which has been found and isolated in pure dark chocolate. All humans produce Anandamide in the brain (for females higher concentrations of Anandamide are found in the uterus). When you eat and/or smell chocolate it triggers even more “feel good” chemicals into your body.

Source: Neurosciences Institute, San Diego, California, USA (1996)



But..why?
Chocolate, Cacao, Cocoa (aka: Fruit of Gods or Theobroma [name of the tree], cabosse [name of the actual fruit]) is one of the most nourishing food known to man. It contains calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, vitamins A1, B1, B2, C, D, E, phosphorous & chromium.

In addition to this, it also contains a polyphenol called epicatechin which is a natural antiseptic, anti-inflammatory & anti-oxidant that helps to guard cells from free radical damage which causes skin to age.

Basically - the higher the cocoa content (72 to 100%) the more polyphenol, the healthier it is for you on the inside and out.

Cocoa concerns
Chocolate is not for everyone - there are those who either don't like it and/or are allergic to it. Although the cocoa bean allergen is destroyed through processing the cocoa bean into chocolate it still remains unknown as to how much of the allergen remains in the chocolate.


From Cocoa Pod to Cocoa Butter
All dark chocolate contains a natural fat that is present in cocoa beans. This fat is called Cocoa Butter.
Once the Cacao Pod is ripe the beans are extracted, sun dried, the husk separated from the nib & ground into Cocoa liquor which contai
ns approx. 53% Cocoa Butter and 47% Cocoa Solids. The Cocoa liquor is then compressed to obtain Cocoa butter &/or Cocoa solids. (Note: Cocoa liquor contains NO alcohol).

<- This is what pure unrefined cocoa butter looks like. It's hard, yellow to brownish in colour, melts at 34C and has a rich chocolate scent. Pure Unrefined Cocoa powder is the result of extracting the Cocoa Butter from the Cocoa liquor to produce a very bitter unsweetened cocoa powder.



Recipes:

Chocolate Honey Face Scrub
Increases circulation and softens dry skin.
Not suitable for oily skin.

Prep Time: 15 mins.

10 grams of 100% Pure Cocoa Powder
1 dollop of Honey
5 grams of Demerara Sugar
3 grams of Grapeseed oil or Sweet Almond Oil

Directions:
Combine all the ingredients until it forms a paste.
Gently apply to freshly washed skin & lightly massage with your finger tips for 30 seconds.
Rinse with warm water and you're left with soft detoxified skin that smells wonderful.


Cocoa Bath Soak
To soften your skin and restore the pH balance especially if your skin is alkaline ie: hot & sweaty.

Prep Time: 20 mins.

100 grams of Baking Soda
(The addition of Baking Soda/Bicarbonate of Soda to your bath water neutralises the "hard" calcium water.)
25 grams of 100% Pure Cocoa Powder
10 grams of Rose Petals (optional)

Directions
Combine all the ingredients until it’s a lightish brown colour.
Pour the entire mixture into the bathwater and soak for at least 30 mins.



Chocolate & Coconut Milk Hair Rinse
Suitable for those with dark, curly, frizzy hair.
Detoxifies your scalp and leaves your hair soft & fluffy.

Prep Time: 15 mins

200ml carton of UHT Coconut Cream
(Coconut milk is able to penetrate deep inside the hair shaft and carry nourishment, in the form of Cocoa, directly into the hair.)
25 grams of 100% Pure Cocoa Powder

Mix both ingredients in a Pyrex jar and use as you would do a commercial conditioner.

Use once a month or as often as necessary.


My next entry will be on Monday the 5th of June - as I will have to take stock of my business's inventory on Saturday & Sunday.

On Monday we are going to do away with dandruff & skin blemishes using 100% pure & natural aspirin.