Adding Chocolate to Cold Process Soap

Chocolate Wild Handmade Soap - UBU Soap n' Bees, LLC.
Chocolate Coconut Handmade Soap
Is there really chocolate in that bar of soap? Yes, there is. We all know that research now backs the benefits of eating chocolate (thank goodness!). We hear terms and phrases like "antioxidants", "polyphenols" and "mood boosting" when we talk about chocolate, but what about when we put it on our skin?  
Cocoa Beans
What is cocoa and how do we get it?
Cocoa, the primary ingredient of chocolate, is derived from the cacao bean—Theobroma cacao, a native plant of the Amazon that was domesticated more than 5,000 years ago and used by pre-Columbian cultures like the Olmecs, Mocayas, and Mayans.
Cocoa powder is made from the dried cocoa solids extracted from cocoa butter, which is a product of the ground nibs of roasted, fermented cacao beans. To convert cocoa liquor (generally alkalinized cocoa liquor) to cocoa powder, a defatting process is performed by pressing liquor in a mechanical or hydraulic press. In this way part of the fat (cocoa butter) is removed, and cocoa cake (compressed cocoa powder) is produced. Cocoa powder is obtained by grinding cocoa cake. Generally the fat content of cocoa powder is 10–24%. 
cocoa powder
How does cocoa powder benefit my skin?
Now that we know a little bit of how we get to cocoa powder what are the benefits of putting it in soap or on our skin? Here is a short list of some of the many skin benefits that I found that jumped out at me:
  1. Reduces appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  2. Loaded with skin loving antioxidants like flavanols
  3. Increases elasticity of skin
  4. Reduces appearance of scars
  5. Rich in antioxidants, omega 6, fatty acids, vitamin C, and magnesium
  6. Caffeine in chocolate helps reduce puffiness and visibly firms skin

 Handmade chocolate soaps - UBU Soap n' Bees, LLC.

Mini hand soaps I recently made and colored with organic cocoa powder. 

I love this list of benefits and I personally love using natural colorants in my soap recipes. I feel good about adding ingredients that are natural and have healthy skin benefits. I use organic coca powder in my soaps not only for the skin benefits but when I want to achieve the color brown. Depending on how much you use, you can produce anywhere from a light to a deeply rich brown.

How to add chocolate to your soap batter.

There are many ways to add cocoa powder to your soap batter. I like adding it at trace, meaning after your lye is added and mixed into warmed butters and oils. I typically add 1-2 TBS of cocoa powder to a portion of my batter (depending on how dark I want that part of the batter to be), I then add this chocolate portion to my main batter. Sometimes I create swirls or add it as a line of chocolate.

Chocolate mini hand soaps added to the bottom of a loaf of Christmas soap. 

Try adding cocoa powder directly to your batter if you want a grainier texture. It is not necessary to pre-mix your cocoa powder but if you want a perfectly smooth texture, you can add it to a carrier oil. Try adding 1 TBS of cocoa powder to 2 TBS of sweet almond oil or avocado oil. You will not only create a smooth texture but you will be adding to your super fat. Cocoa powder dissolves easily in a carrier oil and should not accelerate your soap recipe.

Reindeer soaps colored with chocolate. The ear and antler embeds, in addition to the top part of their faces were colored with cocoa powder.

How does chocolate feel and look like when using soap?

Chocolate will feel very silky in soap, meaning that when you get your bar wet, the lather will create big silky soft bubbles. I love the slippery feel that chocolate gives to soap and I especially love the way my skin feels after using it. If you use a lot of chocolate, you will get brown bubbles and brown lather. I do not mind this and hope that my customers do not either. To me, seeing the chocolate is knowing that it is there and that you are going to actually feel a skin benefit. This is the whole point of using it, right!? 

 Swirls of chocolate and rose kaolin clay contrast perfectly in this bar of Chocolate Wild handmade soap.

I have not tried adding chocolate to my lye water or melting a chocolate bar. If I do, I will let you know how it turns out. 

 If you have tried using chocolate in your soap recipe, how did it turn out? Let me know how you've added chocolate to your latest handmade recipe, I'd love to hear from you!

If you are a chocolate lover or know someone who is, I have chocolate soap bars just for you! Click here to purchase bars from this post. If you have learned something from this post or enjoyed it, please like it or share it!
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