So what is CACAO (and how do you say it) ?
Cacao and Cocoa both come from the same plant – Theobroma Cacao. The difference is that cacao is considered a “raw” food and is far less processed than cocoa. After harvesting and fermenting, cacao beans are roasted at a much lower temperature (nothing above 118 degrees Fahrenheit). Because of this minimal processing, the cacao retains its nutrients and antioxidants.
Cocoa is processed using high heat, after the harvesting and fermenting, which destroys some of the beneficial compounds found in cacao. The most popular form of cocoa is cocoa powder, which is used to make hot chocolate. (See how I tied that into National Hot Chocolate Day so fluidly?!🤩)
Here's a great illustration I found that shows the difference:
Oh! And an interesting tidbit that is mentioned on the illustration above -- English is the only language that has more than one word for the cacao plant. There is speculation that it was misspelled by an English trader and then incorporated into the English language rather than intentionally added to English as a translation of the word cacao. No one really knows which is true, and often the two words are used interchangeably to mean the same thing.
Here is a chart that ALSO shows the difference between cacao and cocoa:
But, Meggan, why would you use cacao in your skincare products?
You mean besides the fact that chocolate is delicious?! Lol. Only kidding -- please don't eat our products. 😉 Cacao DOES have many benefits for your skin.
Cacao is rich in polyphenols, which are a type of antioxidant. Antioxidants help protect the skin’s surface from the sun (UV rays) and other harmful environmental effects, like pollution. Antioxidants also have anti-aging benefits for the skin.
Specifically, the polyphenols in cacao, called flavanols, have been shown to inhibit, intercept, and neutralize free radicals that damage the skin and contribute to signs of aging.
Additionally, cacao has anti-inflammatory benefits which contribute to overall skin health and maintenance. Cacao has also been used to help with both acne and wound healing.
Doesn't using cacao in skincare products sound wonderful?! I can't wait to share our new cacao products with you... stay tuned to see when they launch! And read more about our cacao farmer here.