Cacao – our superfood secret for the best natural skincare solutions
Presenting cacao (pronounced ka-cow) – the superfood that’s got everyone swooning. And just in case you’re concerned that we disabled spell check by mistake, ‘cacao’ is the correct spelling.
Cacao is the rawest, purest form of the main ingredient used to make chocolate as well as a range of other products in the natural skincare, and health and fitness industries. Cocoa powder – the ingredient most of us are familiar with, is the processed version of cacao.
Where in the world does cacao come from?
Cacao is the fruit of a tropical, evergreen tree called Theobroma cacao that is native to the lush rainforests of the Amazon and Orinoco river basins. Today, you’ll find it being commercially cultivated throughout Asia and in parts of Africa. The tree takes four years to mature, after which it produces cacao fruit, which look like oblong-shaped pods. Inside the fruit are clusters of seeds or beans, which are harvested and roasted before being crushed into a powder that is used to make chocolate and other food products.
A raw ingredient rooted in ancient tradition
The history of how cacao has been used through the centuries is fascinating. Archaeological excavations have found cacao residue in shards of pottery that were found in Ecuador. Carbon dating this residue traced it back by 5000 years and archaeologists now believe it to have been one of the staple food ingredients consumed by ancient peoples like the Maya, Toltec and Aztec.
Cacao was revered by these ancient civilisations for its medicinal properties and its value as a food ingredient, but it was also believed to be sacred and embody spiritual qualities. We’ll tell you more about this later. But for now, keep scrolling – we’d like to tell you why everyone from Hollywood wellness gurus and scientists to dieticians and natural skincare experts call it a superfood.
A spotlight on superfoods
The superfood trend took off during the late 1900s, after the first World War. Bananas were the first fruit to be bestowed with this prestigious title and since then, food experts have added to the list. Superfoods are – as their name suggests – natural ingredients that are rich in nutrients and most often, also low in calories. Superfoods are potent in terms of their health benefits. From strengthening the immune system to promoting good circulation, superfoods have become the heroes of the health industry.
Cacao is undoubtedly a superfood that’s every bit worth its salt. It is one of the richest sources of magnesium and packs a mean punch when it comes to delivering antioxidant energy. Cacao is also rich in calcium, zinc, copper and selenium. These incredible ingredients are known to activate neurotransmitters that are associated with elevated mood and mental wellbeing as well as the “happy hormone” we can’t get enough of – dopamine. You’re probably wondering what all this means for your body. Allow us to elaborate.
Benefits for your body
As a superfood, cacao derives several key benefits for your body and mind, but also an organic skincare go-to. Ingesting food that contains cacao has been found to:
- Slow the ageing process by protecting your cells from oxidation
- Improve blood circulation
- Support cognitive function and brain health
- Lower blood pressure
- Increase energy levels and mental stamina
- Aid as a natural stress reliever
- Reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes (here’s what the research says)
What does this mean for your skin? Well, this is where cacao really shines. Organic skincare products that contain cacao can:
- Help with reducing inflammation
- Increase blood flow and skin hydration
- Improve the vitality of your skin and promote a healthy glow
- Boost the skin’s ability to repair itself
- Protect the skin from the free radicals found in air pollution
- Improve your complexion
- Provide skin with a moisture boost
Now you can try it – you’ll love our Chocolate Face Mask
Inlight Beauty founder, Dr Spiezia discovered the power of cacao first-hand in his work and research as a medical doctor, herbalist and renowned skin expert. After extensive testing, he created the formula for our crowd-favourite Chocolate Face Mask, which contains organic cacao and delicious hints of chocolate orange.
Hmmm, there’s nothing quite like the decadent smell of chocolate. If you can resist the urge to taste it, you’ll be amazed at what this mask can do for your skin.
As Dr Spiezia says: "I formulated this most intensive and nourishing, beauty face mask to transform the appearance of the skin without the action of harsh, chemical peels, which damage the protective mantle of the skin, causing it to secrete extra sebum, making it appear oily and sensitized.”
Simply use your fingertips or a mask applicator brush to smooth/massage an even layer of the mask over your skin after cleansing. Then, lie back and relax for 10 to 20 minutes and let the mask work its magic. Remove with a warm, damp cloth and apply our Inlight Floral Tonic for the perfect finish. Repeat this natural skincare ritual once a week for the best results.
P.S. There’s more to cacao than you may know
Throughout the world, cacao is used in sacred rituals and ceremonies as a traditional form of medicine. These ceremonies are facilitated by shamans as a form of healing therapy, accompanied by the hypnotic sound of drumming, ceremonial music and chanting. These ceremonies are known to enhance creativity, help people reconnect with their highest selves, discover and tap into their personal power and open the heart chakra to a journey of oneness, love and ecstasy.
Here’s an idea…
Why not incorporate our Chocolate Face Mask into your mindfulness or meditation practice? It’s the perfect way to spend 20 minutes on self-care.
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