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Does Cocoa Butter Help With Dark Spots?

Some dark spots on your skin are caused by an overproduction of a natural pigment called melanin. Your body produces melanin to protect you from the damaging effects of UV rays from the sun. However, after being damaged by the sun or caused by various other health conditions, your skin can produce too much melanin in small patches in your skin.

Your skin can also appear darker in some places or on spots of your skin where it is thicker or tougher, such as the skin around elbows, knees, and knuckle joints, as well as scar tissue. In these cases, the darker appearance can be caused by the change in texture and thickness, reducing the amount of light reflected by your skin.

What Does Cocoa Butter do to the Spots?

Cocoa butter can be great for your skin and is commonly used as a moisturizer. Darker skin is caused by tougher, thicker layers of skin such as around the elbows on some parts of the body. Cocoa butter can soften these areas, giving them a more even tone. It can also help with some types of dark spots on your skin, mainly those caused by scarring, such as stretch marks or acne scars. These areas of skin can also appear darker due to the scarred tissue being thicker and more roughly textured than the surrounding skin.

Cocoa butter does not affect your skin’s melanin production, so it will not help with hyperpigmentation caused by the increased melanin production in your skin.

Effects of Cocoa Butter on the Face

Cocoa butter is full of fatty acids that can hydrate your skin and improve its elasticity. The fat in cocoa butter also forms a protective barrier over your skin, helping your skin hold in moisture. Because of these properties, it is often used to smooth wrinkles on the face as well as diminish acne scarring.1

How to Get Rid of Dark Spots

Although most dark spots are not harmful to your health, and in many cases, they will fade over time on their own. However, there are treatments you can use to reduce their appearance if you choose.

Laser treatment

Laser treatments can target melanin and breaks up the dark spots. The process can be expensive and somewhat painful but is an otherwise safe method of removing dark spots.


Microdermabrasion removes the outer layer of your skin to promote new collagen growth, which can help reduce some types of spots.


Cryotherapy uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the dark spots on your skin, damaging them and encouraging new skin cells to grow, which can grow back lighter.

Prescription skin-lightening cream

Prescription lightening cream bleaches your skin by inhibiting the production of melanin in your skin cells. It usually takes several months to have a noticeable impact on the appearance of dark spots and can have negative side effects depending on the active ingredients used.

Ways to prevent acne

Cocoa butter can moisturize your skin and protect it from acne-causing bacteria; however, it also has the potential to block your pores. This means it is not an effective acne treatment for everyone. Here are a few other remedies you can try besides using cocoa butter:

Wash your face

Acne can be caused by a build-up of dirt, oil, and sweat. Washing your face with warm water can help prevent this from clogging your pores. Use a mild, alcohol-free cleaner, as harsh cleaners can prompt a reaction from your skin that makes the acne worse.


Moisturizing your skin helps prevent a build-up of dead skin cells that can clog your pores and cause acne.

Use fewer oily or greasy products

Many forms of make-up, shaving cream, hair styling products, and other cosmetic products can clog your pores or irritate your skin, contributing to the development of acne.

Reduce stress

Acne is a common symptom of stress. Some of the hormones that your body produces when you are stressed are also responsible for increasing the amount of oil and sweat your body produces.2 This can contribute to your pores getting clogged.


Cocoa butter is great for your skin and can help manage a range of skin conditions. It can help reduce the appearance of some kinds of dark spots, and it can also be used to prevent acne for some people. It is not the ideal treatment for every type of dark spot or acne, however, and in some cases, it can even make a problem worse.

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