‘Nine out of ten people like chocolate, the tenth person always lies’ – John Q. Tullius
We are excited to announce the launch of our long-awaited Cacao Coffee Body Scrub. Chocolate and coffee are a match made in heaven not only because of the scent and flavour combo (mocha anyone?), but also from a skincare perspective. Cacao has a long and powerful history as a medicine, food and ceremonial tool.
What is Cacao?
Cacao is a potent plant medicine valued around the world, it's the raw ingredient used to make chocolate. The first people to grow cacao were the Maya who used the cacao beans as a form of currency, for the preparation of a bitter drink and in religious and spiritual ceremonies. The oily layer floating in the chocolate drink (cocoa butter) was used to protect the skin against the sun as it has a natural SPF.
Cacao ceremonies continue to be popular across the world. Cacao is considered a ‘heart opener’ associated with the heart chakra and the high content of theobromine causes your heart to literally ‘skip a beat’! According to Mayan tradition, the term for cacao is literally translated as “heart blood”.
Why is cacao good for the skin?
Yes, we wanted to make a coffee chocolate combo coffee scrub because we knew it would smell unreal, but the scent isn't the only factor at play. When taken internally it has been shown that cacao boosts circulation. Yet it is also considered to have the same circulation boosting effect when used on the skin - as well as improving skin tone and brightening its appearance.
Cacao is high in antioxidants. When applied topically the antioxidants, which include polyphenols, procyanidin, and flavonoids, are absorbed. So it's ace at protecting against free radical damage and environmental pollutants, both of which cause aging. Adding this to all the antioxidants in coffee and you've got a formidable medley.
Given the high level of antioxidants and the sun protecting factors of cacao butter (natural SPF and moisturising properties from saturated fat), cacao is often considered a powerful remedy for damage caused by environmental factors - particularly the sun. See! Who would have thought there could be MORE reasons to love chocolate?
Cacao as a food (how most of us know and love it!)
Cacao is considered a superfood for its health benefiting properties. It's is an extraordinary source of the following minerals: magnesium, iron, chromium, vanadium, copper, zinc & phosphorus. Cravings for chocolate are often due to your body sending the message it requires one of the above minerals. Magnesium deficiency is of particular importance. The WHO notes that over 75% of the adult population does not get the RDA of magnesium. Combine this with the poor quality of our soils (magnesium content in vegetables has declined up to 80% since 1950) and factors such as stress which deplete magnesium levels... and it sounds like we all better get eating that chocolate!
Cacao is considered a “delivery system.” Its theobromine dilates the intestines and cardiovascular system allowing more nutrients to be absorbed. What does this mean? Well, it's a great reason to eat other potent foods with your chocolate. Why don't we help you out with that? (Not that you need it!) Check out our recipe below for a delicious raw superfood cacao treat!
Raw superfood cacao bar
1/3 cup raw cacao powder
6 tbsp of coconut oil or cacao butter
2 tbsp maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)
sprinkle of sea salt
Superfood powders (maca, lucuma, reishi etc.)
Fresh ground coffee
1. Mix all dry ingredients together well
2. Add melted coconut oil (or cacao butter), maple syrup (or other sweetener), and mix well
3. Cover a plate with baking parchment
4. Pour mixture onto plate
5. Refrigerate for 30 minutes
6. Break into pieces and enjoy!
It's safe to say, cacao has the feel good factor. Not only is cacao high in antioxidants, it also has a very high alkaloid content. Alkaloids are naturally-occurring compounds often found in plants. The alkaloids in cacao interact with different neurotransmitters in our body and help us feel good. (Probably why we just CANNOT get enough of the stuff!)
So, run yourself a bath, grab our cacao scrub, a piece of your freshly made cacao bar and consider yourself in chocolate heaven.
Has this replaced our original vanilla scrub?
Yes and no. As a company we're always working towards improving our sustainability credentials and bringing ethical beauty to the masses. Vanilla is one of the most popular flavours worldwide. The vanilla market has a long and complex history and has been hampered by a range of social, environmental and economic issues. These issues include unsustainable farming practices, child labour, political instability, lack of regulation and volatile weather conditions. Yikes. This complexity has resulted in low prices for producers, high prices for consumers (last year per kg vanilla was more expensive than silver!) and inconsistent quality. These factors all combine to threaten the industry’s viability.
80% of the world's vanilla comes from Madagascar. The 2017 Cyclone Enawo struck the island destroying much of the year's vanilla pod crop, and because it takes 3-4 years for a new plant to bear vanilla, farmers have been struggling to meet demand. This has caused a dramatic increase in prices. Alongside this difficult supply-demand picture is the worsening social and environmental picture.
There are exciting initiatives such as SVI (Sustainable Vanilla Initiatives) which aim to secure vanilla bean farmers' livelihoods and the long term sustainability of high quality vanilla bean supply. The initiative aims to determine innovative solutions for challenges the vanilla industry has faced recently, including a decline in quality, price volatility and poor product traceability. These initiatives are still in their infancy, however they should help the vanilla bean industry reach a sustainable equilibrium in the not too distant future.
Given our sustainable ethos and our need to use natural ingredients (and thus organic vanilla bean products) we found it was not longer possible for us to produce our vanilla scrub from a sustainability or economical perspective. The lack of traceability and potential for harm to both people and plants in the supply chain made it difficult to align the product with our company ethos.
As such, we are excited to launch our Cacao Coffee Body Scrub and we hope you love it!
Indulgent and decadent, this new scrub blends pure cacao extract with repurposed coffee to create the mocha shower experience you only dreamt was possible.
In fact, if you're ready to get chocolatey smooth, then pop a Cacao scrub in your basket, use the code CHOCBLOG15 at checkout and you'll get 15% off!
It's time to smell DELICIOUS!