Monday, November 2, 2009


There’s no denying the health benefits of chocolate. Studies have shown eating moderate amounts of dark chocolate can actually be good for us, but what about chocolate as part of your skincare routine?

Believe it or not, chocolate can provide some natural benefits to your skin. It’s largely regarded for its antioxidant properties, which protects against free radical damage, but it is also a natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. Even simply smelling chocolate can make you healthier as it boosts your mood and improves your immune system.

Here are some easy chocolate beauty recipes you can use at home for an indulgent experience minus the calories.

Chocolate Facial Recipe

A fantastic all-rounder recipe for the face. Avocado helps reduce wrinkles and improve skin tone. The cream and cottage cheese will soften and smooth skin, and improve circulation. While oatmeal powder provides a deep clean without drying or irritating the skin.

You Will Need:
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder. (Use only cocoa powder and not hot chocolate drinking mixes).
4 Tablespoons heavy cream
3 teaspoons cottage cheese
3 teaspoons ripe avocado
1/4 cup honey
3 Tablespoons oatmeal powder (Use rolled, not instant oats and blend finely).

Mix all ingredients together.
Apply to face and leave on for 10 minutes.
Dampen with warm, moist wash cloth to remove, then apply moisturizer.

Chocolate Coconut Body Scrub Recipe
A winning combination of flavours for me, but if the smell of coconut doesn’t appeal to you, simply leave the coconut oil and extract out and use a little olive oil instead to achieve the desired paste-like consistency.

You Will Need:
1 cup coarse brown sugar or raw sugar (or a combination of the two)
1/2 cup liquified coconut oil
3 Tbsp. unsweetened dark cocoa powder
1 tsp. pure vanilla oil (extract will do)
1/2 tsp. or more pure coconut extract

Mix the oil, extracts and sugar, adjusting amounts until desired consistency is reached.
Gently mix in cocoa powder.
Best applied to moist skin. Use a tablespoon of scrub at a time and use in a circular motion, massaging gently using your fingertips.
Rinse off with warm water.
Store remaining scrub in refrigerator in a glass or plastic container with lid.

Chocolate Milk Bath Sachet
Instead of drinking hot chocolate, bathe in one instead. A fragrant and delicious addition to bathtime.

You Will Need:
1 cup baking soda
1 cup instant non-fat dry milk
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
2 Tablespoons cream of tartar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch

Mix all ingredients together.
Place about 3 tablespoons in the centre of a nice handkerchief or a small square of muslin cloth. Tie with ribbon, leaving a loop to hang over the faucet.
Use one sachet per bath, hanging the sachet on the faucet so that warm water passes through it.
Store in an airtight jar. Will keep up to 6 months.

Chocolate and Coconut Milk Conditioner
A great natural remedy for dark, curly or frizzy hair. A good scalp massage is a gentle way of improving circulation to your face, which can help keep your skin looking younger.

You Will Need:
¾ cup coconut cream
1/3 cup cocoa powder
Mix both ingredients in a plastic bowl.
Shampoo as normal. Use this recipe in place of regular conditioner.
Use once a month or as often as necessary.

For the ultimate chocolate beauty experience why not book a holiday to Austria, Costa Rica or France where you’ll find day spas specialising in gourmet chocolate beauty treatments such as a whipped cocoa bath, a toffee chocolate wrap or chocolate and cranberry body scrub. Or go for the deep chocolate massage instead with your own bowl of chocolate sweets beside the massage table.

As a cheaper and more fun alternative, grab a bunch of girl friends and set up your own chocolate day spa at home. Don’t forget the chocolate cocktails and an assortment of chocolate treats to make the experience complete!

(A word of advice: Never use ingredients for your home spa treatments that you wouldn't want to eat. Your skin, the largest organ on your body, breathes and will absorb the properties of the ingredients you are using. Use fresh, high quality ingredients for the best results, and do not store the treatment longer than the shelf life of the most perishable ingredient. )

“Bianca Hensman is owner and manager of Coastal Chocolates, an online gift store dedicated to the chocolate lover. A self-proclaimed ‘Chocolate Expert’, Bianca has a slight obsession with all things chocolate. She is hoping to introduce a line of non-edible chocolate gifts including chocolate body products to Coastal Chocolates in early 2010. To subscribe to the Coastal Chocolates newsletter, simply visit to find out more. “

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