When the weather outside is frightful, there are few things more comforting than a big mug of hot cocoa with tons of marshmallows on top. I find the smell of hot chocolate alone enough to make me calmer, warmer, and happier, so I set out to find some beauty products that can put a smile on my face no matter how gray and cold it gets outside. I found a ton of chocolaty goodness, and few (sometimes edible) marshmallow things to top them off with. Just click through to get warm and cozy.
Want something that smells good enough to eat and is incredibly moisturizing for dry, cold-chapped skin? Try a simple yogurt cocoa face mask. You just need a tablespoon of cheap cocoa butter ($1) and a half tablespoon of yogurt. Melt the cocoa butter in a saucepan over low heat, then mix in the yogurt until smooth. Pour your concoction into a bowl and let it cool to a comfortable temperature, then apply for 15 minutes and wash off with warm water.
The largest study on the subject was published in 2008 by a team of dermatologists and obstetricians. It followed 175 women in their first pregnancies, some randomly assigned to apply a cocoa butter lotion each day and others assigned to use a placebo. Neither the subjects nor the researchers knew who was using which treatment. After many months, the researchers found no difference in the development or severity of marks, known medically as striae, over the abdomen, breasts or thighs.
The piece suggests Vitamin E as an effective alternative. What's your opinion?
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I've already confessed to my love for cocoa butter, and I've also been known to have an nagging sweet tooth as well. As I helped my wintry dry skin to a healthy serving of cocoa butter this morning, I reveled in the chocolaty aroma . . . which then made me think about the differences between the sweet-smelling lotion and the sweet-tasting treat. Can you pick cocoa butter truths from my made-up myths? Test yourself and take this quiz.
Vaseline is about to come out with two additions to its Cocoa Butter line of lotions, and one of them is now on my repeat-buy list. I was able to sample its Cocoa Butter Smoothing Body Butter ($6.99), which will be available in stores any day now. It features a blend of cocoa and shea butters, which gives off a light and pleasant fragrance. For some reason, the scent reminds me of tropical beaches—which isn't a bad thing at all!
Like other body butters, it has a smooth texture and melts from the heat of your body. Unlike some other ones, though, this one doesn't feel greasy. I liked how easily it absorbed into my skin, and more importantly, how little of it is needed to get the job done. I definitely recommend using less product than you think you might need. You really don't need more than about a fingertip's worth to cover an entire leg, which means one eight-ounce container will last for a long time. If you have very dry, difficult-to-moisturize skin, try this out and let me know what you think. I have a feeling you're going to like it.