ASCP Skin Deep


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Add a little decadence to your treatments by Cortney Matz Chocolate: the height of luxury, the definition of decadence … and just what the doctor ordered. When it comes to marketable concepts, chocolate needs no sales pitch. We already know we want it. We know it tastes great and smells heavenly—so the idea of being covered in it is the stuff of daydreams. This wonder substance has mesmerized and enchanted consumers for centuries. More recently, the public has become aware that chocolate can also be healthy. Consuming chocolate triggers a number of benefits for relaxation and well-being, but it can also be used topically in skin care for rejuvenating results and treatments that appeal to all the senses. What's in Chocolate? It is important to note the difference between chocolate candy and the quality cocoa solids, butters, and powders that may be usefully added to a face or body treatment. Cocoa products, including chocolate, come from the cacao bean (pronounced ka- KOW), which grows on trees in tropical regions of the world. The bean itself varies in size and basically consists of two elements: brown stuff and white stuff. The brown stuff is the cocoa solid—the highly nutritious, packed-with-antioxidants part of the bean that gives chocolate its powerful flavor. The white stuff is the cocoa butter, a natural fat responsible for chocolate's velvety texture. Cacao beans are dried, fermented, and roasted to produce the starting point for high- quality chocolate. The roasted beans can also be drained to separate the cocoa butter from the cocoa solids (which is how we end up with cocoa powder). 10 ASCP Skin Deep January/February 2015

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