Chocolate-flavoured cosmetic products: ingredients and benefits
These days, with all the soap varieties on the market, we are accustomed to original and elaborate scents, not to mention unconventional ones (take, for example, olive oil soap or tobacco soaps for men). However, one of the most unusual fragrances is undoubtedly that of chocolate soap.
The scent of chocolate: why is it so appealing and where does it come from?
We all know chocolate is hard to resist. From childhood, it is one of the most tempting foods, and it is rare to meet someone who does not like chocolate. Now, this attraction for chocolate also has a scientific explanation, provided by two chemists from a German university, Carolin Seyfried and Michael Granvogl, who have conducted in-depth studies on the properties and characteristics of this food.
As a starting point, these two scholars took the composition of chocolate and the 600 or so compounds that comprise it as identified in the past, only a few of which, however, contribute to creating the aroma and fragrance of chocolate. The chemists therefore set out to identify and isolate these elements, discovering that – just as in wine, whose bouquet can reveal notes and aromas of other substances – it is not cocoa that makes chocolate so irresistible to the nose but other, surprising compounds.
The conclusions reached by Seyfried and Granvogl, seeking to reproduce the aroma of chocolate with a high cocoa content from scratch, are published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry and highlight that the fragrance of chocolate is due to a complex blend of no less than 69 aromatic compounds, the most significant being:
- acetic acid, responsible for vinegary notes;
- dimethyl trisulfide, also found in white truffles;
- linalool, with its characteristic woody scent;
- guaiacol (2-methoxyphenol), responsible for smoky scent in foods;
- isovaleric acid (3-methylbutanoic acid), linked to an aroma of cheese.
Chocolate soaps: properties and where to find them
Chocolate not only has a magnetic power over our senses most susceptible to sweetness but also, thankfully, has numerous benefits which are now undisputed, debunking the myth that eating chocolate is bad for you. Indeed, this is untrue, provided that we do not overindulge and that we always opt for dark chocolate, a food included in many diets, as opposed to other, high-sugar chocolates. Dark chocolate is an excellent source of nutrition, containing numerous substances that the body needs: vitamin D, flavonoids and theobromine which lower cholesterol, fibre and minerals, with beneficial effects on the mood, memory, blood pressure and circulation.
Chocolate also has a positive effect on the skin, since it:
- has an anti-ageing effect, thanks to its antioxidant properties which combat the natural processes of cellular ageing and promotes cellular regeneration;
- combats dry skin, thanks to its content of minerals such as copper, zinc and magnesium which stimulate tissue repair, making chocolate an excellent remedy for dry skin;
- hydrates and nourishes the skin, leaving it more toned, more supple and less prone to lines. Indeed, chocolate stimulates the production of collagen, an ally to the skin in combating the signs of ageing;
- provides photoprotection, protecting the skin from UV rays and acting as a barrier against exposure to the sun.
This explains why chocolate is an ingredient of numerous cosmetic products for the skin, including soaps and body creams. The Alchimia Soap range includes, for instance, chocolate and vanilla soaps, which embody all the goodness and beneficial properties of chocolate and release its distinctive fragrance onto the skin, together with the scent of vanilla in a classic blend of sweetness and fruity warmth. Discover all the chocolate soaps and products in our Alchimia Line: