Cocoa Butter Formula Skin Therapy Oil
Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Skin Therapy Oil is the brand's take on the emerging skincare category of face and body oils. There are a lot of things Palmer's gets right about this formula, but a couple of missteps in the form of some potentially-irritating ingredients means this earns a subpar rating.
Cocoa Butter Formula Skin Therapy Oil is packaged in a plastic container with a pump-style dispenser, which, while it initially seems convenient, can actually become messy because of its potential to leak. The formula itself is quite greasy, thanks to canola oil coming in first in the ingredients list (this is not a formula that you can apply and then walk out the door!). Canola oil is, however, a good emollient, and it is joined by other excellent emollients like sesame seed oil, cocoa butter, and rose hip extract. The result is that dry, flaky skin will feel softer and smoother thanks to this formula.
The reason this didn't earn a higher rating, though, is because of the inclusion of some potentially problematic ingredients. This contains fragrance, as well as the fragrance ingredients linalool, citronellol, courmarin, and geraniol. All have the potential to irritate skin, especially sensitive skin—and a lot of dry, flaky skin is sensitive. See More Info for details on why fragrance in skincare isn't ideal.
Overall, Cocoa Butter Formula Skin Therapy Oil, because of these potential drawbacks, doesn't earn our enthusiastic recommendation. It actually would be far better for your skin simply to use a plain, non-fragranced plant oil than this fragrant formula. For superior options, even in similar price ranges, see our list of Best Face Oils (which can be used as body oils as well).
- Contains good emollient ingredients able to smooth and soften dry, rough skin.
- Contains fragrance ingredients that pose a risk of irritating skin.
- Leaking packaging makes this body oil messy to use.
Irritation From High Amounts of Fragrance: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way for all skin types to go for all skin types (Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2008 & American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003).
The sneaky part about irritation is that research has demonstrated that you don't always need to see it or feel it for your skin to suffer damage, and that damage may remain hidden for a long time (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008).
In fact, the effect of inflammation in the skin is cumulative, and repeated exposure to irritants contributes to a weakened skin barrier, slower healing (including of red marks from breakouts), and a dull, uneven complexion (Aging, 2012 & Chemical Immunology and Allergy, 2012).
Strengths: Inexpensive; cocoa butter is a good emollient and antioxidant for skin (and Palmers typically combines it with other tried-and-true emollients).
Weaknesses: Many formulas are highly fragranced; the products claiming to improve or prevent stretch marks are, well, stretching the truth; most of the body products lack a sophisticated mix of repairing and antioxidant ingredients compared to leading brands sold at the drugstore.
Created by the E.T. Browne Drug Company in New Jersey, Palmers is a familiar sight in drugstores across the country, primarily because of its Cocoa Butter Formula Swivel Stick. The brands made a name for itself because of its wide variety of cocoa butter-based skincare products, but its expanded far beyond its original range to include more than a hundred products in its line!
Now offering products for numerous categoriesfrom hair care to hair removalthe items The Beautypedia Research Team are asked about most often are those claiming to treat and repair stretch marks and scars (Palmers has no shortage of them). Unfortunately, there is little topical treatments can do to fix either of these skin concerns, which we detail in the More Info sections of the applicable individual product reviews.
As far as Palmers moisturizing formulas go, cocoa butter is a great foundation upon which to build them, as it has rich antioxidant properties in addition to being a great emollient. Palmers typically pairs it with other good emollients, which is always a plusand all of the brands products are reasonable priced!
Its worth noting though that over the course of our reviews, we saw that many of Palmers formulas relied almost entirely on cocoa butter for its benefits, omitting some of the additional beneficial ingredients (like more skin repairing and skin-identical ingredients, as well as other antioxidants) that many of its drugstore competitors do.
While some may prefer simpler skincare formulas depending on their skin concerns, for Palmers this results in many formulas being near carbon copies of one another, just with different claims. Another concern is that many of their formulas include potentially-irritating fragrances , along with the preservative methylthizolinone, which can be sensitizing to the point where its generally recommended only for use in rinse-off products.
Overall, while Palmers does have some good products to offer, with just a few additions (and some subtractions) those products could be great!
For more information about Palmers, call 877-725-6377 or visit www.palmers.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.