Cocoa Butter: FSA Eligibility
What is cocoa butter?
Cocoa butter is an extremely versatile ingredient that is used in the production of chocolate, ointments, toiletries and pharmaceutical products. Cocoa butter is a vegetable fat that is extracted from whole cocoa beans, which are fermented, roasted and separated from their hulls, and the resulting residue will create a pale yellow, solid substance that has a melting point that is just below normal human body temperature.
Cocoa butter has emollient properties and allows the skin to prevent water loss from the outer skin layers, which is why it' so common in lotions and other skin care products. As a natural hydrating product, cocoa butter causes much less irritation for those with sensitive skin while still locking in any moisture present on the skin, as it is free from harmful additives, fragrances, colors and dyes that are found in many commercial skin care products. In addition to treating dry skin, cocoa butter is also as a lip moisturizer and can soothe sensitive skin from the presence of dermatitis or rashes (Healthline).
Why isn't cocoa butter eligible for reimbursement?
While cocoa butter has a tangible role in treating a variety of dry skin issues, it is considered a "dual-purpose" item by the IRS that has a primary role in promoting one's "general health" than directly treating or preventing a legitimate medical condition. Therefore, it is not eligible for reimbursement with consumer-directed healthcare accounts.