Coconut oil it’s the superfood ingredient on many nutritionists lips.
With its heady scented fragrance that melts into your skin on contact.
It’s long been touted for its beautifying benefits.
But does its holy grail status include skincare too?
We crack open the facts, excuse the pun, and take a look at why this oil is receiving cult status.
Nutting out the benefits of coconut oil
Coconuts come from the palm tree and are widely cultivated in Malaysia, the West Indies, and Indonesia.
The oil is extracted from the coconut’s kernels and can then be purchased as either an oil or butter because coconut oil is mostly saturated fat, the oil is very stable, giving it really long shelf life.
The benefits of coconut oil are numerous; it has wonderful skin-softening and film-forming properties, which is why it is often incorporated into skincare products that form a protective barrier, as discussed below:
Improves barrier function
Its occlusive nature means it increases your skin’s moisture levels by providing a physical barrier to reduce water evaporation from your skin.
The coconut seed’s central cavity is full of water, which gives the oil its hydrating status; this water also creates a healthy, bacteria-free, sterile drink.
A potent antibacterial
The antibacterial agents include lauric acid, caprylic acid, and cholic acid, help to fight infection. Because the oil can effectively reduce bacteria, viruses, and fungi, it is ideal for those with conditions such as psoriasis and eczema and those who are more vulnerable to skin infections.
Treats dry skin
It is a really healing addition to use in a formula, especially if you have areas of dryness. Its superior moisturising properties help to really nourish dry skin.
Research has found that coconut oil is a potent anti-inflammatory, and helps to take the fire out of the itch, especially when treating conditions such as eczema.
The oil is full of nourishing, skin-loving antioxidants, which come from ferulic acid. The acid helps to keep damaging free radicals at bay, delaying oxidative destruction in your skin, leading to premature ageing.
A gorgeous hair treatment
Coconut oil also has several uses on the hair; it stimulates hair growth and creates a film around your hair shaft, adding moisture to dry and brittle hair. Follow the link if you’d like to find out more about the wonderful uses of coconut oil for your hair.
The naked truth
Because of the demand for this oil, there are many forms of coconut oil available on the market, and it is fair to say that it is viewed as a highly industrialised ingredient within the skincare industry,
Another thing to be aware of is the chemical-sounding names such as lauryl sulphate hidden behind clever marketing terms such as “natural coconut-derived”.
Here at the Naked Chemist, we only source organic, unrefined, virgin coconut oil. You can recognise this by its lovely, natural, heady fragrance – it is literally like sweet, freshly-cracked coconut. If you’re thinking of purchasing coconut oil, make sure the virgin oil is solid and white or clear with a yellow undertone.
Don’t make the mistake of confusing this wonderful, natural butter for fractionated, thin, or light coconut oil, which is a highly refined, processed material devoid of any skin-loving properties.