Coconut Oil – a natural skin care ingredient to cherish

Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil is an edible oil extracted from the kernel of matured coconuts which are produced by the coconut palm. Rich in carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals which are good for the human body it has various applications in food, medicine, and industry. The saturated fats it contains are medium chain fatty acids (Medium Chain Triglycerides or MCTs), which when applied to the skin can keep it smooth to the touch. Its high content of saturated fat content also means it can last up to two years without any preservatives and without spoiling.

Buy Unrefined or Raw Coconut Oil

When sourcing coconut oil for cosmetics always buy unrefined coconut oil as the refining process destroys many of coconut oil’s beneficial ingredients including vital proteins which are a major benefit in skin care uses.

Unrefined oil is unfiltered, does not contain additives and is produced directly from the coconut without additional processing. It is sometimes called “raw” or “virgin” coconut oil to mark its difference from the refined, bleached (with sodium hydroxide), deodorized coconut oil widely used by larger cosmetic companies, in cleaning products and as fat content by the food industry.

Refined coconut oil is better than no coconut at all (and is excellent as a fat in cooking if you do not want a coconut flavour to your dish) but get unrefined, raw and preferably organic oil for your DIY skin care and cosmetic products if you can.

Why Use Coconut Oil?

Coconut oil comes high on our list of Natural Skincare Ingredients to Cherish for the following reasons:

Coconut Oil: Hydrating and Moisture Retaining

Coconut oil is very stable, does not break down easily or evaporated so has a high moisture retaining capacity. As it does not let moisture escape it is extremely beneficial for dry skin as it helps to hydrate and retain the skin’s moisture—the saturated fats it contains almost eliminate moisture loss through the pores.

Coconut Oil for Hair Care

Coconut Oil has been used in hair treatments for thousands of years and is scientifically proven to reduce protein loss in both damaged as well as undamaged hair. The oil is rich in the twelve carbon lauric acid which has a high affinity for hair protein and due to its low molecular weight it readily penetrates the hair shaft. It is thus highly beneficial for pre-wash or post-wash hair grooming. The various fatty acids in coconut oil make excellent anti-dandruff agents and it also has a cooling effect which reduces scalp and skin irritiation.

Coconut Oil for Skin Care

The oil is widely as an emollient to treat specific dry skin conditions including  psoriasis, eczema and cracked heels. Its high lauric acid content combines to add antibacterial and fungicidal properties. It contains high levels of Vitamin E which is an excellent natural antioxidant known to be essential for healthy skin growth and repair and assists in slowing down skin ageing and wrinkling.

Coconut oil is thus rich in many proteins that nourish and protect the skin and contribute to cellular health and tissue repair. The sweet and naturally refreshing scent it adds to skin care and hair care products is an added bonus.

Organic, environmentally and rainforest-friendly, ethical

The deforestation practices linked with palm oil production are not associated with coconut growing where low density, low input production is the norm.

Top-producing countries for coconut include Indonesia, Philippines, India, Brazil, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. The majority of Fair Trade  coconuts currently come from small-scale farmers (owning less than a few hectares of land) in the Philippines.

Coconut Oil is a highly beneficial natural skin care ingredient which is produced in a way which is environmentally friendly and ethical. Do you have your own recipes for natural DIY and homemade skin care you want to share? Write to me at natasha@puraglow.com (or message me @natasha if you are a site member).

 

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