Used by Pacific Islanders for centuries, coconut oil is an abundant source of fatty acids that are uniquely formed to deeply moisturize, hydrate, and condition the skin.
Rich in vitamins and antioxidants as well, this natural oil is one of the most powerful anti-aging ingredients we can find in nature. Not only is it moisturizing, it contains ingredients that help cleanse, unclog pores and can help with sensitive skin.
A Little Bit About the Ingredient Itself
Coconut oil is extracted from the meat of matured coconuts, which are harvested from the coconut palm tree. Because it’s so high in saturated fats, it ages well, and can last up to two years on the shelf.
It used to be that health organizations discouraged people from consuming too much coconut oil, because of the high level of saturated fat, which was thought to increase risk of heart disease, obesity, and Alzheimer’s disease. Today, however, we know that all saturated fats are not created equal, and that natural fats like those found in coconut oil are actually healthful ingredients for the every day diet.
Hydrogenated oils, on the other hand—which are formed by heating the oil and adding hydrogen atoms—last longer in processed foods, but also form trans-fats that are super bad for your health. Always choose coconut oil in its natural state for powerful health benefits.
Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
Recent research has found that coconut oil can help increase levels of HDL “good” cholesterol, and lowers levels of LDL “bad” cholesterol. Because of its natural anti-microbial properties, it may be helpful against infections like pneumonia, as researchers found in a 2008 study. It’s also shown to kill other types of bacteria, viruses, and even fungi.
There have been a couple early studies that have shown coconut oil may help people to lose weight. A study found that women consuming two tablespoons of coconut oil every day for 12 weeks had decreased amount of fat in their abdomen.
Bottom line is that today, scientists agree that in a healthy diet, coconut oil is a good natural addition that may have health protective properties.
Coconut Oil's Benefits to the Skin: Superior Moisturization
The most exciting benefit that coconut imparts on the skin is moisture. Because of its unique combination of fatty acids (lauric, capric, caprylic, myristic and palmitic), it has a way of penetrating skin that few other oils have.
Whether you have dry skin or sensitive skin, this is an oil that will truly penetrate and moisturize deeply into your skin, and help reduce and improve your issues. The other key reason that coconut oil is so helpful in moisturizing products is that it provides the skin with the nutrients it needs to stay hydrated over time. Whereas many moisturizers are based on water, which provides only a temporary hydration and then evaporates, coconut oil provides a more lasting, truly moisturizing solution—without feeling greasy.
Benefits to the Skin: Protection and Anti-Aging
In addition to superior moisturization, coconut oil provides other skin benefits:
- Antioxidant: Coconut oil is rich in natural antioxidants—so many that it is one of the longest-lasting oils you can get because it resists rancidity. That means that the natural antioxidants are also going to help protect your skin from environmental stressors, preserving a more youthful look.
- Nutrients: Coconut oil is a good source of vitamins A, C, and E, which all have antioxidant capabilities as well as moisturizing and brightening properties. Vitamin C, as you probably know, can tighten and firm while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Gentle: This is an oil that anyone can use, even young children.
Because of its superior moisturizing, hydrating, and conditioning properties, we’ve added coconut oil to the following five products. Let us know what you think!
- Aloe Herb Cleanser
- Coconut Body & Face Oil
- Herbal Facial Oil for Normal and Combination Skin
- Herbal Facial Oil for Oily Skin
- Coconut Honey Mask
Do you use coconut oil for cooking or for massage? Please share your tips.
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Serena Gordon, “Coconut Oil May Help Fight Childhood Penumonia,” US News and World Report, October 30, 2008, http://health.usnews.com/health-news/managing-your-healthcare/treatment/articles/2008/10/30/coconut-oil-may-help-fight-childhood-pneumonia.