Image Credit: CIAT @ Flickr
By now you’ve almost certainly heard about the health benefits of coconut oil for hair, skin and every other aspect of your life. In fact, up until recently we were certain that it was the best of the best.
It’s time to make room on the shelf next to your trusty jar of coconut oil. We may have discovered something even better: Babassu oil.
This new arrival on the natural health scene is much like coconut oil in that it comes from a palm fruit, is solid at room temperature, melts when it touches your skin, and contains the same vitamins and fatty acids which make its close cousin so great. However, there are many aspects of Babassu that – in our opinion – make it a superior alternative to coconut oil.
Read on to discover our 17 reasons to use Babassu oil as part of your day-to-day life and see how this amazing oil is stealing the spotlight!
1. It’s Light-Weight
One of the biggest gripes we hear about coconut oil is that after you apply it to hair or skin, it lingers and feels heavy. When used on hair, eventually you have to wash it out to remove the oily sheen then reapply a small amount (but not too much) after shampooing to prevent drying. From start to finish, this can be a very time-consuming process.
Babassu oil makes things much easier. You get the same nourishing effects as with coconut oil, but you don’t have to wash it off. About an hour after application to hair (less for skin) you’ll barely notice that it’s there. Even while you’re waiting for Babassu to dry, it doesn’t feel oily and gross. This simple fact is the number one reason that we think Babassu is so much better than coconut oil.
2. Doesn’t Clog Pores
Because it’s much lighter-weight, Babassu won’t clog your pores like coconut oil (another major drawback of CO.) If you already have oily skin, you’re prone to acne, or maybe you just have smaller pores; Babassu oil is not only going to feel much better after you put it on, it also won’t make you break out when used as a daily face moisturizer.
3. Soaks In Faster
Whether you want to soothe dry skin right away, you simply don’t have time to wait around for your body moisturizer to dry before getting dressed for the day, or for whatever other reason you need it to do so; Babassu oil soaks in much faster than coconut oil. Once it does, Babassu leaves your hair and skin looking soft and smooth without an oily sheen and it doesn’t have to be washed away afterward.
4. It’s Less Messy
Because it soaks in much faster than coconut oil, there is far less chance that Babassu will accidentally end up all over your clothes, the floor, your furniture, the screen of your tablet and phone or (heaven forbid) every doorknob in your house.
After about thirty minutes to an hour – depending on your skin type and how humid it is in your environment – Babassu oil will be virtually unnoticeable aside from making your skin and hair look and feel healthier.
5. Has a Very Mild Scent
Another drawback (albeit a minor one) to using coconut oil is that it has a very strong and distinct smell. While that nutty and slightly fruity aroma is something that many people enjoy, there are several areas where this can be problematic. For men, the health benefits of using coconut oil may be overshadowed by the idea of smelling like a coconut all day. Also, some jobs restrict people from wearing any form of scented skin and hair care products.
Babassu oil solves that problem, offering the same benefits of coconut oil without the overpowering ‘fresh off the beach’ smell. With its mild (almost non-existent) scent, Babassu can go everywhere you do and be virtually undetectable.
6. Mixes Better With Essential Oils
Unlike coconut oil whose heavy nutty fragrance clashes with the aromas of many popular essential oils, Babassu mixes well with most all other oils. This makes Babassu ideal for use in homemade health and beauty products like minty chest rubs and toothpaste, as well as fragrant salt and sugar scrubs.
7. Helps Heal Damaged Skin
In addition to its ability to deeply moisturize skin, Babassu oil is also anti-microbial and provides a healthy amount of vitamin E which aids in cell regeneration. This makes it ideal for treating chapped lips, mild burns, shallow cuts, cracked heels and other minor wounds.
Take it a step further and add anti-microbial essential oils like tea tree to your melted Babassu which will increase its disinfecting potential.
8. Reduces Redness & Inflammation
Lauric acid, the main component in Babassu oil is naturally anti-inflammatory. Gently apply a small amount of Babassu to bug bites, stings, plant rashes, areas affected by eczema, psoriasis or rosacea, as well as chapped, burned or otherwise irritated skin to relieve discomfort and reduce redness and inflammation.
9. Cools On Contact
When the weather is uncomfortably hot outside, the last thing you want to do is slather heavy moisturizers all over your body. Fortunately, when Babassu oil comes into contact with skin, it actually produces a mild cooling effect. Not only does this make Babassu great for everyday summertime skin care, it can also go a long way toward relieving discomfort and inflammation from sunburn.
10. Repair, Soften & Shine Hair
As a deep conditioner, Babassu oil works great. After a couple of weeks of using the oil on your hair, you will notice a big difference including less breakage and smoother ends. You can also add Babassu to your shampoo and conditioner to reap the benefits for your hair. Just a few drops will do, though you may want to add a little more to your conditioner. Simply heat the oil until it liquifies (around 76ºF / 25ºC) then pour it in and shake well.
Until you learn what ratio of Babassu to Shampoo / Conditioner works best for your hair, you may want to experiment with small amounts so you don’t accidentally ruin an entire bottle of each!
11. Nourish Your Scalp
Babassu oil isn’t just great for your hair. Warm Babassu makes a wonderfully soothing and nourishing massage oil for your scalp. Due to its light weight and the speed with which it soaks in, Babassu won’t cling to your scalp like coconut oil.
If you are prone to dandruff or other scalp irritations, Babassu can help with that, too. In addition to being deeply moisturizing, Babassu oil is naturally anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial.
12. Promotes Healthy Nails and Cuticles
Babassu oil is rich in vitamin E which is one of the primary nutrients responsible for skin and nail health. When used regularly on hands and feet, Babassu works beautifully to soften your cuticles and strengthen your nails by providing them with an infusion of nutrient-rich moisture.
Also, because Babassu oil contains a high concentration of lauric acid, it is naturally anti-microbial and anti-fungal (just like coconut oil.) Lauric acid is a medium-chain triglyceride which destroys bacteria and other microscopic organisms by dissolving their cellular walls on contact.
13. Locks In Moisture
Because Babassu oil soaks in quickly and doesn’t have to be washed off, it makes a great whole body moisturizer. You can apply it to your skin on its own to do the trick, or treat yourself to a warm bath and add Babassu to the water. When added to a bath, a little bit goes a long way. Just a couple of tablespoons will leave your skin feeling soft and smooth when you step out of the tub.
Also, consider adding a cup of Epsom salt to your bath water for an even more rejuvenating experience.
14. Helps Prevent Body Odor
Due to its anti-microbial nature, Babassu oil makes an excellent base for making homemade deodorant.
It works just like coconut oil deodorant, but with less drying time so you can put it on and go without the worry of ruining your clothes.
15. Healthy Alternative To Other Cooking Oils
Babassu can be used for cooking just like coconut oil; and with its far less nutty aroma Babassu is a better compliment for a wide variety of foods. When ingested, Babassu provides the same impressive list of health benefits as coconut oil, including improved cholesterol, balanced blood-sugar, increased energy and metabolism, healthier hormones and stronger brain function.
Need some ideas on how to use Babassu for cooking? Try sauteing your veggies in it, use it to grease baking pans, add it to popcorn before popping, or substitute Babassu in place of butter in just about anything.
16. Improves Pet Health
Just as it is great for humans, Babassu oil can improve your pets’ health, too. As with coconut oil, there is a long list of ways in which Babassu can be used for pets. When consumed, it improves digestion, coat health, dental hygiene, hormone balance, weight management and joint strength. Topically, you can use small amounts of Babassu oil to treat dandruff, deodorize smelly coat, help heal small wounds and skin irritations, and even clean their ears!
17. Rejuvenate Wooden Surfaces
The same deep conditioning ability which makes Babassu oil so wonderful for skin and hair has the same effect on wood. Rub down your cutting boards and wooden utensils with Babassu to extend their life and deter microbial growth. You can also create your own homemade furniture polish using Babassu and a few drops of lemon essential oil.
Where To Find Babassu Oil
After reading about all of the amazing uses and benefits of Babassu oil, if you’re eager to try it out for yourself (I know I was!) you can order a bottle of it here.
After using Babassu in lieu of coconut oil for a couple of weeks, we’re sure you’ll agree that this incredible oil should be a part of every successful natural health and beauty routine!
Learn more about the rejuvenating power of natural oils with these 17 Anti-Aging Oils For Beautiful Skin + Recipes!
Like making your own personal care products? Be sure to check out these 18 Homemade Face Mask Recipes To Fix All Skin Problems and 17 Personal Care Products You Will Never Have To Buy Again.
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