By now you are probably well aware of the reported positive effects of coconut oil in the body and the wild health benefit claims that surround it. This tropical secret is not so secret anymore, as the health and beauty worlds are consumed with this oil and its mainstream appeal is only growing. Millions of people across the globe are supplementing unhealthy cooking oils such as vegetable oil and cooking spray for the all-natural oil from this fragrant nut.
Did you know that the uses of coconut oil aren’t limited to cooking up a delicious stir-fry or adding to your bulletproof coffee?
Coconut oil nourishes skin cells, protects from dangerous UV rays, and moisturizes thirsty hair. Becoming not just a culinary phenomenon, but a cosmetic one as well. In short, it is now being used all over the world as an effective, totally natural substitute for numerous unhealthy beauty products. Still not sold? Read on for the ultimate guide for using coconut oil in your daily beauty routine, and you may change your mind.
Does Coconut Oil Live Up To The Hype
Besides being a well-documented, well-researched oil for cooking purposes, the reasons for choosing coconut oil as a beauty staple go well beyond celebrity recommendations and trendy mommy blogs.
This antioxidant powerhouse packs a serious nutritional punch, nourishing dry hair, repairing damaged skin and even healing wounds. It is a fantastic, all-natural moisturizer that isn’t just skin deep. In fact, due to its unique way of bonding with proteins and its low molecular density, it has been proven to penetrate skin and hair, beyond surface level bringing lasting radiance and damage prevention.
Why Choose Coconut Oil?
Listing the names of beauty products available for skin and hair would take hours. Thousands of creams, body butter, conditioners, and hair masks that all claim to be backed by the newest technology and research and have the most appealing packages that catch your eye at the drug store. You continue to throw money at these colorful, fragranced products that generally don’t deliver on their extravagant claims, and become just another forgotten bottle on your shelf.
Not only that, the majority of products contain harmful chemical agents such as parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, propylene glycol, toluene, and triclosan to name just a few. These additives serve to increase shelf life, improve coloring or boost fragrance. But at what cost?
Phthalates, for instance, have been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer development and are proven endocrine disruptors. However, they are still widely used in deodorants, sunscreens, and moisturizers.
Triclosan is famous for its antibacterial properties and is, therefore added to most hand soaps, toothpaste, and deodorants. But it has also been found to disrupt thyroid hormones and irritate skin.
These are just a few of the dangerous chemicals lurking in your favorite beauty products. As you work conditioner into your hair, slather lotion on your skin, or rub on deodorant, you are unknowingly exposing yourself to excessive additives and harmful toxins. Instead of sacrificing health in the name of beauty, you should cultivate a daily routine that adds to your overall health and wellbeing.
Coconut oil eliminates the need for a massive collection of cosmetic products and will save your time, energy, money, and health in the long run. Not to mention that it will make you look fabulous while doing so.
What Kind Of Coconut Oil Is Best?
Picking the right kind of coconut oil can be difficult. What exactly do all these terms mean? Cold pressed? Virgin? Refined? Unrefined? The choices seem overwhelming at first.
Rather than going to the store and purchasing the first coconut oil you see, it is crucial that you educate yourself about the uses and the difference between each labeled product. Always remember that the coconut oil you use should say “100% pure” somewhere on the label. Don’t buy into prettily packaged “coconut oil products” as they are usually full of many of the same toxins you are looking to avoid and have unnecessary additives that only hamper its beneficial effect.
Organic vs. Non-Organic
As with most things that you put in or on your body, it is vital that you purchase USDA certified organic coconut oil. This comes from coconuts that were grown without the use of pesticides. Non-organic comes from a source that has either used pesticides to treat coconut crop or from a source that cannot be verified by the USDA. It is best to avoid this type of coconut oil.
Unrefined vs. Refined
Refined coconut oil has been treated with high heat to remove impurities, however, in the course of this refining process, the oil has also been stripped of most of its beneficial properties and will be of limited value for beauty or cooking use. It is also likely that a chemical refining process has been used, corrupting the oil. Unrefined oil is “raw,” meaning that it has been left as is and still contains all the excellent health components of pure coconut oil.
Cold Pressed vs. Expeller Pressed Coconut Oil vs. Centrifuge Extracted
These three methods for making unrefined coconut oil are all very similar and generally, all contain the same nutrients in the finished product. However, different pressing methods are more suited to particular uses.
Cold pressed coconut oil is made straight from fresh, dried coconut flakes and is “pressed” down into oil between rotating circular presses at a low temperature. This method is best for no-low heat situations such as cosmetic and beauty care.
Expeller pressed coconut oil is processed at a higher heat, but still without the use of chemicals or solvents. This is a better option for cooking as it has a high smoke point, but is equally as healthy as cold pressed oil.
Centrifuge extracted oil uses chilled milk and a high-speed centrifugal force, but is also generally the most expensive option for coconut oil and is not as popular.
Virgin vs. Extra-Virgin
Contrary to the distinction in regards to olive oil, there is virtually no difference between these two labels. As long as the bottle indicates one or the other (and all the other appropriate labeling mentioned above) you can be sure you are using a quality product.
This Spring Of Life Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil meets all of the above criteria with the added benefit that it comes in a glass jar instead of plastic, which wins points for the environment.
14 Beauty Uses For Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has a high vitamin E content, one of the primary vitamins that contribute to glowing, radiant skin. However, it not only improves the outward appearance of your skin, but it also works to bring healing and repair damaged cells.
Tip: If you are thinking of switching to an all natural beauty routine with coconut oil at the forefront, but can’t convince yourself to ditch fragrance, try adding your favorite essential oils to whatever DIY beauty mixture you concoct.
Benefits Of Coconut Oil For Skin
1. Relieve Skin Conditions
Studies show that it can be used to relieve many irritating skin conditions, including dermatitis and xerosis (abnormally dry skin) and restore scarred skin to its pristine status.
2. Prevent Inflammation
In one study, coconut oil was shown to possess great anti-inflammatory capabilities, along with reducing the pain that is associated with inflammation. Since acne is often directly connected to inflammation, proper use of coconut oil could limit the appearance of acne.
3. Heal Scrapes & Burns
This oil can increase collagen production and improve antioxidant status in the body. Thereby, increasing the healing rate of scrapes and burns on the skin and encouraging healthy hair growth. Plus, its antimicrobial properties reduce the risk of infection.
4. Prevent Fungal Infection
Due to its antimicrobial properties, coconut oil can effectively prevent the growth of harmful microorganisms that lead to bacterial and fungal infections on the hair or skin such as athletes foot, cellulitis, and folliculitis.
5. Makeup Remover
Coconut oil is one of the most effective natural makeup removers and can even remove waterproof mascara. Scoop up some softened coconut oil with a cotton pad and wipe over your face. Be sure to rinse it off after, or use a face cleanser, as too much coconut oil can clog pores.
6. All-Over Moisturizer
Because of its high fatty-acid content, coconut oil is fabulous to use plain as an all-over body moisturizer. When you use the proper amount, just enough to cover skin without leaving an oily residue, coconut oil will transform your skin. Making it look youthful, glowing, and radiant. This oil is best used as a moisturizer immediately after a shower to ensure that it is fully absorbed for optimal benefits.
Coconut Oil Skin Care Recipes
Whipped Coconut Body Butter
While using coconut oil as a moisturizer is terrific for your skin, sometimes trying to dig it out of the container isn’t great for your morning efficiency. With this whipped coconut oil recipe, you no longer have to struggle to get hardened coconut oil out of a giant container, as it will remain light, airy, and easily spreadable when stored at room temperature.
- Add all ingredients to the bowl of stand mixer and mix on high for 7 minutes or until coconut oil reaches a “whipped” consistency
- Pour into a small glass jar, or other sealable container and enjoy!
Green Coconut Moisturizer
Who knew that green tea could be such a fantastic addition to coconut oil? This green tea infused recipe reverses UV damage and boasts powerful antioxidant capabilities.
- 1 cup coconut oil
- 2 tbsp loose leaf green tea
- Add coconut oil to a double boiler on the lowest heat setting. Warm until oil is fully melted.
- Stir green tea leaves into oil and cover and simmer for one hour. Keeping the heat on the lowest setting.
- Strain leaves and cool.
- Add to stand mixer and whip for 7 minutes or until oil is light and fluffy.
Exfoliating Coconut Oil Shower Scrub
Try combining ¼ cup granulated sugar with ½ cup coconut oil and mixing well. Use this scrub in the shower for deep exfoliation and moisturization on any of your dry spots. You could even mix in 10 drops of your favorite essential oil for an added aromatherapeutic benefit. I love adding a citrus oil like lemon, orange or grapefruit for a zesty pick-me-up.
Benefits Of Coconut Oil For Hair
7. Chlorine Protectant
Work coconut oil through hair with your fingers before taking a swim in a chlorinated pool. This will help protect your hair from the harsh chemicals and prevent it from drying out. Plus, it will leave your hair feeling soft and silky after your time in the pool.
8. Frizz Dampener
Use a tiny amount of coconut oil on dry hair to tame stubborn flyaways and bring shine to frizzy hair. Make sure that you do not use too much; a pea-sized amount should do, as an excessive amount could cause hair to become overly greasy and limp.
9. Dandruff Discourager
Massage 2 teaspoons coconut oil into clean hair to prevent and treat dandruff by moisturizing the skin on the scalp. Be sure to work oil deeply into the scalp, focusing on the areas around the forehead and behind the ears. Cover with a shower cap, sit in the sun for 20 minutes and wash out with shampoo. Repeat 2-3 times per week or as needed until symptoms of dandruff begin to dissipate.
Coconut Oil Hair Recipes
Quick Coconut Oil & Honey Hair Mask
This easy hair mask repairs damaged hair while moisturizing thirsty locks and restoring a vibrant sheen.
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- Add ingredients to a small saucepan and melt together.
- Work through wet hair. Focusing specifically on ends where damage occurs.
- Twist hair into a bun and relax for 30-40 minutes while the coconut oil works its magic.
- Rinse out in the shower and follow regular shampoo and conditioning routine.
Over-Night Coconut Oil Deep Condition
After a shower, work a generous amount of coconut oil into hair and twist damp locks into a shower cap or high bun. Cover pillow with a towel to avoid grease stains and allow the oil to soak into your hair overnight. Rinse thoroughly in the morning, enjoying your silky, soft hair.
Other Cosmetic Uses For Coconut Oil
10. Oil Pulling For Whiter Teeth
The most recent dental phenomenon known as oil pulling can seem distasteful at first. However, due to its antibacterial and antifungal properties, swishing with a tablespoon of coconut oil for 20 mins every day not only freshens your breath but whitens your teeth as well.
11. Makeup Brush Cleaner
Though most of us are guilty of neglecting our makeup brushes for far too long, it is actually super important to keep them clean, as they can collect bacteria and microbes that eventually make their way onto your face or into your eyes. Coconut oil not only works great to remove caked-on makeup from brushes but because of its antibacterial properties, it also cleanses them from that nasty grime. In a shallow bowl, add two parts soap to one part melted coconut oil and mix well. Swish your brushes in the mixture, making sure to get all the bristles wet. Rinse with warm water and air dry.
12. Natural Lip Balm
Not only does coconut oil soothe chapped lips, but it is also totally non-toxic and safe to ingest, unlike most commercial lip balms. In fact, if you happen to eat a little of the coconut oil on your lips, it is only an added health bonus. Transfer coconut oil to a small, portable container. Use this throughout the day for soft, kissable lips.
13. Natural Deodorant
Deodorant is one of the greatest culprits of harmful chemical agents. It is particularly detrimental because it is smeared right onto the delicate skin of your armpits where it can quickly be soaked into your body throughout the day. Try this homemade mixture instead:
- ½ cup coconut oil
- ½ cup baking soda
- 30 drops essential oil of choice
- Mix all ingredients in a stand mixer or by hand until thoroughly combined.
- Transfer to glass jar or empty deodorant container.
- Use in place of traditional deodorant.
Read More: 8 Best All Natural Deodorants
14. Shaving Cream
Warm a jar of coconut oil under warm water to soften. Spread over legs or face for a fantastic alternative to toxic shaving creams and gels.
There you have it, the ultimate guide for using this tropical gold in your daily beauty routine. Ditch your toxic beauty products and switch to this incredible, multipurpose, oil today.