Coconut oil is one of those rare ‘superfoods’ that can help you both boost your health and lose weight. But coconut oil’s place is not only in the frying pan. It can be generously applied to your skin, hair, and even teeth to keep them in top condition.
So, what makes coconut oil so special? The secret lies with a one-of-a-kind mix of fatty acids. While coconut oil critics urge the populace to steer clear of the wonder plant oil because it is too high in saturated fat (around 90%), new research suggests that the saturated fat in coconut oil is broken down by the human body very differently from the saturated fat found in our favorite cholesterol-boosting heart-wrecking foods.
Unlike other foods rich in saturated fats, such as butter, coconut oil offsets its saturated fats’ negative impact on the body through nutrients that give the “good” cholesterol a big boost. But for skin and hair care, you don’t need to worry about saturated fats. In that case, coconut oil is as beneficial as it can get.
Is Coconut Oil Good for Your Hair?
The answer is yes. The many healthy fatty acids in coconut oil work together to protect your hair against damage caused by sun exposure, weather, and other factors. Also, coconut oil is great for fixing dry hair, and itchy scalp, and persistent dandruff.
Coconut oil is so great at maintain your hair healthy because of its high content in lauric acid, a healthy fatty acid behind many surprising health benefits. Lauric acid moisturizes, repairs, and fixes hair dryness by addressing the main culprit of brittle and dry hair— protein loss.
Protein loss can be made worse through bleaching, rough combing, and other harsh hair treatments. When the levels of protein are getting dangerously low, hair becomes frail, brittle, and dry.
Thankfully, coconut oil can prevent protein loss by literally nourishing your hair and giving it back its lost texture and shine.
Researchers have even closely studied the effectiveness of three types of oils (coconut, mineral, and sunflower oil) in preventing and mending hair damage and found that the only oil with real benefits when it comes to hair protein loss is coconut oil.
Other studies have confirmed that coconut oil plays a protective role for hair, and it could prevent damage and dryness if applied generously before coloring. Some experts even claim that the fatty acids in coconut oil might boost hair growth rates.
Coconut oil is so effective that it is one of the rare natural ingredients that can be turned into a hair mask on its own. But to make sure that your hair gets all the pampering it needs we recommend adding extra nourishing ingredients into the mask, like hemp oil or apple cider vinegar, depending on your hair type.
What’s more, coconut oil can be an effective all-natural dandruff removal solution, as it can fight off single handedly the pesky yeast causing skin irritation and flakiness on your scalp. We recommend applying two to three tablespoons of warm oil to your scalp and gently massage it into the skin. After 20-30 minutes, wash the oil off with your favorite shampoo.
But that’s not all. To top it all off, coconut oil is as effective as a low SPF sunscreen at protecting your skin against sun damage. Several studies have found that coconut oil can block around 20% of harmful UV rays. Now, let’s see if coconut oil is as beneficial for your skin as well.
Is Coconut Oil Good for Your Skin?
According to one study, coconut oil can nourish and protect dry skin and work toward reducing eczema symptoms too. It can be applied directly to your skin on its own and can safely replace a good skin moisturizer. You can gently rub it over your face, let it sit for as long as it takes to give your face and neck an invigorating massage and wash it off with a face wash.
Also, since coconut oil is very effective at removing make-up while keeping nasty chemicals off their faces, many women have swapped makeup removers for the wonder plant oil. Coconut is great at breaking down even the waxiest and waterproof makeup, but once you’re done with the makeup removal, wash your face as usual.
However, some skincare professionals recommend not using coconut oil as a makeup remover as it creates a thin film on the skin which might clog the pores and lead to breakouts or make acne worse. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, a healthier natural alternative is safflower oil or Argan oil.
Coconut oil is also great for your lips. You can use the oil in DIY lip scrub. Just add equal parts coconut oil and honey, just as much brown sugar, and water until you get the desired consistency. After you exfoliate your lips, wash the whole thing off with a cleanser and add extra moisture with a dab of coconut oil. You’ll notice that your lips are visibly smoother and plumper.