There is no doubt that when we bring up coconut oil or Cocos Nucifera (these are one and the same) you have some type of gut reaction. Whether good or bad, it seems this nutritionally rich ingredient has become more and more controversial as of late.
Coconut oil, Cocos Nucifera, is made from the white flesh of the coconut's fruit. Made of fatty acids, it helps reduce dryness and allows your skin to retain moisture. It acts as a barrier and protects your skin from environmental toxins. When rubbed onto the skin, it improves its texture leaving it softer due to its extremely high nutrient components. It has a calming effect and diminishes the signs of aging. Full of antioxidants, it boosts your skin to fight external aggressions.
It is packed with beneficial and healthy ingredients such as lauric acid, which has antimicrobial properties that can help kill bacteria and inflammation. It also has high levels of Linoleic acid, which is an unsaturated omega-6 fatty acids that can be used as an emollient and skin soother.
People with oily skin may worry about adding more oil onto their skin, but if you use oil-reducing products, the skin will typically overcompensate by producing even more oil. Coconut oil helps rebalance this process and leaves your skin less oily in the long run. Especially when using it as a cleanser. Since coconut oil is comedogenic, as it will not absorb into your skin, being able to wash off the oil will still allow for you to gain the benefits without causing irritation.
The takeaway: Coconut oil gets a bad rep for being comedogenic. If you are acne-prone or on the more lubricated side, consider using coconut oil in products that are not intended to stay on the skin. Think masks, scrubs, and cleansers.
You may notice that the Nov/Dec box highlights some products that feature Coconut oil. When using the scrubs, (in which there is coconut oil) you can feel after your shower a protective smooth layer on your skin. It will protect it for the whole day, keeping moisture inside while protecting the skin from outside aggressions.
Tip: After using a body scrub with coconut oil in it, follow up with your favorite body oil to lock extra hydration!
Using coconut oil in a scrub allows for you to absorb vital nutrients without the feeling of a heavy oil being on your skin all day, since it will be washed away. This can be a great way to introduce yourself to coconut oil, without the overwhelm of using raw coconut oil.
Using raw coconut oil -
Now, if you are wanting the extra nutrients or have dry skin that you are trying to combat with the change of season, there are a few ways we love to incorporate coconut oil.
- Make-up remover - Utilize coconut oil as part of your double cleansing routine. You would use the coconut oil first to initially take your makeup off and then rinse and follow up with your cleanser of choice, making sure to diligently remove any remaining coconut oil. One of our most coveted items featured in The Skincare Box to date is Fresh, a cleanser by Skin Essence Organics, that is coconut oil based. Even though the box was a year ago, we still get consistent emails from customers raving about the benefits its had on their skin.
- Use as a Body Moisturizer - Coconut oil improves the skin barrier due to its high levels of unsaturated fats. Use the oil on dry areas such as elbows, knees, and feet.
- Lips - Because lips don’t have sebaceous glands, they are missing in the natural protection sebum would generally otherwise provide. Coconut oil can help lock in moisture and keep your lips supple and moist, especially in the winter!
- Hair - Coconut oil can be beneficial as a deep-conditioning treatment. Simply add the oil to your hair for 20-30 minutes and then remove it when washing your hair
What are your favorite uses for coconut oil? Let us know in the comments!