02 Aug The Magic of Coconut oil
To date, health and beauty have been steadily climbing up the ranks of priorities. Men and women from different walks of life look for ways on how to improve their bodily aesthetics conveniently without sacrificing quality.
Coconut oil in the Beauty Industry
Primarily known as a nutritious and delicious cooking oil, coconut oil had its time hiding behind the recesses of coconut plantations for generations and is now rising in popularity as an ingredient for beauty care products.
With this, coconut oil grabs the third spot next to canola and olive on the world’s healthiest oils and is now considered a versatile and healthy fat that carries numerous benefits to our body
It can be utilized either naturally (virgin coconut oil) or in its widely popularized version, fractionated coconut oil.
Virgin vs. Fractionated: What’s the difference?
Coconut oil’s secret lies in its high saturated fat content. The abundance of medium chain fatty acids, such as lauric acid and capric acid, is the best thing virgin coconut oil can offer.
These fatty acids contribute to the body’s increase in good cholesterol and the reduction of bad ones, increase of one’s metabolism rate, and even weight loss! Not to mention that they’re also a good source of energy.
However, some of these fatty acids (like lauric acid) require higher temperatures to melt, making virgin coconut oil solid at room temperature whereas fractionated coconut oil is not.
Fractionated coconut oil has long-chain fatty acids removed through hydrolysis and steam distillation, which makes all the difference. Longer chain lengths require higher temperatures to melt; removing these causes the opposite.
After processing, FCO is made lighter and less greasy than virgin coconut oil. In addition, without the long chains of fatty acids, its rancidity is reduced, leading to a longer shelf life minus the hassle of it solidifying at low temperatures. You can even store it in your fridge, for instance. These make FCO an ideal ingredient for essential oils and beauty products.
Whether virgin or fractionated, coconut oil has numerous benefits both for hair and skin:
1. Coconut oil is antibacterial.
Since the 1960s, scientists have spent time on researches in relation to the beneficial properties coconut oil comes with. Studies show that the fatty acids present in coconut oil convert themselves into effective antimicrobial and anti-fungal agents against microorganisms like bacteria, yeast, fungi, and even enveloped viruses.
This function is most prominent in lauric acid, a fatty acid that can be formed into monolaurin as it is digested. Monolaurin is a monoglyceride present in the body which mainly works for antiviral, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal purposes.
2. Coconut oil keeps acne at bay!
In an environment as polluted as today, getting acne has been mundane to most. Acne is basically an infection in the pores when hair follicles get stuck with oil and dead skin cells. When hair follicles get damaged, it increases the chance of Staphylococcus aureus (a bacteria) infecting the skin, which will then result to pimples.
Coconut oil’s antibacterial properties are guaranteed to help. With regular use, it would help keep your pores dirt and clog free. The damage caused by acne can also be reduced, thanks to coconut oil’s Vitamin E.
However, coconut oil is subjective to every skin type so it’s best to search and know what’s best before application.
3. Coconut oil prevents premature aging.
Premature aging of the skin is oxidation damage mainly caused by sun exposure, pollution, and even stress.
Coconut oil can prevent premature ageing as it hydrates and exfoliates the skin without further damaging it. It seals in skin moisture and reduces oxidative damage by increasing collagen formation, which reduces fine lines and wrinkles on the face.
4. Coconut oil moisturizes the skin.
Compared to other oils, coconut oil has the ability to reduce water loss in the skin and is increase hydration. It also has a nice smell that sticks to the skin.
5. Coconut oil versus sunburn.
During summer, people are major fans of trips to beaches. Consequently, having your time under the sun doesn’t necessarily mean you only get to enjoy. A lot of people also get their skin sunburned under the intense heat of the sun.
Coconut oil eases the cracking, peeling, and blistering skin from UV ray exposure as coconut oil is known to provide moisturizing effects. It works its way through the pores, which nourishes and soothes the skin. In addition, coconut oil is known for its abundance in Vitamin E, which enhances its beneficial effects to the skin.
Also, in a study published by Pharmacognosy Review, coconut oil has been seen to block about 20% of the UV rays from sun exposure. Who could have known it could also be used as a sunscreen!
6. Coconut oil as natural make up remover.
Coconut oil cleanses and moisturizes all at once, which makes it a better alternative for your commercial make up remover.
It works best on waxy, inky eye makeup. Just a swab here and there would ensure you that your face is makeup-free and hydrated at the same time. Not to mention that it can even take your waterproof mascara off and leave your face feeling fresher and smoother than before.
7. Coconut oil as a deep cleanser.
Coconut oil’s chemical form allows it to penetrate the skin easier than most of the other oils, which heightens is a cleansing effect. It goes deep into the dermis and stays there.
However, those with oily skin have to be extra careful in using coconut oil to cleanse their face. It is comedogenic, which means it can tend to block the pores when you use it. That’s why if getting clogged pores is one of your problems, using coconut oil might not be ideal.
8. Coconut oil helps keep hair strong and healthy.
According to a study by the Journal Cosmetic of Science, coconut oil was able to prevent combing damage to seventeen different hair types as they tested out various oils and their capacity to protect hair from damage.
It also significantly prevented loss of protein compared to other known oils like sunflower and mineral oil. These characteristic stems from its chemical structure; it has a strong affinity for proteins and a small size, which allows it to better penetrate the hair shaft. These two conditions make it an effective protection for hair.
9. Coconut oil conditions the hair.
Coconut oil gives the hair the shiny quality you need for day-to-day. According to research, when compared to other oils, it penetrates the hair better, which allows it to work its wonders from the inside out.
10. Coconut oil says no to dandruff.
Coconut oil is already widely used as a natural anti-dandruff product. Having dandruff is basically having a scalp which suffers from the dry, rough, and itchy skin. With that, this is where coconut oil works its wonders.
Upon application, it improves skin hydration and increases the lipid levels on the scalp, which moisturizes that skin and eliminates the scratchy, dry skin which causes dandruff.
Whether you decide to use virgin or fractionated coconut oil, keep your goal in mind as you choose. Nevertheless, virgin or fractionated, coconut oil is well worth a try!