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Coconut Oil for Skin

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Coconut oil is famous throughout the world not only as an edible oil and hair tonic, but also as an excellent massage oil and smoothener for the skin. In the tropical parts of the world where coconuts are readily available and used in many ways, natives commonly spread coconut oil on their skin, as they believe that it protects from the sun’s harmful rays. So this natural oil, without any chemical or additives, can protect the skin in some of the hottest and sunniest places on earth better than our processed and artificial sun creams?

The question is, what makes coconut oil so beneficial for the skin? Before we can understand how coconut oil achieves all of its impressive benefits that people around the world claim, let’s look into the constituents of coconut oil and their respective properties that might make them useful for maintaining skin health.

Coconut Oil- Composition

Saturated Fats: Predominantly, these saturated fats are medium chain fatty acids or triglycerides. When applied on the skin, they keep it smooth to the touch. Due to the presence of these fats, coconut oil also retains the moisture content of the skin, as the fats eliminate moisture loss through the pores on skin. When ingested through the regular consumption of coconut oil, these fats deposit under the skin, thus keeping it healthy and smooth, giving it an even tone and reducing the appearance of the pores.

Capric /Caprylic/Lauric acid: These are not very different from the medium chain fatty acids, but it is still important to mention them separately here, since they have their own contributions. These three fatty acids have strong disinfectant and antimicrobial properties. As a result, when applied on the skin, coconut oil protects from microbial infections that can get into open wounds or even enter the body through the pores. This microbial action can be experienced even if coconut oil is taken internally, as the fatty acids boost the immunity when converted to monocaprins and monolaurins.

Coconut2Furthermore, capric, caprylic, and lauric acids are easily broken down chains of fatty acids, meaning that they contribute to usable energy in a quick and efficient way. This can be a major boost to your energy levels before a workout, which is why these powerful acids have also been linked to weight loss and management. Losing weight is a good way to improve the quality of your skin by reducing excess fat, stretch marks, and folds in the skin which can be unattractive. Having a healthy, toned body means that the skin maintains its tight grip around the muscles and bones.

Vitamin-E: The contributions of vitamin-E towards skin care are well known. It is essential for healthy skin growth, repair of wear & tear on the skin, keeping skin smooth and protecting against cracking. Above all, it prevents premature aging and wrinkling of the skin, since it has good antioxidant properties. 100 grams of coconut oil has about 0.1 mg of vitamin E,  thus enhancing it skin-nourishing properties.

Anti-Aging Cream: Traditionally, coconut oil has been praised and popularized for its anti-aging properties.

Proteins: Like coconuts themselves, coconut oil is rich in many proteins. These proteins keep skin healthy and rejuvenated, both internally and externally. Proteins also contribute to cellular health and tissue repair, along with a wide range of other essential activities within the body. For any damaged cells on or near the skin, a healthy of flow of proteins guarantees their replacement at a normal rate, whereas people with protein-deficient diets heal slower and often develop more obvious scars due to the extended healing time.

The best property of coconut oil that makes it so beneficial for skin is that it does not become rancid. When you apply it on the skin, it can work for a longer time, unlike many other oils, without it getting rancid. Due to these various beneficial properties of coconut oil, it is used as an important ingredient in several skin care creams.

Uses of Coconut Oil for Skin Care

Coconut oil can be used for skin care in the following ways:

Lip Gel:  Cracks in our lips can be a source of worry, discomfort, and embarrassment. When we apply chemical gels on the lips, it is possible to consume those gels accidentally, even though they are somewhat toxic. Some gels may be edible, but you still don’t want to eat those chemicals.

Coconut oil comes as an ideal alternative in such cases. It acts quickly and even if it goes in your stomach, it will only give you additional benefits, so everyone wins!

Skin softener: Most of us use several creams and lotions for softening our skin, especially the skin of the face and hands. Coconut oil is a great skin softener and helps you do away with dry and hard skin conditions. Simply take some coconut oil on your palms, rub your palms against each other once or twice and then on your face, hands, or wherever you want to see the moisturizing effect.

Coconut oil is also good for hardened and cracked feet, which may happen due to excessive cold or strenuous work while standing on your feet. The cracks in your feet will not vanish, but your feet will become softer within days if you apply coconut oil to the affected area.

As an exfoliant, including coconut oil as an agent with other exfoliating or grainy materials like salts and sugars can vastly improve the effects. You will successfully scrape off excess dead skin and clean out whatever substances have blocked the pores without leaving the skin feeling irritated. The natural soothing nature of the oil combines with the grainy, exfoliating material perfectly, and leaves your skin with an even color, closed pores, and a soft texture.

skincoconutoilMakeup Remover: Coconut oil can also be used a makeup remover. This is not common, but women have begun using it for removing the makeup of the face and eyes, without worrying about the harsh chemicals of other removers getting into delicate or sensitive areas.

Skin disorders: It is claimed that coconut oil is good for several skin disorders such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema. Several readers have reported this benefit. However, scientific research is ongoing in order to prove or disprove these claims. Much of the research that is there speaks to its protein content, since the replacement of sick or dying cells that can occur with various skin disorders, are quickly replaced by new, healthy cells. In this way, coconut oil not only treats the infection by battling the microbial bodies, they also heal the damage or the visible marks of that skin disorder; it is a two-in-one solution!

How To Use Coconut Oil

For many who have never used coconut oil, its various applications can be confusing. You should try to buy coconut oil in a jar which has a broad opening. In colder climates, coconut oil can be solid, like a cream. However, in warm temperatures, it comes as a liquid. For skin care use, take some coconut oil, either solid or liquid, on your palm. Then, rub your palms together and onto the skin of the desired area. You can also put the coconut oil on a piece of cotton and rub the cotton onto your skin. However, it is not necessary to reapply coconut oil as often as other natural skin care oils. You only need a small amount to create a protective shield on your skin that will last for a long time.

Many people make the mistake of using too much coconut oil, and since the skin can only absorb a certain amount, the protective layer that the absorbed oil creates doesn’t let any more oil in! This means that if you use too much, too often, your skin will end up as an oily mess, and will look shiny or greasy, not to mention what it might do to your clothes! Then, go get yourself some coconut oil and bring your skin back to its natural beauty!

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  1. Robert McCormick says:

    I had a psorias-like rash which now only appears when it is very humid. At one stage I was living in a very humid area and it covered my entire body. It was sheer hell to deal with. I moved to a different State with very little humidity and that only during short periods during the Summer. I tried everything. Nothing worked until a farmer friend told me he put Coconut Oil on the cows Udders and it kept them soft and healthy. I tried Virgin Coconut Oil the next time that cursed rash appeared. Bingo! Rash was gone in, seemingly, seconds! I use Coconut Oil every day on my skin and take a Tablespoon every few days. I have Cholesterol Test done every July so will be interested to see what has happened to my HDL & LDL. I hope all is OK because it is said that Coconut Oil reduces those nasty deposits of Visceral Fat around Internal Organs!

  2. Jan says:

    I have frizzy, curly, and sometimes unmanageable hair and dry skin. My hairdresser had told me to stop buying expensive products and just use coconut oil. My hair has changed drastically since I only use CO. It is soft and doesn’t have split ends. I rub a very small amount in my hands and start at the ends and work my way up. I use it at night on the ends as well. I use CO on my skin and face as a moisturizer. It is not expensive and I ditched all my expensive products and have way better results!

    • Nic says:

      Agreed Jan! I have very damaged hair from years of heat and straightening. I use CO at night and sleep with it on my hair (using an old pillowcase!) in the morning, I shampoo as normal and use just a bit of normal conditioner to get the knots out, but when I blowdry, my hair is softer, shinier, easier to style and very bouncy. No chemical conditioner has EVER done this – I’m sticking with it! I usually get a 500ml tub of extra virgin CO from ebay for around a tenner.

  3. Karen Hoffman says:

    Some people have mentioned consuming coconut oil. Taken by itself or mixed with something?

    • Coconut oil is used for cooking food in many countries such as India. I hope this answers your query.

    • Jenn H says:

      i put a 1/2+ teaspoon in my morning coffee. It takes a few times to get used to it (i use creamer also) but i’m used to it now! I try to cook with it but the flavor can be stronger and it changes the taste of some dishes. I try to use more butter now than vegetable oil.

  4. karen c says:

    I’ve had very deep crevices (laugh lines), i’ve been using this oil as a facial treatment for the past few days and am shocked to see the crevices have diminished by over 50%…amazing!

  5. →YOUNGBAES BAE → (@ILuvSelenaMiley) says:

    Any brands of coconut oil that you recommend?

  6. mary Russell says:

    I want to know, do I put a moisture crème, before applying Coconut oil, then make up? Thank You

  7. Emma says:

    Sounds like a stupid question but when using coconut oil on hair or skin ect. does it count as calorie intake?

  8. Dottie says:

    I use coconut oil for eyelid scrubs it works great for blepharitis. My eyes don’t itch anymore. I also use it on my face as a moisturizer, hair conditioner and to remove eye makeup and eat 3 TBS a day. It has lowered my cholesterol levels by 30 points. LOVE IT! Spectrum has a great coconut oil as it is Organic Virgin Coconut Oil and Unrefined.

    • Kathy Stawiarski says:

      Hi, I found it so interesting when you said you use this for eyelid scrubs. My Mom has terribly itch eyelids. Can I ask exactly how you do an eyelid scrub?

  9. Joleen says:

    Coconut oil, I use it for everything; from moisturizing my hair and skin to cooking with it. It is just wonderful and economical. One jar lasts me about 4 months.

  10. A,SCALLEY says:

    Is coconut oil a sun screen?

    • Lorri says:

      No! It is an oil. You don’t get the same type of sunburn with it as other oils. But it is NOT a sunscreen.

    • Rachel says:

      Coconut oil does have SPF but it is very minimal. I believe only 4-8 SPF.

    • Clarice (ricey) Beane says:

      I heard that coconut oil actually does contain an SPF of about 10! It is definitely not strong enough to protect you from harsh sunlight, but it does a little bit (which is good for use in winter or in cold countries, to keep you extra safe from the sun and prevent extra ageing). Don’t substitute sunblock with coconut oil, it does not give you full protection xxx

  11. Sonia says:

    I’ve had eczema on my eyelids a few years back and Aveeno baby cream (with oatmeal in the ingredients) seemed to work. Not this time! I have really dry & itchy eyes, and face around my nose to the point where the skin was becoming red & flaky regardless of how much I moisturised. I started using coconut oil last night and noticed a difference right away. I woke up this morning and noticed that my eyelids aren’t as red, I’m not itchy any more, my skin is softer, and the flakes are starting to disappear.

    • Gill says:

      Same here Ive had a dry red scaly patch of skin in between my eyes for around 3 years. Recently it has got very itychy and red so I decided to pay a visit to the doctor. He took one look and recommended I see a dermatologist…A week ago I decided to buy a bottle of virgin Coconut oil I have been using this for just a few days and already notice an improvement in this part of my skin the redness has nearly gone and the patch of skin has got smaller. Am so happy as I was worried it might be skin cancer but now im guessing it must be some type of dry skin condition due to the creams I was using.Hope it continues.

    • kavlito says:

      I used to have dry, scaly, red, itchy skin between the eyes and in the eyebrows, as well as my chest between the sternum. Through a series of circumstances, I discovered I was having allergic reactions to beef, pork & lamb. I eliminated them from my diet and it all disappeared, including back acne.

  12. Ali says:

    i use coconut oil on my pimples and my very frizzy hair, it works so well! whenever i get a scab i apply some coconut oil nightly and it disappears within days and leaves no scar. Best healing treatment!

  13. mary collins says:

    Only just started using it. Find my skin very soft. Can I use it as a cleanser as well. I have a few lines under my eyes, can I use it under my eyes as I am passionate about not having wrinkles and would love to reduce them. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank your.

    • Aaaliyah says:

      You can apply a little amount under your eyes. Virgin coconut oils help eliminate/reduce wrinkles and fine lines.

    • Yes… I always add some extra coconut oil to the Dr Bronners Body wash I use.
      Also, use it as a carrier oil and add some drops of Frankincense and Helichrysum ess. oil.
      Really makes your skin soft…and people were saying I looked “fresh”.
      Gottta get back on the program!

    • Batman says:

      I am a man who has been using CO for years for everything and YUP it works for wrinkles it is very helpful inside and out of your body. BUT the main thing is:GELATIN! It does wonders for skin, wrinkles, joints you name it! I am 54 and numerous people have told me they thought I was in my very early forties! 1lb. of unflavored GELATIN, Now Brand is a good value or pay a little more for Great Lakes Gelatin. Additionally, if you throw out whole chickens or turkey, don’t! Simmer them for hours or get a pressure cooker and make your own broth/gelatin. I had horrible spinal arthritis in my twenties shortly after marriage and could barely work. I am 5 9″‘ and was 129 lbs when in pain and sickly. I am now 150lbs and nearly the epitome of health for my age. After the above and below regimen I am amazingly better 30 years later! Indigenous people ate the whole animal and reaped the benefits minerals etc. which are horribly lacking in the SAD and the latter diet is spreading world wide like a VIRUS. We eat pretty muscle flesh meat which has the least of nutrients of the entire animal. Years ago grandma had it right with her cooking! IN addition cut back or eliminate grains! YUP we’re not meant to eat them. Animal fats, vegetable fats and oils in their natural unadulterated state are good for us and do not clog are arteries. We need carbs for energy however, excessive carbs are bad. Keep eating the latter and have poorer health teeth, gums and all other maladies which accompany their consumption. Eat a variety of meats not just flesh, vegetables, fruits nuts and get your health back if it is important to you. I hate/loath the taste of LIVER but I eat it once a week and it has been amazing! IT is a true superfood. OH ya when I had my blood-work done 6 months after coconut Oil usage (I use Trader Joe’s from the store great value) my doctor was amazed as my triglycerides dropped 60 points and my numbers were fine to begin with! He asked what was I doing? LOL I also eat 4 raw egg yolks a day. Get the good orange yolks from a farm if ya can! Sorry, as I can’t contain my excitement on how I feel after being so sickly in my mid 20’s. I’ll shutup now and maybe go start I blog! Good Health to all!

    • Lisa says:

      I have started using coconut oil as an eye cream and have used it to replace my night cream. I am 44 and have no wrinkles at all, and only a few small expression lines at the corners of my eyes. I am very fair skinned and never tan. People always comment on how young I look and are amazed when I tell them my beauty secret. I was told recently by a total stranger who told me that my skin was luminous. Give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.

  14. tammy macaluso says:

    Hi I use the brand luana coconut oil that you find in grocery stores is that ok to use on hair and skin?

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