There is much written about the benefits of using coconut oil on the hair and skin. It is reputed to be a natural anti-ageing moisturiser as it may help protect skin from the aging effects of free radicals. Mercola writes:
…physiologist and biochemist Ray Peat, Ph.D. considers coconut oil to be an antioxidant, due to its stability and resistance to oxidation and free radical formation. Plus, he feels it reduces our need for the antioxidant protection of vitamin E.
Like Dr. Peat, many experts believe coconut oil may help restore more youthful-looking skin. When coconut oil is absorbed into the skin and connective tissues, it helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by helping to keep connective tissues strong and supple.
Coconut oil will not only bring temporary benefits to the skin, but it will aid in restoring your skin’s youthful appearance. The coconut oil will aid in exfoliating the outer layer of dead skin cells, making the skin smoother. It also penetrates into the deeper layers of the skin to strengthen the underlying tissues.
Coconut oil may be used as a hair conditioner and is helpful for dandruff and scalp health. It may also help promote healthy hair growth, regenerating thinning hair. Coconut oil is very nourishing and so may be helpful for dry skin and may benefit skin conditions such as eczema. An interesting study by Verallo-Rowell et al. compared the effects of topical virgin olive oil and virgin coconut oil on people with atopic dermatitis. Both oils showed benefits, but in this case, virgin coconut oil was the clear winner.The image below shows an atopic dermatitis site before (A) and after (B) treatment with virgin coconut oil, where coconut oil was applied twice a day for four weeks. (NB, Gut ecology and allergies may also play a part in skin conditions, so a consultation with a Nutritional Therapist may also be helpful)
Coconut oil is actually gentle enough to use as an eye make-up remover, and may help condition eye lashes. It really is a great ‘all-over’ cream, suitable for moisturising face, lips, hands and body. I decant some oil into a smaller tub to use cosmetically, keeping it separate from the oil I use in cooking. This also makes it a good product to take on holiday when decanted into a small unbreakable pot.
If you suffer with athletes foot, add a few drops of tea tree oil to a teaspoon of coconut oil and rub into the affected area a couple of times a day. Coconut oil may aid the healing of minor burns, but all heat must first have come out of the burn, so I suggest the oil is applied the following day in order to prevent trapping heat in the wound.
My next post will get back to considering other oils and margarines