Life happens, coconut oil helps. This exotic fruit, merely consumed by health-conscious people, is actually a dietary staple in some parts of the world. In Tokelauans, for instance, most people intake more than 60% of their calories from coconuts. Studies have found that eating coconuts come with lots of benefits, giving us a hint on how beneficial coconut is for our general health. But coconut isn’t only beneficial when eaten. In fact, topical application of coconut oil has so many properties that shouldn’t be overlooked; rest assured, you’re about to find all of them.
Coconut oil benefits
All the fuzz around the benefits of coconut oil is mainly due to the fact that it’s a natural beauty product that actually works. Coconut oil is almost 100% fat, mostly saturated — mainly consisting of long-chain fatty acids. Keep in mind that to get the best benefits outlined in this article, you need to use organic, virgin (unrefined) coconut oil and cold-pressed.
Coconut oil protects your skin
Many people (myself included) use coconut oil to hydrate the skin, applying it deliberately every day, after showering. It’s actually been proved that coconut oil improves the natural hydration level, helps with transepidermal water loss, and serves as an excellent moisturizer. It does that thanks to its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and highly moisturizing properties. Very high in lauric acid, coconut oil is composed primarily of nourishing fatty acids, great at hydrating the skin. On top of that, it’s rich in vitamin E and healthy fats, which help smoothen the skin and improve its protective barrier function, as this 2017 study shows.
Coconut oil for hair
Coconut oil doesn’t only have benefits for the skin. Your hair can also take advantage of it — known as a savior for damaged, dry, dyed hair. This study shows that, due to the fatty acid structure and low molecular weight, coconut oil can penetrate the hair shaft better than any other serum or oil. This being said, if your hair is dehydrated, dull, or lacks shine, massage your scalp and split-ends with coconut oil and leave it overnight. Do this once weekly for the best results. Coconut oil does not only nourishes the hair but also protects and strengthens it, reducing protein loss and damage caused by coloring and styling — must try!
Coconut oil for the under-eye area
Since it’s a natural and gentle anti-inflammatory, coconut oil can slightly lighten dark circles and relieve puffiness. It moisturizes while it brightens the skin to help prevent the apparition of wrinkles and fine lines on the eye area. Use coconut oil by gently rubbing it into your under-eye area, and leave it overnight to act. Finally, you can say goodbye to tired eyes.
Coconut oil for relaxation
While the exotic scent relaxes your senses, your skin naturally absorbs coconut oil, making it a great choice for massaging your skin. Having your body massaged with coconut oil helps to soothe and relax tight muscles.
Coconut oil help you lose abdominal fat
The worst fat of all, highly associated with many chronic Western diseases, is abdominal fat. It appears that coconut oil can reduce appetite and reduce belly fat. However, coconut is high in calories, so you better don’t add a ton of it to your diet. Replacing some of your other cooking fats with coconut oil can have weight loss benefits.
In a study of 40 women with abdominal obesity, supplementing with 30 mL of coconut oil per day over a period of 12 weeks led to a significant reduction in BMI and waist circumference. Another study in 20 obese males noted a reduction in waist circumference of 1.1 inches after four weeks of 30 mL of coconut oil per day.
One study suggests coconut oil can be used as a sunscreen, blocking about 20% of the UVA & UVB harmful rays. Another application is using it like mouthwash in a process called oil pulling. This action is said to kill some of the bacteria in the mouth, improve overall dental health, and reduce bad breath. Also, if you check any DIY toothpaste recipes, you’ll notice all of them use coconut oil due to its texture and anti-bacterial properties.