Why this ingredient is well worth the hype
Dry skin? Coconut oil. Bad hair day? Coconut oil. Social media is sold on the benefits. But while we’re no stranger to flipping a paleo pancake in it – can the gains extend to beauty? You bet! Here’s six ways you should be using coconut oil in your beauty routine.
A rich moisturiser
Sydney-based dermatologist, Dr Natasha Cook, has been following the coconut oil trend; “It’s a brilliant ingredient in skin care and a great moisturiser,” she says. “It’s all about medium chain triglycerides and medium chain fatty acids. The triglycerides help the lipids that are contained in the outer layer of the epidermis. There are free fatty acids in the natural oils of the skin, which make up part of the barrier wall function. So [when applying coconut oil] you’re actually adding free fatty acids into that structure. That’s why it’s so good for moisturising – it’s putting back what’s already there.” We recommend Coconut Revolution Organic Coconut Oil Beauty Jar.
An antibacterial treatment
Another benefit? Coconut oil is an anti-inflammatory due to its high lauric acid component. “Top international dermatologist Dr Suzanne Kilmer has recently said coconut oil is great for post-laser care as it’s a natural, potent anti-inflammatory. It’s a natural anti-fungal and antibacterial, it’s bit like zinc, in that sense,” Cook adds. We like Nature’s Way Super Coconut Organic Oil.
A teeth whitener
The ancient Ayurvedic dental remedy of ‘coconut pulling’ is breathing new life into dental routines of the wholefoods set. “It involves swishing a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth one to three times a day on an empty stomach for around 20 minutes,” says Alex Tomic, Director of teeth whitening company HiSmile – which produces a coconut mouthwash. Plus, research from the Athlone Institute of Technology found coconut oil can inhibit the growth of an acid-producing bacterium, a major cause of tooth decay.
A bath oil
Add coconut oil to a warm bath – the oil will stop the water evaporating and drying out your skin. Once you get out, pat the excess oil into your skin. No need to moisturise. Try pureTAN Pure Moisture Organic Extra Virgin 100% Coconut Oil.
Caelia is the former Beauty & Grooming Director of Women’s Health and Men’s Health Australia and continues to provide monthly beauty content for Women’s Health. She’s a mum of two and loves to write beauty that is easily adapted into the everyday lives of busy, active women to help them look and feel fantastic. Her freelance credits include Harper’s Bazaar, Body+Soul, Stellar, mamamia network, PopSugar and JONES mag.