Coconut oil: properties, uses and benefits in the cosmetic field
If you are looking for a versatile and natural product to keep always available, then coconut oil is the one for you! It is rich in antioxidant substances that slow down aging and seems to offer excellent results to combat dermatitis, herpes, rosacea and acne.
It is generally widely used and appreciated for its nourishing and protective benefits: in addition to being an increasingly widespread ingredient in the kitchen – especially in the preparation of recipes with a spicy and exotic flavor – coconut oil has become the product must have to be kept in the bathroom , precisely because of its innumerable emollient and moisturizing properties.
Nutritional values of coconut oil
Coconut oil provides 892 calories per 100 grams of product , a considerable calorie intake that makes it, in fact, not very suitable for those who are following a low-calorie diet , but also for those who want to maintain their weight.
Every 100 grams of coconut oil contains 0.03 g of water, 99.06 g of lipids, 87.2 g of saturated fatty acids, 6.3 g of monounsaturated fats, 1.7 g of polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Furthermore coconut oil contains:
Zinc 0.02 mg
Iron 0.05 mg
Calcium 1 mg
Vitamin K 0.06 mg
Vitamin E 0.11 mg
Source: USDA – Agricultural Research Service of the US Department of Agriculture
Properties and benefits of coconut oil
Coconut oil, Cocos nucifera is its scientific name, is extracted from the pulp of the coconut , is produced in the Philippines, Indonesia and India.
Rich in lauric acid and essential fatty acids, coconut oil is, among vegetable oils, the one with the least amount of unsaturated fatty acids.
Coconut oil fatty acids are composed of:
Lauric acid: it is a saturated fat that increases the level of cholesterol in the blood. Although it would seem to stimulate the production of HDL at the expense of “bad” LDL cholesterol
Capric acid: potent antifungal
Caprylic acid: antifungal also used to treat candida.
If its properties and benefits in the cosmetic field have been confirmed and praised for years, on its use in the kitchen and the health benefits, instead, there are still many doubts.
Coconut oil in the kitchen
Despite its use is mainly cosmetic, coconut oil is widely used for cooking: its organoleptic composition, in fact, remains unchanged even at high temperatures and burning does not produce harmful substances, as happens with other oils.
Despite this characteristic, coconut oil is often used for raw recipes , the characteristic of solidifying at low temperatures makes it excellent, for example, as a substitute for butter, in those recipes where the “buttery” consistency is necessary. As we have already amply explained, however, coconut oil is not recommended within a healthy lifestyle, the advice is to limit its use to the purely cosmetic one.
How to choose quality coconut oil
There are many types of this oil on the market, but they are not always quality products.
Always check the ingredients and choose the one:
free of synthetic fragrances and additives.
To make sure you buy a good product that meets these characteristics, we recommend that you buy a coconut oil for food use – even if you plan to use it only in your skin care – certified organic , preferably in a glass jar package or plastic. This is a very important element to consider during your purchase. Coconut oil, in fact, is sensitive to varying temperatures and solidifies at average temperatures: its solidification point is around 15 C ° and, when it reaches them, it turns into a very dense butter. If you buy an impractical package , like a tube or a glass bottle, duringin the colder months you will have to pass it under hot water to facilitate melting.
Uses and benefits of coconut oil for your beauty
If, as we have seen, the use of coconut oil in the kitchen does not seem to be a valid choice to do daily, we cannot say the same for its use in the cosmetic field.
Let’s see in detail how you can use coconut oil:
1 – Hand cream
Coconut oil is moisturizing and nourishing and is the perfect remedy for dry hands and chapped. It is very rich in vitamin E .
How to use it: To take care of your hands, apply a few drops of coconut oil and gently massage it, you will notice that your hands will become softer and deeply hydrated in a few days.
2 – Makeup remover for the face
Coconut oil is an excellent makeup remover: because of its oily texture, is able to dissolve the make-up even waterproof and leave at the same time soft and cleansed skin.
How to use it: Heat a knob of coconut oil in your hands and massage it for a few minutes on the face and eyes, insisting on the lashes to remove the mascara. Remove loose makeup and coconut oil residues with a microfibre cloth or cotton pads. Rinse with warm water and, if needed, with a mild detergent to remove the last traces of makeup.
3 – Anti-stretch mark cream
The stretch marks are very common problems, especially after a weight loss diet that you have lost a lot of weight . Coconut oil, thanks to its elasticizing power, is excellent for reducing them.
How to use it: Try applying coconut oil once a day in areas with stretch marks and then massage to make it penetrate the skin. Thanks to its emollient and elasticizing characteristics , coconut oil also has a preventive action on the appearance of blemishes: we therefore recommend that you take preventive action , especially if you plan to lose many pounds.
4 – Post shaving cream
Coconut oil is a natural post- shave cream , very cheap and certainly of higher quality than many on the market, which contain many chemicals.
How to use it: Put a few drops of oil on your legs or under your arms after shaving. The newly shaved areas will immediately become soft thanks to this soothing and nourishing oil.
5 – Treatment for dry hair
This oil nourishes the hair and gives new life to fragile, dry and damaged hair , restructuring it in depth. It is great to use when the hair is stressed by the sun, wind and salt.
How to use it: The perfect way to use coconut oil on hair is to apply it as a night pack to rinse in the morning. We advise you to apply the product only on the lengths of the hair and avoid the root. If you have long hair, braid and protect the pillow with a towel. When you wake up, carefully rinse your hair and proceed with washing and drying. The lengths will be soft and restructured! Seeing is believing.
6 – Night cream
If you have finished your usual face cream , but you have coconut oil at home , you can use it as a night cream . Coconut oil is magical, softens, moisturizes and nourishes the skin.
How to use it : You can put a few drops of coconut oil on your face at night before going to sleep. When you wake up, your skin will be soft, hydrated and very bright. Be careful not to overdo the quantity, because, as we explained to you, coconut oil is very fat, just a few drops are enough to take full advantage of the moisturizing and antioxidant power of this oil.
7 – Body cream
In summer , with the warmer temperatures, putting the cream after a shower is not always very pleasant , especially if you have your minutes counted and you have to get dressed immediately. L ‘ coconut oil come to the rescue , because it can turn into a good body lotion.
How to use it: Immediately after showering, when the skin is still not completely dry, spread a few drops of this oil all over the body . At the beginning you will have the feeling of having apparently greasy skin, but the result over time will be really satisfying: a soft and hydrated skin . If you suffer from scaling and excessive dryness, this is the right remedy for you!
8 – Teeth whitening
A little coconut oil combined with baking soda can turn into a natural and cheap whitener.
How to use it: Create a batter of oil and baking soda and use it to brush your teeth . If you also want a refreshing effect, add a few drops of mint essential oil .