Coconut oil (also called copra oil), is an oil extracted from the meat or kernel of mature coconuts. It has many different applications and is edible as well. It has a high saturated fat content, which is why it is slow to oxidize and resistant to rancidification, meaning it can last up to 6 months without spoiling. However these high levels of saturated fat (similar to that of animal fat) makes that some health authorities advise against overconsumption of coconut oil, as it has potential to increase risk of cardiovascular disease.
However the benefits it can have for your skin are well worth it. You can use it for almost everything (see list of uses below). This relatively cheap tub of white gold can not only safe your skin but also your wallet, as it is free of added chemicals and cost a fraction of the price of most other beauty products.
A few of its health benefits are that it is not only anti-carcinogenic, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, but also acts as an anti-inflammatory, helping to suppress inflammation and repair tissues. The best coconut oil you can get is ‘unrefined’ (extra virgin) cold pressed, expeller pressed or centrifuged. You know it is high quality coconut oil if it is crisp white when solid and crystal clear when completely liquid without any yellow tones.
A few thing you can use coconut oil for:
- lip balm
- bath oil (makes the bath very slippery though)
- face and body moisturizer (for the face I recommend to leave it on overnight or for a couple of hours, then removing it with a cloth soaked in warm water as to prevent your skin getting to oily)
- washing your face
- removing makeup (with some cotton wipes)
- oil pulling (see this as an extra step to and not as a replacement of your dental care routine. Take a tablespoon of oil and swish it around it your mouth for at least 20 minutes before spitting it out, there has been research done showing the health benefits of this for your dental health)
- hair treatment
- shaving oil and as a moisturizer after shaving
- cooking (I prefer to cook without using oil, however if I feel it is necessary for the taste or in certain baking recipes I will use coconut oil over other oils, as it doesn’t turn rancid when heated, neither is it carcinogenic)
- mix with a drop lavender essential oil for insect bites
- mix with raw sugar, oats or even beach sand to make a natural body scrub
- after sun
- massage oil