Coconut has been attracting column inches in the media recently - coconut water and coconut milk are now the 'in' refreshments and ingredients. But coconut oil is also rapidly becoming one of the most valued ingredients in skin and hair care.
Okay so we're not talking peptides, AHAs, or plant stem cells here, but that doesn't mean that the most unadulterated extracts of nature can't be a miracle worker.
The roots of coconut oil's usage in health and beauty products lie in its tropical heritage. Beauty4Media reports that women in Sri Lanka and the Philippines use coconut oil every day on their typically healthy, youthful skin (despite the sun) - and it's not just to do with a local abundance of coconut trees!
Its broad spectrum of fatty acids help support skin cells and skin elasticity, and the antioxidants in coconut oil (including vitamin E, polyphenols and phytosterols) reinforce the scavenging of free radicals, helping to prevent premature aging.
Coconut oil is unique amongst oils as one of its main components; lauric acid (a medium-chain fatty acid), has been shown in peer-reviewed studies to help with skin problems like acne and eczema due to its antibacterial and moisturizing action.
Coconut is a particularly great base oil in summer moisturizers. As the weather improves, so does the skin's circulation and cell turnover. This increased activity and self-generated moisture means that most skins require a lighter base oils like jojoba, sunflower and coconut oils.
And finally, let's not forget about the hair. For luscious, healthy locks, you could do far worse than seek out hair products rich in coconut oil. Studies show that coconut oil is the only oil that can penetrate the hair shaft and reduce protein loss.
With coconut oil as with all other ingredients, quality counts! Be sure that the skin care you choose uses organic and non-chemically refined coconut oil as the vitamin content, and thus its beneficial properties, will be at the highest.
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