In the quest for healthy skin, people will try (almost) anything. Pumpkin, honey, and coffee beans are just some that spring to mind, but the truth is, there’s a crazy amount of natural ingredients which have been declared ‘the next best thing’ in skincare. While some are genuinely kind to skin, others are downright ridiculous, so, what makes coconut oil any different? This natural phenomenon really does work miracles, so let us explain why you should consider using coconut oil for your skin.
What is coconut oil?
Coconut oil is extracted from the “meat” found inside mature coconuts. It’s different to coconut water, which is housed in younger, green coconuts – these contain barely any meat, as this develops over time as they ripen. Coconut oil is known for its vast number of uses, from cooking to cleaning your teeth – and some even use it as a natural deodorant! It contains a high concentration of fatty acids, which has a variety of benefits for our bodies.
So, why is coconut oil good for skin?
It’s the fatty acids and antioxidants found in coconut oil which make it such a skincare treat. Coconut oil can be used to treat a variety of skin concerns.
Acne and inflammation
The lauric acid content in coconut oil grants it antimicrobial powers, which means it can protect you from harmful bacteria that can cause acne and inflammation. Coconut oil is also high in linoleic acid, which those who are acne-prone often have deficiencies in.
If you have oily skin, coconut oil is a great pre-wash treatment, as it can help to remove excess oil from the face. Although, make sure you thoroughly rinse it off, as some find that coconut oil can be pore-clogging, which can make matters a whole lot worse!
Coconut oil is an emollient, so it’s excellent at treating dry, itchy and flaky skin. It helps to prevent dehydration by forming a barrier on the skin’s surface, which locks moisture in and slows down evaporation. Better still, use coconut oil after you’ve applied your daily moisturisers and serums – this can help seal in those active ingredients and in turn improve their effectiveness. Although, coconut oil is highly comedogenic, meaning it can clog pores, so it’s not advisable for those with oily skin to use it on their face. However, it can be used to treat dry patches on other areas of the body.
One myth that circulates the web is that coconut oil can be used as sunblock. Wrong! Although coconut oil has a natural SPF of around 5, that isn’t high enough for you to bask by the pool and not get burnt. However, you can use coconut oil for sunburn, as the antioxidants help to soothe inflamed skin. It also smells incredible, so consider swapping the aloe vera for coconut oil next time you’ve hit the beach!
Whilst there’s no cure for eczema, coconut oil can seriously soothe your skin. It has a unique ability to absorb quickly, providing instant moisture and relief to dry and irritated skin. With its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, using coconut oil for eczema reduces the chances of infection where cuts occur and can even speed up the healing process.
Here’s a fun fact: did you know that your lips lose moisture a lot quicker than the rest of your body? That’s why coconut oil, which, as you know, is an emollient, is great at helping your lips retain their moisture and keeping them feeling soft and smooth.
Dark circles tend to appear when the skin becomes thinner (don’t panic, this happens naturally as we age), which makes the blood vessels under our eyes more visible. Antioxidant-rich coconut oil can promote skin cell turnover, which helps to thicken your skin’s natural barrier, and therefore reduces the appearance of dark circles.
How to find the best coconut oil for skin
When looking for a coconut oil for your skin, opt for cold-pressed, virgin coconut oil like Vita Coco. It’s completely natural, so it doesn’t contain any nasty chemicals or preservatives which can irritate your skin!