Is there anything that coconut oil can’t do? Well, it may not rocket you to the moon, or give you the ability to travel through time… but the list is pretty short. It is becoming increasingly well known that raw organic, extra-virgin coconut oil is one of the healthiest foods you can add to your diet. There is no reason to fear the fact that it’s composed of mainly saturated fats—these are healthy fats that support the function of all of your body’s systems.
The benefits of coconut oil are so multifaceted that some of them continue to surprise us. In particular, coconut oil is just darn good for your skin. Cultures that have been using it for thousands of years can testify to this. Their skin is beautiful, wrinkle-free and so healthy. Many will tell you it’s because they use coconut oil on their skin every day.
Here are just four reasons why we love coconut oil for our skin:
Keep your skin protected and hydrated—no matter what the season
You may have heard that coconut oil is the perfect light moisturizer, but did you know that it can be used throughout the seasons? In the summer, it’s great because it’s light and non-greasy, and blocks about 20 percent of the sun’s harmful rays.
In winter, applying a layer to your face and lips before you go outside can protect you from nasty windburn… and also soothe those dry spots when you get home.
Soothe minor wounds and irritations
Coconut oil has been found to have antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Applying a thin layer to canker sores, acne, insect bites, minor burns, and other small wounds and skin irritations may help to heal them up faster, naturally.
Fight skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis and acne
Coconut oil is natural, and that means that not many people want to conduct extensive research into its benefits. However, a study conducted in 2008 at the Skin and Cancer Foundation in the Philippines, compared virgin coconut oil and virgin olive oil in moisturizing dryness and removing bacteria from colonized atopic dermatitis skin. The study, a double-blind controlled trial, found that coconut oil was more effective than olive oil in killing bacteria, mostly because of its lauric acid content.
A 2009 study at the Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, looked at the antimicrobial properties of lauric acid and its potential to heal acne. The results were favorable for using lauric acid in place of antibiotics for the treatment of acne.
Not only is coconut oil an amazing moisturizer, but it can also help keep free radicals at bay—you know, those nasty things that promote wrinkles. Coconut oil could just be the perfect anti-aging serum you have been searching for. The anti-inflammatory properties help reduce puffiness while the antioxidants help you maintain that youthful glow you have always wanted. For best results, rub a little bit of coconut oil into the skin day and night.
Here are just a few other amazing things that this tropical delight can do…
Boost your healthy weight loss efforts
A saturated fat… to help you lose fat? Yup! While you may have heard of this particular benefit of coconut oil before, it’s worth mentioning again. When added to a healthy lifestyle that includes real, nutritious foods and regular exercise, coconut oil can actually help you to lose weight… even those dangerous pounds around your belly.
How does this work? Well, coconut oil is largely composed of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs). These types of fatty acids are not stored as fat in the body. Rather, they are easily broken down by the liver for energy. This not only gives you the energy you need to have a great workout, it also keeps you feeling fuller for longer—and away from those unhealthy snacks.
What about the belly fat? As you may know, belly fat is especially dangerous because it coats vital organs, and has been linked to inflammation, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. A 2009 study found that women over 40 who ate 2 tablespoons of coconut oil each day for a month showed decreases in belly fat—compared to women who ate 2 tablespoons of soybean oil, and gained belly fat.
Completely transform your meals
When you replace all of the cooking oils in your kitchen with coconut oil, you will not only enhance your nutritional quotient, you’ll also make your meals taste simply delicious. Baked goods, such as your favorite gluten-free breads, desserts made with honey instead of sugar, and casseroles, will shine with the addition of coconut oil.
This oil has a high smoke point, and is also great for sautéing, making organic popcorn, broiling. The light, tropical flavor will make you appreciate your favorite dishes in a whole new way.
Unlock the powers of virtually any essential oil
Many essential oils are too potent to be applied to skin on their own. Enter, coconut oil! Diluting your favorite essential oils in a base of coconut oil is a great way to make them gentle enough for your skin—for application to pressure points, joint and muscles, or for a general massage.
Just make sure to ask a natural health professional you trust before using a new essential oil for the first time—for tips on how much to dilute, and safe ways to apply.
Did you know coconut oil could do all this stuff? Pretty amazing, isn’t it? One thing—always get the real stuff: raw, organic, extra-virgin coconut oil from a source you trust (a natural health professional can help you find one if you’re unsure). Anything less than quality is just selling yourself short.