The Beauty of Coconut Oil

The benefits of coconut oil extend beyond the kitchen. From moisturizing your skin to taming frizz, coconut oil can enhance your skin care and beauty routine.

You may have seen an upsurge in the number of coconut oil products lining grocery store shelves thanks to the oil’s rising status as a health and wellness superstar. Coconut oil comes from the fleshy fruit found inside the coconut shell and is solid at room temperature. An alternative to butter and shortening, coconut oil may also deserve a place in your medicine cabinet. Take a look at these surprising benefits.

  1. Coconut oil can hydrate your skin. Unlike water-based lotions, which have the potential to evaporate over time, coconut oil seals in moisture. Safe to use on your entire body, coconut oil makes a suitable replacement for everyday facial moisturizers and body lotions. One note of warning, however: If you rely on the sunscreen in your moisturizer for sun protection, you need to find another source of sun protection factor. The lauric acid found in coconut oil may also help prevent breakouts, making it a great moisturizer for all skin types.
  2.  Coconut oil can help manage eczema and may play a role in wound healing. Applying coconut oil to itchy, dry skin may help manage atopic dermatitis, or eczema. People with moderate to severe eczema often have the bacteria responsible for staph infections on their skin, even if they don’t have an infection, according to the National Eczema Foundation. Research found that using coconut oil reduces the level of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria on the skin by as much as 95 percent. Another study, published in the International Journal of Dermatology, found that coconut oil works better than mineral oil for relief of mild to moderate childhood eczema.

The same antibacterial properties that help manage eczema may assist with wound healing. In studies focused on animals, researchers also found that putting coconut oil on wounds can help them heal more quickly.

  1. Coconut oil can tame dry, frizzy hair. When it comes to your hair, the benefits of coconut oil outshine those of sunflower and mineral oils. Coconut oil can help prevent and correct protein loss in both healthy and damaged hair, and just like on your skin, can lock in moisture. For a shiny mane free of pesky flyaway strands and split ends, smooth a dime-sized dollop onto the ends of your hair.
  2. Coconut oil may be used as a natural deodorant. Many natural deodorant recipes call for coconut oil, but the jury is out regarding whether or not these products can protect you from body odor. There’s no harm in giving it a try — you’ll at least get to enjoy coconut’s sweet, tropical scent.

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