Coconut oil is a wonderfully nutrient-rich substance that carries a light tropical aroma. Used for centuries as a skin emollient, coconut oil offers many more benefits to your beauty regimen. Here is just a small sample of the many uses of coconut oil in your life. With so many uses, you could (in theory) solve all of your problems with it …
1. Healthy Nails
The ability of coconut oil to moisturize dehydrated skin is well known, but did you know that this oil also has powerful antibacterial properties? It’s true! And it’s that ability to kill off bacterial and fungal pathogens that makes it ideal for preventing athlete’s foot, and fighting off common infections that attack healthy nails.1
2. Maintaining A Slim Figure
Many people with a few extra pounds shy away from saturated fat. However, the unique type of saturated fat found in coconut oil known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) have been shown in numerous clinical trials to actually help to burn calories.2,3
In one study, participants who consumed between 15 and 30 grams of MCTs a day noticed an increase in calorie burning – by 5%. That added up to about 120 more calories burned each day!4
Some easy ways to include coconut oil in your diet are:
- Replacing your regular cooking oil with coconut oil.
- Try it on toast instead of butter.
- Add it to a smoothie!
But remember, coconut oil is a fat, and instead of adding it to your diet, you should use it to replace other, unhealthy fats.
3. Digestive Health
Another way that coconut oil can flatten your tummy is by improving your digestive health. It is estimated that about 50% of the fat in coconut oil is made up a specific fatty acid known as lauric acid. When this fatty acid enters the bloodstream it is converted into a substance called monolaurin. Both lauric acid and monolaurin are clinically shown to kill off bad bacteria, yeast, and fungal pathogens that can cause infections.5
For this reason, consuming coconut oil may help to fight off digestive upset.
4. Premature Skin Aging
The UV rays outside from the sun can cause premature aging, even on cloudy days. That’s why professional dermatologists recommend wearing an SPF 30 (at least) under makeup and on your skin – at all times!
However, you may not always have sunscreen handy, and while coconut oil is not an alternative to sunscreen, it can help improve signs of aging caused by sun damage.
And because your scalp can be difficult to protect from the sun, coconut oil can help a sunburn or dry skin on your scalp. For this reason, it makes a wonderful hair and scalp conditioner.6
5. Dental Care
For most people, brushing teeth, ten flossing and doing it twice a day is, well … a drag! Coconut oil is a tasty, and soothing way to improve your breath and possibly even whiten teeth.
Studies have shown that using coconut oil like a mouthwash, in an ancient practice called “oil-pulling” not only kills off the harmful bacteria in the hard-to-reach places in between teeth and bums, but it also reduces bad breath.7,8
6. Luscious Locks
The loss of hair strength can often be due to a loss of cuticle cells within hair strands. Due to the unique content of fatty acids in coconut oil, it is able to penetrate the hair shaft and infuse it with pH balanced non-greasy moisture, protein, and antioxidants.
The loss usually is due to poor hair care products, and styling damage. However, coconut oil reduces damage to healthy hair.9
Coconut oil may also help to repair existing damage smoothing out frizz and eliminating fly-aways. 10
Coconut oil makes hair grow longer, too! Because of the content of lauric acid in coconut oil, researchers have found may help prevent hair loss by inhibiting a hormone known to cause hair loss in men and women.11
To reap these benefits, you can apply coconut oil topically to your hair, which can help smooth frizz and flyaways, and make your hair shiny and soft. But to strengthen your strands, consuming coconut oil is your best bet.
7. Clear Skin
A recent study published in the Journal of Dermatological Science demonstrated the ability of both capric acid and lauric acid (two fatty acids found in coconut oil) to exert bactericidal and anti-inflammatory properties for healthy, clearer skin.12
An ideal spot treatment for acne-prone skin as coconut oil is a double-whammy for cleansing and moisturizing without causing oily buildup.13
Coconut Oil: Final Thoughts
Coconut oil is an extremely versatile substance that works in your beauty regimen, your kitchen and even in your bathroom to take care of (just about) every possible need you have! Due to the many different, and potent nutrients coconut oil contains, you may want to consider adding it to your day, every day – starting today!
4 DIY Ways to Tint Your Lashes
How to Care for Your Natural Eyelashes
6 Makeup Bag “Must-Haves” For Beauty On The Go
1.Verallo-Rowell VM, Dillague KM. Novel antibacterial and emollient effects of coconut and virgin olive oils in adult atopic dermatitis. Dermatitis. 2008 Nov-Dec;19(6):308-15.
2. Seaton TB, Welle SL. Thermic effect of medium-chain and long-chain triglycerides in man. Am J Clin Nutr. 1986 Nov;44(5):630-4.
3. Scalfi L1, Coltorti A. Postprandial thermogenesis in lean and obese subjects after meals supplemented with medium-chain and long-chain triglycerides. Am J Clin Nutr. 1991 May;53(5):1130-3.
4. Dulloo AG, Fathi M. Twenty-four-hour energy expenditure and urinary catecholamines of humans consuming low-to-moderate amounts of medium-chain triglycerides: a dose-response study in a human respiratory chamber. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1996 Mar;50(3):152-8.
5. Jon J. Kabara, Dennis M. Swieczkowski. Fatty Acids and Derivatives as Antimicrobial Agents. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1972 Jul; 2(1): 23–28.
6. Rele A1, Mohile RB. Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage. J Cosmet Sci. 2003 Mar-Apr;54(2):175-92.
7. S Asokan, J Rathan. Effect of oil pulling on Streptococcus mutans count in plaque and saliva using Dentocult SM Strip mutans test: A randomized, controlled, triple-blind study. Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry.
8. Sharath Asokan, Pamela Emmadi. Effect of oil pulling on plaque induced gingivitis: A randomized, controlled, triple-blind study. Indian Journal of Dental Research. 2009.
9. Effect of Coconut Oil on Prevention of Hair Damage. Part I. Aarti S. Rele, R.B. Mohile. Sept 1999.
10. Maria Fernanda Reis Gavazzoni Dias.
Hair Cosmetics: An Overview. Int J Trichology. 2015 Jan-Mar; 7(1): 2–15.
11. JOHN MCCOY, CRAIG ZIERING. BOTANICAL EXTRACTS FOR THE TREATMENT OF ANDROGENETIC ALOPECIA. International Journal of Life Science & Pharma Research. Vol 2/Issue 4/Oct-Dec 2012.
12. Huang WC, Tsai TH. Anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of capric acid against Propionibacterium acnes: a comparative study with lauric acid. J Dermatol Sci. 2014 Mar;73(3):232-40.
13. Agero AL, Verallo-Rowell VM. A randomized double-blind controlled trial comparing extra virgin coconut oil with mineral oil as a moisturizer for mild to moderate xerosis. Dermatitis. 2004 Sep;15(3):109-16.