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Skin and hair: 11 ways to use coconut oil

by Naturopathes de La Boite à Grains 05 Jun 2024 0 comments
Peau et cheveux : 11 façons d’utiliser l’huile de coco - La Boite à Grains

Coconut oil, orcoconut oil has been all the rage in recent years. Much has been said about its health benefits and the reasons to include it in a healthy diet. But do you know all the facets of this tropical oil?

Here are 11 ways to incorporate coconut oil into your body care routine.

1- Coconut oil: Skin moisturizer

Coconut oil is an excellent body moisturizer. It penetrates quickly and easily after a shower, when pores are dilated. Simply coat the body with it as soon as you get out of the water, focusing on drier areas such as the front of the legs and elbows.

For cracked heels, coconut oil applied at bedtime brings relief. However, socks should be worn at night to avoid staining the sheets. 

2- Coconut oil: For eczema and dermatitis

Coconut oil applied to dermatitis (inflammation of the dermis) results in significant improvement when applied over several weeks. 1

As coconut oil contains antibacterial and antifungal substances, wounds and skin lesions heal more rapidly. 2

What's more, coconut oil appears to stimulate collagen formation, which promotes the healing of wounds and skin inflammation. 3

3- Coconut oil: natural deodorant base

Thanks to its antimicrobial properties, coconut oil is able to neutralize the bacteria that cause unpleasant body odours.

A natural deodorant based on coconut oil is not only effective, but also avoids the carcinogens found in commercial antiperspirants.

4- Coconut oil: hair conditioner and detangler

Fine, dry or color-treated hair can easily become tangled, making it difficult to maintain. Applying coconut oil after shampooing helps counter this phenomenon.

You can condition hair and prevent tangles by applying a tablespoon or two of coconut oil to the ends after shampooing.

5- Coconut oil: Eye make-up remover

Gentle on the face and non-irritating to the eyes, coconut oil makes an excellent make-up remover. The oil can be applied to a cotton ball to remove make-up thoroughly.

The oil removes eye make-up very effectively, without causing irritation. Simply rinse well afterwards or apply a mild cleanser to remove excess oil.

6- Coconut oil: Sun protection

Coconut oil protects the skin against the ultraviolet rays responsible for skin ageing. According to one study, coconut oil blocks around 20% of ultraviolet rays, representing sun protection of around 7 SPF. 4

Bear in mind, however, that this protection is far from sufficient for people with sensitive skin.

7- Coconut oil: Lip balm

Because it's edible, coconut oil makes the perfect lip balm! Applied in small quantities, the oil leaves lips shiny and moisturized, as well as offering a light protection from the sun.

Some people use this lip balm to treat oral herpes, commonly known as cold sores. The combination of moisturizing and antiviral actions makes it a first-rate complementary treatment. 

8- Coconut oil: Oral health

Rich in lauric acid (a form of saturated fat), coconut oil contributes to dental and gum health. 5

The lauric acid contained in coconut oil is known to counteract bad breath, prevent the formation of plaque and tooth decay, and combat the gum inflammation known as gingivitis. 5, 6

To make the most of these properties, we recommend gargling with coconut oil. Well-known in English as oil-pulling, this oil mouthwash is quite simple: just place a tablespoon of organic coconut oil in the mouth and swish it around before spitting it out into a garbage can after 10 to 15 minutes. 7

You can also make homemade toothpaste by adding baking soda and a few drops of essential oils to coconut oil. 

9- Coconut oil: baby's bottom ointment

Diaper rash affects many babies. Behind this rash often lies a pathogen, usually yeast. The antifungal action of coconut oil attacks the yeast colonies and reduces the inflammation of the rash.

By applying a teaspoon of coconut oil several times a day at diaper changes, baby's skin quickly returns to its normal appearance.

10- Coconut oil: Anti-stretch marks

During pregnancy, the skin is subject to extraordinary stretching to accommodate the baby's growth. This can result in uncomfortable itching for the mother or the appearance of stretch marks. To moisturize mom's skin and improve its elasticity, a belly massage with coconut oil is recommended.

11- Coconut oil: Personal lubricant

Thanks to its moisturizing properties, coconut oil can be used as a personal lubricant. Using a natural lubricant makes sexual relations less painful and more enjoyable, according to sex therapist Dr. Janet Brito.

Healthy lubrication also helps menopausal women counter the side effects of menopause, including vaginal dryness and vaginismus.

Coconut oil should not be used in conjunction with condoms, however, as this may reduce the contraceptive efficacy of the condom.

 

If you don't already use coconut oil in your body care routine, it's time to start today! This ingredient, so often at our fingertips, will take on a whole new value.

Visit La Boîte à Grains for top-quality, extra-virgin coconut oils.

 

To your coconut oil!

About the author

Naturopaths of La Boite à Grains

Team of licensed and certified naturopaths (ND) in Gatineau, Outaouais.

Original article written by Véronique Cousineau

 

Source

1: Mara Therese Padilla Evangelista, Flordeliz Abad-Casintahan, Lillian Lopez-Villafuerte. The effect of topical virgin coconut oil on SCORAD index, transepidermal water loss, and skin capacitance in mild to moderate pediatric atopic dermatitis: a randomized, double-blind, clinical trial. Int J Dermatol. 2014 Jan; 53(1): 100-108. Published online 2013 Dec 10

2 : Abbas Abel Anzaku. Antimicrobial Activity of Coconut Oil and its Derivative (Lauric Acid) on Some Selected Clinical Isolates. Institute of Human Virology. August 2017

3: K. G. Nevin, T. Rajamohan. Effect of topical application of virgin coconut oil on skin components and antioxidant status during dermal wound healing in young rats. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2010; 23(6): 290-297. Published online 2010 Jun 3

4: Radava R. Korać, Kapil M. Khambholja. Potential of herbs in skin protection from ultraviolet radiation. Pharmacogn Rev. 2011 Jul-Dec; 5(10): 164-173.

5: Huang CB, Altimova Y, Myers TM, Ebersole JL. Short- and medium-chain fatty acids exhibit antimicrobial activity for oral microorganisms. Archives of oral biology. 2011;56(7):650-654.

6: Peedikayil FC, Sreenivasan P, Narayanan A. Effect of coconut oil in plaque related gingivitis - A preliminary report. Nigerian Medical Journal : Journal of the Nigeria Medical Association. 2015;56(2):143-147. doi:10.4103/0300-1652.153406.

7: Mamta Kaushik, Pallavi Reddy, Roshni Sharma, Pooja Udameshi, Neha Mehra, Aditya Marwaha. The Effect of Coconut Oil pulling on Streptococcus mutans Count in Saliva in Comparison with Chlorhexidine Mouthwash. J Contemp Dent Pract. 2016 Jan; 17(1): 38-41. Published online 2016 Jan 1.

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