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The Truth About Coconut Oil in Skincare

The Truth About Coconut Oil in Skincare

Crazy for Coconuts 

Oh yeah, we are! Why? Because coconuts in beauty products work. They have  fantastic cleansing abilities and are super hydrating. Coconut cleanses without stripping the skin of vital oils and promotes healthy skin with its antioxidant benefits. Packed with vitamin C and thiamine, coconut will keep you feeling shiny and new. There are many different ways to use coconut oil, so let’s talk about a few!

For your hair: Coconut oil is super hydrating for your hair. Try using it as a leave in conditioner or even a hair mask. As a hair mask, massage it into your scalp, then throughout your (dry) hair. I like to warm it up a bit first. Wrap your hair in a bun or a towel, and sleep in it overnight. Wash in the morning with your regular shampoo. You can also create a sleek bun or ponytail, using just the tiniest bit of coconut oil as a frizz tamer to keep the baby hairs at bay. Try first warming a pea-sized amount in your palms by rubbing them together, then smoothing over your hair to tame frizz. Scrunch it into the ends to prevent split ends.

For your face: We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but coconut oil is not the miracle product folks thought it was- this oil, when used "neat" is actually comedogenic, which means it can clog your pores and cause breakouts. So, you’re better off looking for coconut as an added ingredient within your products so that you get all of the benefits of hydration without the breakouts. I've also heard several clients say that using coconut oil regularly seemed to create a sensitivity to it- their skin started to breakout and get itchy and they had to stop using it as often.

For your body: While coconut oil may not be ideal for your face, it’s actually a great oil for your body. Use coconut oil as an extra moisturizing shaving balm as a replacement to your shaving cream, or massage it onto elbows, heels and knees (where skin is thicker) to soften. It’s also a perfect cuticle oil and keeps nails hydrated and strong.

Creating Coconut Oil

No, you can’t just go to your nearest coconut tree and cut open a coconut to create a hydrating moisturizer. Coconut oil is made by pressing copra, the dried “meat” of the coconut oil.

You also may have heard of liquid coconut oil (also called MCT and fractionated coconut oil) which is created in a similar way. However, unlike refined, virgin coconut oil, liquid coconut oil is not found in nature. It is created by heating the virgin oil to high temperatures to separate out the solids. Liquid coconut oil doesn’t contain lauric acid, which is the most valuable fatty acid found in coconut oil. Lauric acid is deeply hydrating and helps maintain the skin's moisture barrier. It also helps prevent transepidermal water loss (keeps moisture from leaving the skin).

 

There are different types of coconut oil, and it’s important to choose organic, unrefined virgin coconut oil. The more the coconut oil is processed, the fewer the healthy benefits. Make sure you choose the most natural option available. Of course, we use only a certified organic, cold-pressed extra virgin unrefined coconut oil.

Cons of Coconuts

Yes, coconut oil is a great natural alternative to harmful chemicals and it can be a hydrating product, but only if you use it correctly. The main argument against this magic elixir is that coconut oil can clog pores, especially for acne-prone skin. The problem is that the molecules of coconut oil are too big to be absorbed into the skin. This causes pores to be clogged, leading to breakouts. So, while many use coconut oil (especially fractionated coconut oil) as an all-over moisturizer, it doesn’t deeply soak into the skin the way others oils will. If you were to apply coconut oil all over your body, a few hours later, your skin would still feel slick and oily, because it doesn’t absorb into your skin.

How We Go Coconuts at aos

Though we don't think coconut oil should be used as a facial moisturizer, it's a fantastic addition to cleansers and moisturizers. In fact, several of our products at aos contain coconut. By now you know coconut is a gentle cleanser and makeup remover, so our cleansers like the Detox Lemon Drop Hand & Body Soap, Gentle Cleansing Milk and Hydrating Cleanser are packed with it. Also, our Deep Tissue Massage Butter, Coconut Lactic Peel and Broad Spectrum Sunshade Lotion are full of coconut for it’s ultra-hydrating components.

The takeaway? Coconut really is beneficial for our skin, just be careful how you use it.

 


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