Coconut Oil: A Powerhouse, Multi-Use Skin & Beauty Remedy

{ when in doubt…. coconut oil! }

Coconut oil is one of the best, most versatile all natural substances you can find.  It not only does wonders on your skin and hair, but is incredibly beneficial for body when incorporated into diet.  In this post I’m going to give you a quick breakdown of why Coconut oil is so great, how to use it, and which brands to trust! Enjoy!

{ skin + hair }

Natural oils are the only thing I trust on my skin when it comes to moisturizing.  If you read my recent post on Aura Cacia’s All Natural Skincare and Essential Oils, you’ll see that each natural or essential oil has its own unique functionality and benefit.  Coconut oil is a little different than most all natural oils, because it isn’t in a liquid form.  It’s a solid, but as soon as it comes in contact with any kind of heat, even body heat, it melts instantaneously into a super lightweight, clear liquid. Its molecular structure makes it ideal for skincare because it absorbs quickly, leaving the skin nourished and moisturized without feeling greasy, and without clogging pores.  Most people are a little apprehensive to begin using all natural oils on their skin because they automatically associate oil with clogging pores.  Super processed oils such as baby oil (mineral oil), clog pores because they are very refined, and have no nutritional benefit.  When it comes to skincare, you want to feed your skin like you’re feeding your body.  The best types of natural oils are the ones that are minimally refined and organic. This way, all of the vitamins, antioxidants, saturated fats and other skin-nourishing components still remain, so your skin care absorb them! You can use Coconut oil many different ways when it comes to skin and hair care. I love using it as an all-over body moisturizer (especially in the summer!). It gives my skin a natural glow, has a subtle and light sweet scent, and absorbs quickly.  It also is my go-to makeup remover! I put a teeny bit on a cotton square, and it takes off even the most stubborn water-proof eye makeup.  It also is a great way to nourish dry hair. After you get out of the shower, brush through your hair and use a small amount of Coconut oil to moisturize the ends of your hair.

{ health + nutrition }

Coconut oil has so many health benefits!  It can boost your immune system with its antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid. All of these have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties which help fight harmful bacteria and illness in the body. It can also help to control blood sugar levels by improving the body’s use of blood glucose and secretion of insulin. Coconut oil is a medium-chain fatty acid, also known as a medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).  Most other vegetable and seed oils are actually long-chain fatty acids, or long-chain triglycerides (LCTs).  The difference between the two is how your body breaks them down and stores them. LCTs have a large molecular structure, so they are much more difficult for your body to breakdown, and as a result they are stored as fat. MCTs have a smaller molecular structure so they are more easily digested and burned for energy by your liver, opposed to being stored.  MCTs also boost your metabolism, so they can actually make you slimmer. The healthy saturated fats  in Coconut oil can improve your heart health, boost your thyroid, and improve the absorption of important minerals such as calcium and magnesium. You can cook with coconut oil or use it as a healthy alternative to butter! It has a really light and subtle taste, so for those of you who aren't crazy about Coconuts, don't be afraid to try it! 

{ which brands to buy… }

As I mentioned earlier, it's really important to make sure your natural products are high quality. My favorite brand to use is Dr. Bronner's, I trust their products because they are certified organic, fair trade, very afforable and work really well. You can choose from Organic White Virgin Coconut Oil, or Organic Whole Virgin Coconut Oil, both are $10.99 for a 14oz. jar. I personally prefer the Whole Kernel one because it has a higher saturated fat content. If you're going to be using Coconut oil for both cooking and skin/hair care, I would definitely recommend getting separate jars haha!