Coconut oil is not just good for your diet. It happens to be one of the world’s best beauty treatments.
And while there is a role for topical skin products, the best beauty treatments are the ones you take into your body via your diet. Healthy foods give your body what it needs to build beautiful skin, hair and nails. External skin moisturisers are helpful, but cell membranes are actually comprised mostly of lipids, which are fats….and not just any fats – about 50 percent saturated fats.
The only effective way to get those saturated fats into your system in a way that will greatly improve skin tone and reduce dryness? Eat them.
Coconut oil is anti-inflammatory, and it has antifungal qualities.
So coconut oil acts as a beauty treatment from the inside out with many uses such as:
- Improving skin tone
- Reducing the appearance of wrinkles
- Improving itchy, dry skin
- Healing or reducing acne
- Reducing the development of stretch marks
- Adding shine to your hair
- Restoring flexibility and shine to dry, brittle nails
- Firming up soft, flabby muscles
- Accelerating weight loss
- Reducing cellulite
- Helping re-mineralise tooth enamel
- Helping to whiten stained teeth
- Eliminating bad breath
- Improving the smell of stinky feet
- Helping with unpleasant body odour
- Relieving dandruff from a dry, flaky scalp
- Helping to reduce calluses on your feet
- Getting rid of unsightly yellow toenail fungus
- Helping to get rid of athlete’s foot
Coconut oil helps reduce dry skin and heal acne, this is one of the most popular beauty uses for coconut oil. When you eat coconut oil, your body transports the oil directly to the parts of your body that need hydration. Rather than being oily, your skin will have the building blocks that it needs to naturally stop drying out because when your body does not have the needed lipids or saturated fat to form the lipids that make up your cell membranes, your skin cells dry out and die at a faster rate.
Part of what causes acne is that dead skin blocks pores, while natural oils in your skin become trapped and get infected. Properly hydrated skin that has the needed amount of fat to form healthy cell membranes and maintain proper hydration of surface skin cells does not dry out as fast, and dead cells do not get stuck on your skin, but fall off naturally as the body was designed to do. This prevents pores from becoming clogged, and prevents dirt and other impurities from becoming trapped, where infections can occur. Properly hydrated skin that is firm with natural elasticity is also much less likely to form wrinkles and stretch marks.
Coconut oil is also a very effective natural moisturiser when applied topically to the skin. Although it may look a little oily at first, organic virgin coconut oil absorbs quickly into your skin, leaving it soft and supple. You can also use the oil directly on your lips to help treat and prevent chapped lips.
Coconut oil is rapidly absorbed into dry skin and the medium chain fatty acids (Lauric, capric and caprylic) replace the lipids lost in the barrier layer. These fatty acids also perform an important anti-microbial role.
Hair and Nails
Dull hair and flaky, brittle nails, (like dry skin) are caused by a lack of the proper building blocks for your body to continue to grow strong, shiny hair and flexible nails that have a healthy sheen. Without saturated fat, your nails and hair will be dull and brittle. By eating 2 tablespoons of coconut oil daily, you should notice a difference within three to five days.
You can also get great results with topical applications of coconut oil – just warm the oil and rub it into your scalp. Allow it to soak for about thirty minutes, or do an overnight treatment, before washing. Shampoo and rinse with warm water – not hot – so that you don’t rinse off all the oils that you have just added to your scalp. Rub the warmed oil into your skin and nails, as well, for a moisturiser that will bring a healthy glow. Topical application of coconut oil is very effective short term: however, a word of warning! If you want longer-lasting, more permanent results, it really works best if you are also eating the coconut oil on a daily basis.
Bumpy stores of fat beneath the surface of the skin that you can’t seem to shake off are the dreaded curse known as cellulite. Eating coconut oil daily can help reduce cellulite by giving your body the key it needs to unlock and wash those excess fat stores out of your body. The body needs certain fatty acids in order to allow it to metabolise fat stores. The medium chain fatty acids and the Lauric acid in coconut oil act as a key that allows your body to let go of unneeded fat stores by reducing inflammation and boosting your metabolism, burning off the coconut oil you just ate and additional fat stores, as well. Eating coconut oil also makes the skin softer, smoother, and more elastic, so that the appearance of cellulite is naturally reduced over time.
Could there be side effects when first using virgin coconut oil?
Virgin coconut oil is a safe natural food but people who are used to a low-fat diet, or who are generally unhealthy, might experience some side effects as the body adjusts and as the anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties of coconut oil kill off microbes which are then eliminated from your body. This is great news for you but as your body is purged it may result in an upset stomach or skin break out. As with most things it is best to build up your consumption gradually over a couple of weeks. Persevere and you will see why coconut oil has been revered as food, medicine and beauty treatment by millions of people in tropical communities for thousands of years.