If you’ve done your research for best coconut oil for skin care and hair, don’t be surprised if you’re confused with it all.
Thanks to some creative uses of terms like “refined,” “unrefined,” “virgin,” “extra virgin,” “organic,” “cold-pressed,” “expeller pressed,” and “centrifuged,” it becomes hard to figure out which kind of coconut oil is most suited for your skin and haircare needs. Coconut oil comes in liquid and solid forms as well as coconut oil lotion. Then there are the differences in price, ranging from markdowns at your local supermarket to the most expensive jars at a high-end boutique.
So what is the best coconut oil good for your face, hair and skin? Well, let’s take a look at what things you need to look for, and how they determine what you pay for your beauty regimen.
1.) Refined and Virgin/Unrefined
Like olive oil, levels of refinement vary in coconut oil. Refined (aka RBD, which means refined, bleached and deodorized) oil appears golden and has most of its taste and smell taken out. It’s ideal for cooking and for anytime you don’t want a strong coconut taste. While the process also extracts a lot of the important nutrients found in unrefined coconut oil, especially the antioxidant components, it still has beneficial medium chain fatty acids. In general, try to avoid hydrogenated coconut oil for consumption, as it contains unhealthy trans fats.
Virgin coconut oil results from little to no processing through chemicals and heat. It comes directly from the coconut and doesn’t start as dried meat, or copra. It’s pure white as a solid and clear in liquid form. More unrefined oil often has a stronger scent. Because of this purer state, you’ll definitely get more of the fatty acids, vitamin E and those antioxidants missing from refined. Also, this type provides the antimicrobial and antifungal benefits that make coconut oil ideal for skin and hair care. By the way, if you should see “extra virgin” on a label, it’s likely no better than “virgin” It’s just good marketing. In general, virgin coconut oil costs more than refined.
Best for beauty care: Virgin coconut oil
2.) Four Ways to Make Coconut Oil
Whether a coconut oil is refined or virgin, it goes through one of these four processes to take it from the coconut on the tree to a useable form. Let’s take a look at each one:
- Cold pressed: The oldest type of extraction takes coconuts and squeezes the oil out of them but leaves most of the nutrients remaining. A related process called wet-milling separates the milk out of fresh coconut meat and further extracts oil.
- Expeller pressed: This process places coconuts into barrels and pulverizes them mechanically to extract oil. A chemical solvent called hexane then separates the oil from the debris. Expeller pressed coconut oil usually becomes the refined type.
- Centrifuge: A machine spins coconut meat at high speed, expressing the milk first. Then it undergoes even greater spinning to extract oil. This gives the oil lots of coconut taste and smell.
- Chemical: All you need to know here is this process relies on synthetic agents for refinement and often use poor quality oils and copra. They are definitely not suitable for personal use.
The more labor-intensive processes, usually involving the cold pressed method, often result in higher cost for the final oil product.
Best for beauty care: Any but chemical
3.) Solid and Liquid
Coconut oil comes in both forms, and the more popular by far is solid. Most of the coconut oil that you see in stores comes in the solid form and has the versatility to transform into a liquid as well, with either heat to melt it (and in the case of some unrefined varieties, purify it) or emulsification with your hands. You need to take greater care with solid, as it can liquefy in high room temperatures and become greasier in its consistency. Prices for solid coconut oils vary, depending on the extraction process and refinement.
Liquid coconut oil, which is also called fractionated, doesn’t have lauric acid, the important antimicrobial ingredients that protects your skin from harmful toxins and bacteria. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should avoid it. You can still use it as a carrier oil and as a moisturizer right out of the shower or bath. Interestingly, it’s been marketed as a “new” edible oil product, but it’s actually been around for decades.
Best for beauty care: Solid
4.) Organic and Non-Organic
The organic certification process for coconut oil can affect the final price of the product. However, most coconut farms only use pesticides around the trees or inject them directly into the trunks, never on the coconuts. So essentially, nearly all coconuts can be considered organic. Even if a jar of oil doesn’t have the organic label, it still might be good to use.
Just know that finding virgin organic coconut oil is not as common as other types, but it’s well worth your effort to have some on your shelf.
Best for beauty care: Organic
If you are looking for the highest quality and purest coconut oil on the market, Kapuluan Raw Organic Coconut Oil is the way to go for skin and hair. Our products are cold-pressed, organic virgin oil, in a smooth solid form. While you’ll pay a little more for our coconut oil versus the some others, you can count on Kapuluan being the highest quality oil on the market, with a beautifully subtle coconut aroma, and no impurities, you’ll absolutely love what it does for your skin and hair care.
You can also count on Kapuluan making a positive impact on our world. As a member of the Kapuluan community, you can directly help improve the livelihood of coconut farmers, while contributing positively to the environment by planting a coconut palm tree for each item you purchase.