Today, the products available for skin care and hair care are dime a dozen. But, most of these products have one thing in common – harmful chemicals that cause various adverse effects. Many health conscious people are aware of these dangers and have switched over to safer natural products that offer the same or more benefits.
Coconut Oil Uses For Skin And Hair
Coconut oil is one such natural ingredient that can be used to replace harmful products. Here are some fantastic uses of coconut oil for your skin and hair.
1. Hair Care
Coconut oil is almost synonymous with hair care owing to its natural proteins that help strengthen it. It is effective in revitalizing the hair. Coconut oil treatments prevent combing damage of various hair types. Coconut oil has a high affinity for hair proteins and penetrates inside the hair shaft.
A study found that coconut oil was the only oil that reduced the protein loss remarkably for both undamaged and damaged hair when used as a pre-wash and post-wash grooming product.1 Coconut oil also makes a great natural conditioner that makes hair lustrous, while keeping it smooth and silky.
Using coconut oil and other natural ingredients, you can make your own sunscreen. Devoid of parabens and other toxins, it’s a great alternative to commercial sunscreen lotions. Coconut oil has an SPF of 4 and can provide a certain level of protection from the sun.2
One study that analyzed coconut oil, olive oil, castor oil, almond oil, mustard oil, chaulmoogra oil, and sesame oil, found that coconut oil has the best SPF values, which makes it an ideal choice for the formulation of sunscreens.3
Coconut oil makes an effective moisturizer as you can just rub it on your skin directly. Studies show that it increases hydration and reduces evaporation in the skin.4 It can also be used to moisturize your chapped lips as it helps soften and moisturize dry lips. The natural properties in coconut oil even help fight premature aging and lighten age spots. Applying a few drops of coconut oil before going to bed keeps your skin looking youthful.
4. Eye-Makeup Remover
Coconut oil is ideal for removing eye makeup. Dab a cotton pad into coconut oil and remove your makeup easily. Wipe away the mascara from the eyelids without harming the eyes as it is free of chemicals. The eyelashes are also hydrated from the oil.5 Coconut oil can also be used as a makeup-brush cleaner.
Prepare a cleanser by using two parts natural, antibacterial soap and one part coconut oil. Another use of coconut oil for the eye is to use it as an under-eye cream. Gently dab some coconut oil on under-eye bags and fine lines. Applying coconut oil at night yields maximum moisturizing benefits. The antioxidants help in healing fine lines and wrinkles.
5. Stretch Mark Cream
While stretch marks are natural, some people want to get rid of them as they appear unsightly. Most stretch mark creams contain chemicals and may damage your skin. Coconut oil can be used as a cream to heal stretch marks without any damage to the skin. Some creams that help treat stretch marks use coconut oil as an important ingredient.6
6. Massage Oil
Apart from its moisturizing properties, coconut oil is also an excellent base for a massage oil. Mix a quarter cup of coconut oil with 30 drops of essential oil to make your massage more effective. It can also be used to massage babies and it helps soothe the baby’s dry skin caused by acne. Coconut oil helps cure any rashes and helps naturally moisturize a baby’s gentle skin.7
7. Oral Hygiene
Coconut oil is quite popular among people who use it for oil pulling. It not only tastes great but is full of antibacterial properties that help fight oral bacteria. It is also an effective treatment for gum-related problems.8
Coconut oil can help in teeth whitening when used for oil pulling, which is an ayurvedic treatment that can help remove tooth stains and kill bacteria. Owing to its natural antibacterial properties, it makes a great alternative to regular toothpaste.
8. Anti-Dandruff Lotion
Many natural anti-dandruff shampoos use coconut oil as a key ingredient. It is the perfect cure for flaky scalp and it makes your hair voluminous and moisturized. In one study, coconut oil was the only oil found to reduce the protein loss for both undamaged and damaged hair when used as a pre-wash and post-wash grooming product. Coconut oil restores the lost natural oil in the scalp and helps strengthen the hair roots.9
9. Shaving Cream
Coconut oil shaving cream is an ideal replacement for chemical-based commercial shaving creams. Its moisturizing properties make the skin soft and supple. Though commercial shaving creams contain moisturizers, they still rob the skin of the natural oils and can cause a burning sensation after a shave.
An inexpensive and natural substitute to commercial shaving creams, coconut oil can be applied directly on the legs and underarms.10 After shaving, apply some coconut oil to make your skin feel smooth and hydrated.
10. Acne Cream
Another important use of coconut oil is to treat acne naturally. Apply some coconut oil directly on the blemishes, or apply a coconut oil mask on your face for 20 minutes. For additional benefit, you may add a few spoons of aloe vera juice and raw honey. Coconut oil is also an excellent cellulite cream. Besides topical application, you can also include it in your diet to help nourish your skin.
11. Itch Relief
Coconut oil is impressive when it comes to soothing burns, bites, and rashes. It is also used in wound healing because of its antibacterial properties. The beneficial effect of virgin coconut oil can be attributed to the cumulative effect of various biologically active components it contains.
A study conducted to evaluate the effect of a topical application of virgin coconut oil on excision wounds in young rats showed that it has healing properties.11 It can also be used to treat bee stings, where a small quantity of coconut oil is applied on the affected area after removing the stinger.12
12. Foot Care
Many skin conditions related to your feet can be treated using coconut oil. It is useful to prevent and treat cracked heels. Cut or cracked skin allows infection-causing germs to enter the body. Applying a coconut oil-based lotion can restore the skin’s natural antimicrobial and acid barrier. Skin conditions such as athlete’s foot can be treated by massaging coconut oil on clean, dry feet. Its anti-fungal properties help fight the germs that cause this itchy skin disease.
13. Tanning Lotion
For that gorgeous tanned look, you don’t have to jump into a tanning bed. Coconut oil can be used to give you that tanned look without exposing yourself to the harmful radiation of the sun. You can prepare a lotion at home using easily available ingredients.
- 4 black tea bags
- 3/4 cup water for steeping your tea
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup cocoa butter
- 1/3 cup raw cocoa powder
- Steep your tea in boiled water for at least 20 minutes.
- Warm up the cocoa butter, add cocoa powder and blend.
- Once it’s smooth, add in the coconut oil and the steeped tea and blend for a minute.
- After mixing it well, use circular motions to massage the lotion all over your body.
Most modern deodorants are filled with toxins and aluminum, which is linked to increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Using a natural deodorant made from coconut oil, Shea butter, and tea tree oil can make you smell great and help you avoid harmful chemicals.
- 3 tablespoons organic extra-virgin coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons aluminum-free baking soda
- 2 tablespoons pure Shea butter
- 1 tablespoon food-grade diatomaceous earth
- 10 drops sweet orange, lavender or sandalwood pure essential oil
- Create a double boiler by filling a medium pot halfway with water and then place a glass bowl in the pot.
- Allow the water to simmer and then add Shea butter and coconut oil to the bowl to melt.
- Once melted, remove the bowl from the pot and add baking soda, diatomaceous earth, and the essential oil.
- Mix it all until they are evenly combined and emulsified.
- Allow the mix to solidify at room temperature and apply a pea-sized amount under each arm.
|↑1||Rele, Aarti S., and R. B. Mohile. “Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage.” Journal of cosmetic science 54, no. 2 (2003): 175-192.|
|↑2, ↑4, ↑5, ↑7, ↑10, ↑12||Coconut Oil: the Ultimate Guide. Natural Ingredient Resource Center. Natural Ingredient.org.|
|↑3||Kaur, Chanchal Deep, and Swarnlata Saraf. “In vitro sun protection factor determination of herbal oils used in cosmetics.” Pharmacognosy research 2, no. 1 (2010): 22.|
|↑6||Ud‐Din, S., D. McGeorge, and A. Bayat. “Topical management of striae distensae (stretch marks): prevention and therapy of striae rubrae and albae.” Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology 30, no. 2 (2016): 211-222.|
|↑8||Peedikayil, Faizal C., Prathima Sreenivasan, and Arun Narayanan. “Effect of coconut oil in plaque related gingivitis—A preliminary report.” Nigerian medical journal: journal of the Nigeria Medical Association 56, no. 2 (2015): 143.|
|↑9||Dias, Maria Fernanda Reis Gavazzoni. “Hair cosmetics: an overview.” International journal of trichology 7, no. 1 (2015): 2.|
|↑11||Nevin, K. G., and T. Rajamohan. “Effect of topical application of virgin coconut oil on skin components and antioxidant status during dermal wound healing in young rats.” Skin Pharmacology and Physiology 23, no. 6 (2010): 290-297.|