Sometimes the best beauty solutions are not those you purchase at a cosmetic counter, but ingredients you already have in your own refrigerator, cabinet, or cupboard. Not only are these ingredients often as effective as those with a higher price tag, they also don’t contain the potentially harmful chemicals so commonly found in commercial cosmetics. If you’re looking for a multi-purpose beauty product, one you’ll want to consider is coconut oil. This simple, readily available oil can be an inexpensive answer to common beauty problems. What are the health benefits of coconut oil for skin and hair care?
Health Benefits of Coconut Oil for the Skin
Two components, lauric acid and monolaurin, found in coconut oil appear to have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. So impressive are the anti-viral properties of coconut oil that it’s being studied for use as an HIV treatment. Could applying coconut oil to the hands serve as a natural barrier to bacteria and viruses? Although studies haven’t been conducted to prove or disprove this, coconut oil does appear to prevent growth of bacteria and viruses in the laboratory.
Coconut oil also has excellent moisturizing properties and may help to reduce dryness and flaking of the skin. It’s a source of fats known as medium chain triglycerides which are known to have ant-inflammatory properties. For this reason, coconut oil may help to reduce the itching and inflammation associated with skin conditions such as eczema and may reduce the dry skin and flaking associated with exposure to harsh soaps and household chemicals.
Another benefit of coconut oil for the skin relates to its anti-oxidant properties. Topical anti-oxidants such as those found in coconut oil help to prevent the free radical formation that can lead to premature aging and the development of skin cancers.
One word of warning. Coconut oil may not be suitable for those with oily skin or a tendency towards blackheads and acne because of its tendency to clog the pores and contribute to blemishes and acne. Because of this, it’s best reserved for those with dry skin.
Health Benefits of Coconut Oil for the Hair
Coconut oil can not only help to relieve the dry, itchy scalp associated with dandruff, it also softens and conditions the hair. Whether applied as a soothing massage oil for the scalp or as a conditioner, coconut works its magic. One of the best ways to treat dry, frizzy hair is to use an overnight coconut oil treatment. Simply massage coconut oil into the hair from roots to scalp. Put on a plastic cap and sleep in it overnight. When the hair is shampooed in them morning, it will feel softer and look more shiny. It’s also an excellent treatment for damaged, color-treated hair.
Beautiful skin and soft, shiny hair are just two of the many health benefits of coconut oil for the skin and body. It’s kitchen cabinet beauty at its best!