Coconut Oil and the Skin
Coconut oil excels as a cosmetic lotion. Not just a patch-up cosmetic that leaves the skin without any real long-term benefit, Coconut oil assists the body to heal and repair.
Cosmetic creams and lotions based on refined vegetable oils are themselves prone to oxidization, leaving behind free radicals in the skin to cause permanent damage to connective tissue.
Not so with Coconut Oil. It aids in removing dead skin cells on the outer layers, penetrates the deeper layers and underlying tissue, and provides protection against free-radical damage in the skin. (This damage is often evidenced by “liver spots”.)
While coconut oil penetrates the very cell structure of the skin helping to protect against damage from excessive exposure to the elements, it does not clog the pores. Good news indeed for acne sufferers, many of whom report remarkable results from coconut oil’s natural antibacterial properties.
The protection offered from free radical damage in the skin may also explain why populations in tropical climates suffer low rates of skin cancer despite year-round exposure to the sun.
Eating polyunsaturated oils with trans fatty acids deposits oxidized fats right into the skin – great preparation for deep frying flesh in the sun! On the other hand, eating or applying coconut oil with its antioxidant properties may actually help protect skin tissue against the effects of sun exposure.
The many protective properties of coconut oil also include antifungal and antibacterial action. Consuming and applying coconut oil thus offers a wonderful, natural defence against yeast-related rashes and bacterial infections.
As the natural oils are washed out of the skin during bathing, applying coconut oil after a shower or bath helps boost the body’s defences to such infection. Coconut oil does not leave the skin greasy but soft, and can help heal and soothe dry skin and inflammation.
Coconut oil also has great applications for the hair and scalp. Unlike mineral oils used in conditioners, coconut oil’s low molecular weight and straight linear chain allows it to penetrate the hair fibre.
It softens the hair and conditions the scalp, offering an effective protection against dandruff.