Benefits of Coconut Oil for Skin, Hair, and Body

Did you know coconut oil offers numerous benefits for skin and hair? You can use coconut oil for a wide range of skincare and hair care benefits. From moisturizing the skin to preventing dandruff and strengthening the hair follicles, the benefits of coconut oil are many.

Coconut oil is seen in almost all Indian homes. It is one ingredient that is confined to haircare. However, you can leverage the numerous benefits of coconut oil by including it in your skincare routine.

If you are looking for a natural remedy to treat all your skin care problems, this post is meant for you.

1. Nutritional Facts Coconut Oil

Nutritional Facts Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is extracted from the nut of coconut. It is made by pressing coconut meat called copra. Although it is plant-based oil, it is high in saturated fats compared to other plant oils. More than 50% of coconut oil is made of medium-chain fatty acids including caprylic acid, lauric acid, and capric acid [1].

Coconut is primarily used to prevent dry skin in premature infants. It is also used for many other skin conditions. Due to its potential health benefits, the popularity of coconut oil increased in recent years. People are using it for a variety of purposes such as – strengthening the immune system, getting rid of belly fat, and preventing heart diseases and other chronic conditions.

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Being a saturated fat, it gets a firm texture at cold temperatures. It contains no fibre, no cholesterol – but only traces of vitamins and minerals. Epidemiological studies claim that people who include coconut oil as a part of their native diet have low rates of heart disease [2].

Those who consume a high amount of coconut oil have noticed an increase in their HDL levels along with triglycerides. Hence, it is advised to consume coconut oil in moderate quantities to get complete health benefits.

2. Myths About Coconut Oil

Myths About Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is made from coconuts that are harvested from coconut palms and can be used for several purposes. Although it is considered very healthy, some myths prevent people from adding coconut oil to their daily diet. Some of the common myths about coconut oil are –

Myth 1: There is no difference in the types of coconut oil

Well, not all coconut oils are the same. They differ in several factors such as the quality of coconut, plantation conditions, processing technique, etc. Some coconut oils are processed using high heat, which kills their natural nutrients. To get the complete health benefits of coconut oil, read the labels carefully.

Myth 2: Coconut oil is high in cholesterol

Coconut oil has medium-chain triglycerides that can contribute towards a better cholesterol profile. It can increase your HDL levels and reduce LDL levels. As coconut oil contains a type of saturated fat, it should be consumed in moderation. Taking 10ml of coconut oil for a few weeks seems to be safe and beneficial.

Myth 3: Coconut oil aids in weight management

Consuming coconut oil alone will not help you lose weight. One needs to change their lifestyle and diet habits to get substantial results in their weight loss journey. Some studies suggested that consuming a few tablespoons of MCT oil daily aids in weight loss.

Myth 4: Coconut oil is good for every skin type

Coconut oil may be a good moisturizer, but not for every skin type. It is free from artificial fragrances and preservatives. Moreover, it is highly resistant to oxidization, which makes it a good moisturizer. Those with sensitive skin may not experience many benefits from coconut oil. Moreover, people allergic to coconut should avoid it in their skincare routine. 

3. Benefits of Coconut Oil for Hair, Skin, and Body

Benefits of Coconut Oil for Hair, Skin, and Body

Coconut oil is a commonly used cooking oil with high anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Here are some of the incredible health benefits of coconut oil for skin, hair, and body:

3.1 Body

The lauric acid present in coconut oil boosts immunity and helps fight bacteria. It also increases the metabolic rate, which facilitates digestion and aids in weight loss. Coconut oil plays a vital role in the healthy functioning of the thyroid gland.

The MCTs present in coconut oil act as an instant source of energy. It may also help reduce food intake. It is beneficial for those on the keto or Mediterranean diet.   

According to sources, coconut oil may improve oral health. Using coconut oil as a mouthwash may reduce the effects of harmful bacteria in the mouth compared to regular mouthwash.

It is a rich source of antioxidants that help neutralize radical damage and prevent several degenerative and chronic diseases.

3.2 Skin

Coconut oil acts as an excellent moisturizer and boosts the moisture content of dry skin. It can reverse the signs of ageing and prevent wrinkles and fine lines on the skin. Also, coconut oil can protect the skin from harsh climatic conditions, chemicals, allergens, and infectious agents.

Applying a few drops of extra virgin oil on your skin before bedtime helps prevent dry skin caused by the use of soap and sanitisers. It may also reduce the symptoms of atopic dermatitis, a skin condition that results in skin inflammation.  

3.3 Hair

Coconut oil can do wonders for your hair. It deeply penetrates the hair strands to promote hair growth and makes the hair look shiny. Coconut oil is an excellent hair conditioner that reduces frizziness and prevents the hair from breaking.

The Lauric acid present in coconut oil protects the hair from dryness and frizziness. It is absorbed into the skin quickly and provides nourishment to your hair. It is also beneficial in reducing the symptoms of psoriasis and scalp irritation. While coconut oil is safe for hair and skin, there is a possibility of allergic reactions. Always choose extra virgin coconut oil to prevent allergic reactions.

4. Ways to Use Coconut Oil for Skin and Hair Care

Besides the kitchen counter, coconut oil deserves a place in bedroom vanities and bathroom shelves. Being rich in antioxidants and fatty acids, it helps prevent signs of ageing and aids in protecting the skin and hair. It also stimulates the production of collagen and vitamin E. People with dry and combination skin can benefit from coconut oil.

Here are some ways to use coconut oil for hair and skin

4.1 Makeup Remover

Coconut oil is a gentle and non-toxic ingredient that acts as a makeup remover. The oil tends to break down the makeup from your face and keeps your skin smooth and hydrated. It is not only great for sensitive skin but is effective on powerful makeup. It works well to protect sensitive areas like – under the eyes.

How to use it?

  • Take a cotton ball and dip it in coconut oil
  • Sweep the cotton ball over your face, eyes, and lips
  • Once the makeup is removed, rinse with warm water

4.2 Treat Damaged and Dull Hair

Coconut oil is one of the effective ways to treat a wide variety of hair issues. It not only moisturizes the skin but nourishes the hair. Damaged hair tends to look dull, especially in a humid climate. It acts as a hair conditioner and helps prevent frizz. Coconut oil also helps in reducing dandruff.

How to use it?

  • Take a bowl of coconut oil and warm it to create a liquid
  • Massage the warm coconut oil on your scalp and hair
  • Apply coconut oil in manageable sections to make sure every section is coated
  • Leave it for 1-2 hours
  • Wash your hair with a mild shampoo
  • Apply a mild conditioner after shampoo
  • Repeat it once a week for noticeable results

4.3 Body Scrub

Coconut oil can be used to scrub the body to remove dead skin, prevent ingrown hair and unclog pores. Coconut oil scrub is just like regular body scrub with an exfoliation product.   

How to use it?

  • Take ½ cup coconut oil with 1 cup sugar and a few drops of rose essential oil
  • Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds or till the sugar melts
  • Use on hands, legs, feet, neck, back, and face. Massage gently and rinse with warm water.

4.4 Face Mask

Coconut oil is one of the with plenty of benefits. It is a natural antibacterial and antifungal agent that absorbs into the skin quickly and nourishes from deep. You can use coconut oil as a base ingredient to prepare skin-soothing face masks.

How to use it?

  • Take  a few spoons of coconut oil
  • 3-4 spoons of oatmeal powder or turmeric powder
  • A few drops of warm water
  • Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and apply it to the face
  • Exfoliate the skin by massaging in a circular motion
  • Rinse with cool water

4.5 Skin Whitening

Coconut oil is one of the widely used natural oils rich in Iron, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K. It has bleaching properties and works effectively for skin whitening.  It also works as natural sunscreen helping you prevent the effects of suntan. You can apply it to the skin as sunscreen before heading out in the sun. It also helps get rid of tan.

How to use it?

  • Mix 2-4 drops of coconut oil with a few drops of lemon juice
  • Apply the lotion to your tanned skin
  • Leave for 30 minutes and rinse with water

5. Conclusion

Coconut oil is one of the safest skin and hair care products. Make sure to use 100% pure and organic coconut oil. To avail complete benefits of coconut oil, buy organic coconut oil or extra virgin coconut oil from brands like – Organic India, Kama Ayurveda, Forest Essentials, etc.

6. FAQs

6.1. Can I use coconut oil on my face?

It’s generally safe to consume coconut oil daily in moderation, but be mindful of its high saturated fat content and calories. A teaspoon or two a day is typically considered safe for most people.

6.2. Does coconut oil make skin glow?

Coconut oil can make your skin appear more radiant and hydrated, which some people might describe as a “glow.” It helps moisturize and soften the skin, giving it a healthy and supple appearance.