Coconut oil has been used and adored by millennials and modern day hippies alike for as long as we can remember. People all around the world have been soaking up the benefits of this multi-use moisturizer for years!
While studies are still being conducted to determine the effects of coconut oil in your diet and its connection to your overall health, there’s a clear link between coconut oil and improved health of your skin. Today, we’re shining a light on why we’re cocoNUTS over this essential skincare ingredient. Read on to learn about the history, benefits, and must-know details of incorporating this star ingredient into your skincare routine.
The History of Coconut Oil in Skincare
While it may seem like the latest ingredient on the long list of fads popularized on social media, coconut oil has been used medicinally for centuries in tropical regions like India, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Polynesia, and Indonesia. Coconut oil and coconut milk are even famed to be the secret of Filipino beauty. It makes sense — coconut oil keeps skin moisturized and protected from the constant exposure to the tropical sun.
When European traders saw the many uses and benefits of coconut oil in these countries, they started plantations and imported the magic ingredient into Europe and the United States where it was used primarily as a cooking oil and for soap making. In the 1940’s, World War II cut off the rich oil supply from the rest of the world, and the soy industry swooped in to compensate. By the time the war was over, Americans had grown fearful of using saturated fats (and all fats, really) and were reluctant to use coconut oil again. It really wasn’t until 2011 that popular opinion shifted once again and American’s opened their minds back up to coconut oil. Since then, it has made appearances in everything from snacks and smoothie recipes, to skin and hair care products.
The Benefits of Coconut Oil in Your Skincare Routine
While you may feel like there’s no end to what you can do with coconut oil (you’ve heard of oil pulling, right?),when it comes to skincare, there’s actually some science to back up the health claims.
A study among children suffering from eczema showed that 46% of them saw major improvement in their skin after applying virgin coconut oil topically. Coconut oil is high in saturated fats, which is why it is such an effective moisturizer. It helps trap water within the skin and improve the skin barrier. This is one of the reasons why we decided to make coconut oil one of the four main ingredients we use to make all of our goat milk soap products. Many of our customers use our goat milk soap on their little ones with eczema and see an improvement after just one use.
🛈 Pro Tip: When filling the bath, hold the bar of soap under warm (not too hot!) running water to create a little bit of bubbles and a skin soothing experience. Need a complete soaking experience? Use our milk bath instead for some sudsy rest and relaxation.
Why Use Coconut Oil in Your Skincare Routine?
Coconut oil is a true powerhouse ingredient. It’s highly effective for skincare when applied topically. Coconut oil removes dead skin cells while nourishing existing cells making it a perfect match with the physical exfoliators like sugar and salt in our all-natural scrubs. It keeps the skin partially protected from UV rays (blocking about 20% of harmful rays, so don’t skip the sunscreen).
Our goat milk lotion paired with added coconut oil and some other simple ingredients is a revitalizing after sun soother for your face and body. With coconut oil in your skincare routine, you can soften skin while increasing its strength. And because coconut oil is easily and deeply absorbed by the skin, it can even help your skin become stronger. Coconut oil also contains mainly fatty acids like caprylic acid, capric acid, and myristic acid, with the most prevalent one being lauric acid.
Lauric acid is a medium-length long chain fatty acid, or lipid, and it makes up about half of the fatty acids that are in coconut oil. Lauric acid is deeply hydrating on the skin, making it one of our favorite ingredients to include in a variety of the products we make here at Bend Soap Co. Another reason why using coconut oil in a topical ointment, like in our all-natural salve or lip butter, is a no-brainer: you get antibacterial and cleansing properties coupled with hydration in one single product.
🛈 Fun Fact: Coconut oil is one of the few natural sources of lauric acid, so run a bath and start soaking up all those amazing benefits without lifting a finger!
It’s important to note that while coconut oil is great for all skin types, it is also comedogenic meaning that it has the ability to clog your pores if applied directly to your skin, potentially leading to breakouts. So if you want to wash up with it, we suggest using a bar of goat milk soap or soaking in a milk bath instead!
Speaking of bacteria, can you guess another place it loves to live on your body? Sniff, sniff: your armpits. Bacteria is the number one source of B.O. Sweat glands release fluid that is odorless but when it meets up with the bacteria that lives on your skin, you — and those closest to you — know it. That’s why our natural deodorant contains coconut oil, among other skin saving ingredients like beeswax, cocoa butter, and shea butter. Baking soda, along with natural scents and essential oils, keeps bacteria at bay and odor under control without any of the toxins found in big-name brand deodorants. Each ingredient is chosen intentionally and with the purpose of working together for the best result: smooth healthy skin.
Key Coconut Oil Takeaways
There are so many different reasons to fall in love with coconut oil! Here are just a few of our favorites:
- Coconut oil is moisturizing to all types of skin, but especially to skin that suffers from eczema.
- Coconut oil is rich in fatty acids, which replenish skin’s vital substances to keep it looking healthy and young.
- It’s deeply nourishing on skin that’s inflamed or irritated the sun.
- Coconut oil offers your skin it’s natural antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties.
- Coconut oil is a rich source of lauric acid which is ultra-hydrating for your skin.
Back to You
Are you suffering from dry, itchy skin, or even from a condition like acne or eczema? Look for products that contain coconut oil and stick to natural, unscented skincare treatments for optimal results.
Ready to try out some all-natural skincare products made with coconut oil? Grab a bar of our goat milk soap, milk bath, lip butters, deodorants, or one of our salt or sugar scrubs and discover how amazing this powerhouse ingredient is for your skin.
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