Coconut Oil has been in the use of making hair better for a long time in India. But it is interesting to note that the western countries have just started the trend. The popularity of coconut and particularly coconut oil has soared because of touted health benefits. New endorsements, deals by celebrities have changed the way coconut oil has been seen. Even though you think you know a lot about coconut oil, let us see some of the most useful cases where coconut oil is a must-have. Coconut oil consists of various natural saturated and unsaturated fats. The major ones are:
● Lauric acid: 49%
● Myristic acid: 18%
● Caprylic acid: 8%
● Palmitic acid: 8%
● Capric acid: 7%
● Oleic acid: 6%
● Linoleic acid: 2%
● Stearic acid: 2%
Coconut oil is about 90% saturated fat and contains small amounts of mono and polyunsaturated fats as well. Studies have shown that coconut oil—which is extracted from the meat of mature coconuts—may improve skin barrier function and repair has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, fights the signs of ageing and makes an effective moisturizer as well.
Benefits of Coconut Oil
Helps Treat Acne
Acne forms when oil and dead skin cells clog pores. Pores are little holes within the skin, often mentioned as hair follicles. Each follicle is connected to a sebaceous follicle, which produces an oily substance called sebum. When an excessive amount of sebum is produced, it can fill and plug the follicle. This causes bacteria, known as Propionibacterium acnes, or P. acnes, to grow. The bacteria get trapped in the follicle, which causes your white blood cells to attack it. This leads to skin inflammation, which results in acne. The Lauric Acid in the Oil helps kills the bacteria as these are fatty acids. Coconut oil also contains capric, caproic and caprylic medium-chain fatty acids. While not as powerful as dodecanoic acid, a number of these also are effective against the bacteria that cause acne. This property only works when applying copra oil on to the skin, as this is often where the acne-causing bacteria are located.
Moisturizes Dry Skin
Coconut oil is rich in fatty acids, making it an effective moisturizer, and it absorbs quickly. A study showed that Coconut oil can help moisturize the skin. A research was conducted between two teams where one group was given coconut oil, and the other was given petroleum gelly based moisturizer. The two-week study found that coconut oil significantly improved skin hydration and was just as effective as mineral oil. Coconut oil helps remove excessive dead cell on the skin's surface that makes your skin rough and flaky in texture. This gives it a soft texture. The difference is that the oil does not contain alcohols or silicones. This absence of additives may help you obtain super-soft skin.
Here's a quick and easy recipe for a skin moisturizer you can make at home:
What You Need:
● 1 cup cold-pressed, unrefined coconut oil ● 1/2 teaspoon vitamin E oil ● 1-3 drops lavender essential oil.
● Melt the coconut oil and mix it well with other ingredients. ● Gently rub the moisturizer over your face and body in upward circular motions. ● Use it once every two days ● Results can be seen in a matter of weeks
Coconut oil has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. In one study, researchers applied virgin coconut oil to the inflamed ears of rats. Not only was coconut oil found to have an anti-inflammatory effect, but it relieved pain as well. A study published in the journal Pharmaceutical Biology showed that virgin coconut oil has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Simply by its high levels of lauric acid, coconut oil helps reduce inflammation – which directly impacts pain. Animal studies have shown that coconut oil may relieve inflammation by improving antioxidant status and decreasing oxidative stress.
Treat skin infections
The fatty acids in coconut oil have antimicrobial properties that can help protect against harmful microorganisms. They help in treating skin infections like acne, cellulitis, folliculitis and athlete's foot, are caused by bacteria or fungi. There is enough proof to show that the growth of these bacteria can be killed or inhibited with the help of coconut oil. This is due to its lauric acid content, which makes up nearly half of all the fatty acids in coconut oil and can fight harmful microorganisms. Research has shown that it kills bacteria like Propionibacterium acnes, a type of bacteria that leads to the development of inflammatory acne. It is also important to note that though lauric acid has lower fats compared to other fatty acids, it does not achieve the same bacteriostatic or bactericidal potential as commercially available antibiotics. Coconut oil can be prepared in emulsions and liposomes and retain anti-infective properties. Given the low side effect burden, it may be a reasonable treatment with mild to moderate dermal infections, especially acne vulgaris caused by P. acnes, polymicrobial atopic dermatitis, impetigo, or wound infections.
Reduces protein loss
Hair is a total protein composition. Thus, protein loss from hair ends up in weak and unhealthy hair. Coconut oil treatment significantly reduces this protein loss from either damaged or undamaged hair. Coconut oil retains moisture, so necessary for well-moisturized and strong hair. This keeps the hair shiny and silky. Coconut oil also conditions the hair from within, protecting it from heat and environment damage.
Prevents scalp infections (Dandruff)
As mentioned above, coconut oil has antibacterial properties and nutrients, responsible for ideal hair and scalp protection from bacterial/protozoan/viral infections. Using it regularly reduces hair fall and also darkens the hair. The antimicrobial properties also help with dandruff. Coconut oil adds lustre, shine and softness to the hair, prevents hair breakage and split ends, contributing to hair length.