Coconut oil for hair and skin: how to use it
This tropical oil is not just a great natural moisturizer. It is also ideal for treating acne and sensitive skin, nourishing dry hair, and removing dandruff.
Gone are the times when coconut oil was associated only with summer, sunscreen creams and tanning, when its aroma was always added to summer cosmetic products to transport us to tropical paradises. It is true that the sweet aroma of coconut, with its nutty and vanilla touch, evokes the sun and water at our feet, but in recent years its benefits for the skin and hair, especially when it comes to a good oil of virgin coconut, have made it an essential cosmetic product in itself and at any time of the year.
Coconut oil is extracted from the pulp of the fruit. At room temperature, it is a white and semisolid oil, with more than 90% saturated fat and essential fatty acids, in addition to lauric, palmitic and myristic acids.
When in contact with the skin, it melts easily, and it is this characteristic that makes it ideal for use in countless cosmetic products, although it is no longer relegated to the section of summer cosmetics; More and more products contain it as an ingredient under the name coconut oil or cocos nucifera oil on the label.
The pure oil can be found both in the beauty section and in the food section of supermarkets and herbalists. It can be bought virgin or refined. Virgin coconut oil will always be of better quality.
The properties of coconut oil in external use are many. The most basic is its ability to hydrate both skin and hair. It is also antioxidant, antifungal and antibacterial. So, you can use it:
TO HYDRATE AND NOURISH THE SKIN
You can apply the virgin oil as a moisturizer on the skin of the body and face.
It is very well absorbed, thanks in part to the presence of myristic acid. In fact, this good absorption is one of the reasons why the cosmetic industry uses it in so many cosmetic formulas.
If you like to make your own creams and ointments at home, coconut oil is ideal for its consistency and manageability.
TO REMOVE MAKE-UP AND REMOVE IMPURITIES
Another component of coconut oil is lauric acid, which gives it antimicrobial and solvent properties. This makes it suitable for use on problem skin and to clean makeup and other impurities.
It is therefore a good make-up remover, with the advantage that, while it cleanses, it leaves the skin hydrated.
The palmitic acid makes it ideal for making soaps after being treated with soda.
TO TREAT SENSITIVE OR ACNE SKIN
Coconut oil is very suitable for sensitive skin. Its antimicrobial, antibacterial and antifungal properties make it also suitable for acne skin.
Coconut oil not only cleanses the skin of impurities in acne skin, but also improves the inflammation typical of acne.
On the other hand, its vitamins E and K prevent the marks and scars that it can leave.
If you have sensitive or dry skin, coconut oil is ideal, for example, to cleanse and hydrate it at night.
In addition to hydrating the skin and hair, it is considered an antioxidant and antimicrobial.
TO NOURISH DRY HAIR
Hair also benefits from the properties of coconut oil. Polynesian women knew this well, and for centuries they have steeped fragrant tiara flowers in it to make the famous Tahitian monoi.
In the hair, coconut oil provides hydration and shine. You can use it as a mask for dry hair:
- Separate a tablespoon of coconut oil and make sure it is warm, so that it is liquid and you can apply it well.
- Spread the oil all over the head with your fingers, giving yourself a gentle massage.
- Leave it on for an hour or overnight.
The dandruff caused by dry scalp also improves with this moisturizing mask. For dandruff caused by a fungal infection, coconut oil can help thanks to its antifungal property.
Some people are sensitive to coconut. If any type of reaction such as itching, redness or rash is noticed, it should be stopped using immediately and make sure to choose cosmetics that do not contain coconut oil.
You also have to be cautious when using this ingredient to give the skin a more intense tan, however tempting it may be. What makes the skin beautiful is that it is hydrated, smooth and healthy, three things that tanning does not contribute in itself.
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