You might already be aware that coconut oil has a wide range of uses in the kitchen and pantry, but did you know it can also be used on your skin? There are many incredible benefits of using coconut oil on your skin, such as moisturizing and repairing skin damage.
A study of plant oil use in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences (IJMS) concluded that the topical application of coconut oil has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects, as well as the potential to repair the skin barrier, help with wound healing, and minimize skin aging.
Check out these top three benefits of using coconut oil on your skin, and learn how you can incorporate this ingredient in your personal care routine.
1. It Works to Moisturize and Strengthen the Skin
Coconut oil can be used as a moisturizer, but it goes beyond merely hydrating the skin. It's categorized as an emollient, which means that it fills the spaces and cracks in the skin to help create a smooth surface and strengthen the skin's barrier function, as a study from the International Journal of Dermatology (IJD) notes.
It may also help to minimize certain inflammatory diseases, such as atopic dermatitis. In the IJD study, topical use of virgin coconut oil decreased the severity of atopic dermatitis in pediatric patients. The same study found that the topical use of coconut oil also improved the barrier function, preventing attacks from bacteria, and reduced moisture loss by increasing skin capacitance (the ability to store an electric charge).
2. It Has Antibacterial Effects
Coconut oil may also help to prevent infection caused by broken or damaged skin. As the IJMS study explains, coconut oil consists of multiple acid components, including monolaurin, which is a monoglyceride derived from lauric acid. Monolaurin has antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal activities, and it comprises nearly 50 percent of the coconut's fat content.
3. It Can Help to Protect You from the Sun
Coconut oil may also help to protect your skin against the sun. Ultraviolet or UV radiation can cause sunburns, wrinkles, and premature aging of the skin, among other effects, as a study published in the Pharmacognosy Review explains. However, the research shows that certain plant oils, including coconut oil, have the potential to block about 20 percent of UV rays from the skin, which may help to minimize these damaging effects. As the Mayo Clinic notes, coconut oil on its own is not a sufficient sunscreen, but you can incorporate it with other ingredients to provide broad-spectrum UVA/UVB coverage.
How to Use Coconut Oil for Personal Care
There are several ways you can incorporate coconut oil into your skin care regimen. You can use it on its own as a topical moisturizer for your body and face, or you might try a skin cleanser that incorporates it as a hydrating ingredient. Natural personal care products that contain coconut oil are a great place to start.
I'll admit, I was skeptical at first, thinking that coconut oil might be too oily for my skin. However, I quickly discovered how to use it in small amounts and easily incorporate it into my skin care routine using natural personal care products.
If you do use coconut oil as a natural moisturizer, know that it can be a little messy, especially in liquid form. Keeping the oil at room temperature will solidify it, making it easier to use. To avoid a greasy feeling, start with just a small amount and rub it between your fingers, then apply it to your skin. You can easily add more, but if you add too much, simply blot the area with a clean cloth. You can try using coconut oil on any part of your skin, including your face, body, and even on your lips as a moisturizing balm.
Its amazing hydrating and moisturizing properties make coconut oil a common ingredient in natural skin cleansers. If you're interested in adding products with coconut oil to your daily routine, you could start with a natural beauty bar or body wash that contains organic botanicals, like coconut oil, to help maintain your skin's natural moisture.
To discover more ways to care for your skin with naturally derived ingredients, follow the Ingredients from Nature board by @tomsofmaine on Pinterest!
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Why It's Good
With so many benefits of using coconut oil on your skin, it's hard to find a reason not to love this versatile ingredient. In addition to soothing and protecting your skin, it's also a naturally derived ingredient, which means you can feel confident about incorporating it into your personal care routine.