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THE USES AND BENEFITS OF COCONUT OIL FOR SKIN

As you may know there are a lot of uses and benefits with Coconut Oil. We listed a few on the many (many) with the help from our friends at Always Healthy Living.

What are the many uses and benefits of coconut oil for your skin?

 

Moisturizing

Coconut oil is a great moisturizer that prevents the loss of water through the skin and helps to keep it looking plump, soft, and well hydrated. The fatty acids it contains are absorbed across the skin’s surface where they form a layer that helps to improve skin barrier function. Studies have confirmed its ability to hydrate the skin and improve areas of dry, itchy, and scaly skin.

Anti-aging

Coconut oil contains a number of antioxidants including the phenolic compounds p-coumaric acid and ferulic acid. These are ingredients often found in expensive skin care products because of their ability to prevent free radical related damage. A significant amount of the age related damage that appears on your skin is caused by free radicals that are generated after exposure to UV light from the sun, and various toxins in the environment. This damage affects the structural proteins collagen and elastin causing them to weaken and lines and wrinkles to appear.

Coconut oil also provides direct protection from the sun by blocking UV rays. Studies have suggested that it has an SPF of about 8. However, it shouldn’t be used in place of a sunscreen as the photoprotection it provides is only modest.

Acne

While no clinical trials have been conducted to examine the effectiveness of coconut oil for treating acne, there are many anecdotal reports by people who have used it to successfully clear up their skin condition. What we do know about coconut oil provides a possible explanation for these results. The fatty acids that largely comprise coconut oil, lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid, all have scientifically proven antibacterial properties.

Studies have shown that both lauric acid and capric acid can kill the acne causing bacteria P. acnes. These fatty acids have also shown anti-inflammatory properties when acting against acne infection. The antioxidants it contains could also help with the prevention of acne. Topical antioxidants are thought to be of use in preventing the development of acne because oxidative damage caused by free radicals to the sebum in the skin’s pores is considered to be an important step in creating the conditions for the bacteria to thrive.

Eczema

Evidence suggests that coconut oil could provide effective relief from eczema. As mentioned above, the ability of coconut oil to moisturize and clear up areas of dry and itchy skin is well documented. And recent studies have also demonstrated an ability to improve the condition of a type of eczema, atopic dermatitis. In one study, patients treated with virgin coconut oil showed an improvement in skin moisturization, with 95% showing the eradication of the colonizing bacteria Staphylococcus aureus.

This is important, as the presence of this bacteria has been found to cause irritation of the skin in eczema patients and directly correlates with the severity of the condition.

Psoriasis

Coconut oil is a potential natural treatment for psoriasis that’s been the subject of a lot of discussion in recent times. As yet, there aren’t any studies to confirm its effectiveness. But there are many anecdotal reports from people who claim that it provides relief from the condition. This might be due to its known anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties.

Heals Wounds

A number of studies on animals have indicated that coconut oil may help to heal wounds when it’s applied to the skin. In one study on rats, treatment with virgin coconut oil resulted in faster healing of wounds, increase in collagen production at the wound site, increased fibroblast activity, and increased enzymatic antioxidant activity. In another study, burn wounds were significantly improved with the final conclusion being that coconut oil is effective as a burn healing agent.

Sunburn

If you have been enjoying yourself in the sun for too long and your skin is red and burnt, coconut oil can help to provide some relief. It’s moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties can soothe the skin and reduce the itchy and painful sensation. Sunburn can continue to get worse as further damage occurs for many hours after you’ve come out of the sun. But coconut oil contains vitamin E which can minimize the formation of sunburn cells.

Fungal Infections

In addition to being antibacterial, the fatty acids in coconut oil also have antifungal properties. Although the majority of fungal infections are only small, they can sometimes get out of hand on the face where they can look unsightly. And both ringworm and yeast infections start out small, but can flare up and become a bigger problem on various parts of your body. In one study, virgin coconut oil was shown to be more effective at killing yeast than the commonly prescribed antifungal medication fluconazole.

As A Cleanser

With a bottle of coconut oil you can consider getting rid of some of your chemical based beauty products. Because of its amazing moisturizing, antibacterial, and antifungal properties it makes an effective cleanser for your face. It easily removes excess oil, dirt, and bacteria. And it works as a makeup remover too. Even with difficult to remove eye makeup like waterproof mascara.

Shaving

Coconut oil can be used as a natural alternative to shaving cream. Its moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties soothe the skin and help to prevent irritation, razor burn, and dryness.

Massage Oil

With it’s combination of moisturizing, anti-aging, and skin protective properties coconut oil makes a good massage oil for use on the body. You can enhance it further by adding 5 drops of rose oil (or your favorite essential oil) to 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to give it a relaxing scent and skin rejuvenating properties.

Lip balm

If you suffer from dry and chapped lips then consider using coconut oil as a natural lip balm. Its ability to help the skin retain moisture will keep your lips looking and feeling soft, smooth, and kissable.

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