Coconut oil has been part of the Ayurvedic system of healing for centuries. Coconut Oil, the holy water of beauty world has power to smooth dry, damaged hair, fight off bacteria, burn fat, seamlessly remove makeup and work as a whitening toothpaste. Popularly called as “miracle oils” is multitasker which has one of the highest concentration of fatty acid among the different types of oils. These fatty acids, which are antimicrobial and antibacterial, also help hydrate and soothe skin, and is suitable for all types of skins including sensitive skin. Besides being a frizz-tamer and wonder treatment for tresses, it protects skin from sun damage and sunburn which is one of the highest risk factors for skin cancer. It acts as shield by sitting on top of the skin and blocking or deflecting UV rays .Coconut oil is the most popular ‘natural’ sunscreen which has been traditionally used in India for centuries to protect skin from sun’s ultraviolet rays mainly during scorching summers.
Coconuts are a most popular fruit in India especially along the Konkan belt, used for food purposes, religious ceremonies and is natural option for beauty treatments.
Coconut oil mainly virgin oil is full of beauty surprises. Virgin coconut oil is non-comedogenic, which means that it is less likely to clog pores or cause congestion, making it suitable even for those with oilier complexions.
Every part of the fruit is beneficial, the water, the kernel, oil and coconut milk. Coconuts are rich in vitamins and minerals and highly nutritious. As beauty treatments too, it is beneficial for both skin and hair.
Apart from being used as cooking oil, it is also valued for skin care. In fact, face oil is popular today, especially during the summer months, when the weather is hot and dry. Oil, by itself, does not moisturise the skin, but it helps the skin to hold moisture better. Therefore, oils help people with dry, dehydrated skin, by softening it and preventing loss of moisture. The skin feels and looks soft and smooth after application of oil. Coconut oil, for instance helps the skin to retain moisture and thus prevent moisture loss. Since it is known for its hydrating benefits, it can also be used as a body moisturiser or scrub.
Coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids, like Lauric acid, which are said to be beneficial for the skin.Coconut Oil is packed with Vitamin E and other essential amino acids which help to repair and strengthen skin, and maintain healthy skin barrier functions while preventing moisture loss.
In fact, it is even said to have healing properties and helps to reduce inflammation and soothe the skin. The medium chain fatty acids are also said to contain antimicrobial properties and can protect the skin from infections, including acne. The lauric acid content is said to be especially useful for protecting the skin.
In fact, it has been used to help skin conditions like eczema, softening and soothing the skin. It is also said to have potent healing properties and has been used to heal wounds.
There is no doubt that coconut oil has a great skin softening ability too and helps to make the skin soft and smooth. It may be applied on the lips and is also said to protect the skin from the damage caused by exposure to ultraviolet rays of the sun. It is said to protect the skin better than nourishing cream. It also helps to heal cracks on the lips. In fact, it can be used to remove make-up from the face, including the lips as the oils help to break down heavy or waterproof makeup without clogging up your pores. Coconut oil may be applied on the lips and left on overnight. Or, it can be left on for 15 minutes and wiped off with moist cotton wool. The advantage is that unlike other preparations that may contain synthetic ingredients, coconut oil can be safely applied on the lips and even ingested. Another advantage is that unlike other oils, coconut oil does not become rancid.
Coconut Oil has the power to make your hair grow healthier,thicker and longer. The vitamins and fatty acids in coconut oil help nourish your scalp and penetrates the cuticle of the hair. It also helps to remove sebum build-up from hair follicles, which speeds up growth.The daily nourishment of coconut oil on scalp creates optimal environment for hair growth. In India, coconut oil is commonly used as a traditional home remedy, due to its many benefits. Its healing and beneficial properties have been proved over centuries of usage.
Last but not least, it can double as a shaving balm so your skin feels smoother, softer and more well-hydrated post-shave.
(The author is Padma Award Winner international fame beauty expert and is called herbal
queen of India.)