5 Ways Coconut Oil Can Save Your Skin and Hair | Amarillo, Texas
The Benefits of Coconut Oil for Hair and Skin
There’s a reason why coconut oil for hair and skin is so trendy these days. From taming frizzy hair to moisturizing dry, flaky skin to keeping your heels smooth and fungus-free, this natural ingredient has a wide range of beauty-boosting and healing properties.
Coconut oil is used in a variety of hair and skincare products including cosmeceuticals, cosmetic products that have drug-like benefits and are intended as a bridge between the physician’s office and traditional cosmetics. While all drugs undergo a premarket review and approval by the FDA, cosmetics do not have to fulfill this requirement. Though the FDA considers cosmeceuticals to be cosmetics, many of these products have actions similar to drugs, as they effectively prevent skin changes and some skin disease with their active ingredients.
Use Coconut Oil for Skin to Rehydrate
Does coconut oil bring benefits for dry or irritated skin? Maybe. A study published in December 2013 in the Journal of International Dermatology found that virgin coconut oil improved skin barrier function in patients with atopic dermatitis.
Create a spa-like experience at home by whipping up this skin-softening treatment that also contains oats, a soothing ingredient.
Mix 2 to 3 tablespoons of oats and coconut butter (the solid form of coconut oil) and place it in a reusable muslin bag (you can easily find the bags on Amazon.com or Etsy.com). Then heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds or until the mixture becomes a thick paste, says Vivian Villamizar, spa manager at Renew the Spa at the James Royal Palm Hotel in Miami. “[The bag] may be massaged, rolled, and compressed all around the body,” Villamizar says. “The active ingredients from the oats and the coconut oil will help restore your skin’s pH levels, leaving your skin silky smooth.”
Repair Damaged Hair While You Sleep
Coconut oil for hair has been a known strand-saver for years. A 2003 study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science showed that coconut oil is able to penetrate inside the hair shaft because of its fatty acid structure. If your hair feels dry or is prone to breakage — which may be the case if you color it or use heat tools regularly — try coconut oil as an overnight treatment.
“Before going to bed, apply virgin coconut oil onto your hair,” suggests Angelo David Pisacreta, a celebrity hairstylist and the owner of the Angelo David Salon in New York City. Rub the coconut oil into the palms of your hands and work your way along the hair shaft from the roots to the ends. Follow by combing through with a wide-tooth comb, then put your hair in a ponytail or bun and cover it with a shower cap before bed. In the morning, rinse with shampoo and conditioner.
“Raw organic coconut oil for hair is best,” says Sarah Potempa, another celebrity hairstylist. “Oftentimes it solidifies in the jar, so it’s best to put it in a small microwave-safe bowl for 30 seconds until it liquefies.” Let the coconut oil cool before you apply it.
Coconut Oil May Make Your Mouth Healthier
Celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow and Shailene Woodley are fans of oil pulling, which has roots in ancient Indian culture. According to a study published in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, oil pulling — swishing an oil in your mouth for several minutes a day — may have benefits including whitening your teeth and preventing tooth decay, bleeding gums, and cracked lips.
Want to get the benefits of oil pulling? Swish 1 to 2 teaspoons of a vegetable-based oil (coconut, sesame, or olive) in your mouth for 20 minutes, spit it out, rinse with warm water, and brush well after rinsing, says Marc Lowenberg, DDS, a dentist at Lowenberg, Lituchy & Kantor in New York City.
How to Use Coconut Oil for Hair to Tame the Frizzies
Is your hair a poufy mess? Get the benefits of coconut oil by using a small amount in your hair for instant control. Put a dime-size amount on your fingers and then run it through your hair to put frizz and flyaways in their place.
Taking a tropical vacation this winter to escape the cold? Use coconut oil for hair to prevent your hair from frying in the heat. “If you’re going to the pool or the beach, it’s best to leave coconut oil in your hair,” says Potempa. “This creates a barrier between your hair and the drying sun, chlorine, or saltwater and keeps it conditioned and healthy.”
Prevent Toenail Infections With Coconut Oil for Skin
The benefits of coconut oil are many. Coconut oil contains antibacterial and antifungal properties, says Skyy Hadley, a celebrity manicurist and the owner of the As U Wish Nail Spa in Hoboken, New Jersey, making it the perfect ingredient to use to prevent toenail infections and foot fungus.
Try coconut oil for skin before your next pedicure: Pour coconut oil into an empty jar or small bowl until it’s halfway full, then add 2 tablespoons of honey and mix in 1 tablespoon of sugar until the sugar is completely immersed in the oil, explains Hadley. “Take a couple of spoonfuls of the scrub and work it into your legs and feet to fully exfoliate, sloughing away dead skin and smoothing out calluses, cracked heels, and rough spots,” she says.