Beauty Favorites: Coconut oil
Why Everyone Is Going Nuts for Coconut Oil
Gisele bakes with it. Miranda Kerr puts it in her green tea. Emma Stone takes her makeup off with it. And Gwyneth Paltrow? Well, of course she’s ahead of the coconut oil curve: She practices oil pulling. (More on that later.)
What is it about coconut oil that has made it the ingredient du jour of pantries and bathroom shelves alike? The health benefits of this magic emollient are numerous, and the fact that it’s literally something you can ingest as well as put on your skin and hair ups coconut oil’s street cred amongst the organic crowd exponentially.
Read on for the various ways that a humble jar of coconut oil can change your life – or at least your looks.
Of course coconuts taste delicious – have you ever had a chocolate-covered macaroon? Heaven. But coconut oil has more uses than just as a sweet treat – this oil is truly miraculous.
Coconut oil is packed with medium-chain fatty acids such as lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, which are sent directly to your liver where they are immediately converted to energy rather than stored as fat. The oil is also rich with polyphenols, vitamins and minerals. This unique composition has been proven to aid in heart health, diabetes prevention, weight loss, regulating metabolism and a whole host of other health benefits. It also has anti-microbial properties that strengthen immunity, healing and digestion.
It’s one of the healthiest oils you can cook with, has a high heat point and a delicious flavor. Use it for baking, sautéing, stir frying and in salad dressings. Lots of people (including the aforementioned celebrities) will put a teaspoon straight in their (fair-trade, organic) coffee or tea to reap the oil’s benefits on the daily.
Skin and Hair
An ultra-effective moisturizer, coconut oil can be used as everything from a makeup remover to a hair conditioner. When used on the face, coconut oil adds moisture, delays wrinkles and aids in anti-aging. Also, thanks to its antioxidant and microbial properties, it treats several skincare issues such as psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema.
When ran through your tresses, coconut oil aids in hair growth and adds a healthy sheen. The essential proteins found in coconut oil help heal damaged hair, and the antimicrobial properties helps eliminate dandruff.
Here’s where things get a little weird, but hear me out. Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic practice that has been around for centuries, and the benefits are considerable: whiter teeth, healthier teeth and gums, and the alleviation of headaches and even hangovers.
If you’re not familiar, oil pulling involves gently swishing coconut oil in your mouth from anywhere from 5-20 minutes. The oil “pulls” bacteria and toxins from your mouth, which you spit out and then brush as normal. People report whiter teeth, fresher breath, even clearer skin. Hey, if it’s good enough for Gwyneth…