You may think of coconut oil as nothing more than a by-product of the fruit. But this naturally derived oil has been used for thousands of years to hydrate the skin and hair and fight inflammation. “Most recently, coconut oil has gained superstar status due to its ability to protect against free radicals and for its reparative and anti-inflammatory benefits,” says Boldijarre Koronczay, president of éminence Organic Skin Care. As if that weren’t enough, the fatty acid–rich oil is big in beauty, making its way into everything from skin-care and hair-care products to makeup and beyond.
Behind The Benefits
1. Nourishes the scalp
2. Heals breakouts
3. Antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal
4. Encourages healthy hair growth
5. Acts as an antioxidant
6. Plumps and firms the skin
7. Offers anti-inflammatory benefits
8. A source of healthy fat for the diet
9. Moisturizes and adds elasticity
Insider Tip: Coconut oil is one of the best natural hair helpers since it moisturizes, nourishes, adds shine and promotes healthy hair growth.
Coconut Oil to Your Diet
Studies have shown that regular consumption (no more than about two tablespoons daily) of the oil helps inhibit weight gain and decreases abdominal fat.
Regular consumption of coconut oil increases your metabolism and ups your energy levels for better endurance.
Celebrity nutritionist Paula Simpson says that coconut oil contains saturated fat, lauric and myristic acids (fatty acids), antioxidants and trace amounts of iron and vitamins E and K. “One tablespoon has 117 calories, so your daily intake should be limited.”
Not all types are the same. Some are refined, hydrogenated or contain GMOs (meaning they are processed), while others are virgin. “Virgin coconut oil is extracted from the fruit of fresh, mature coconuts without using high temperatures or chemicals, so it’s considered unrefined,” says Simpson. “Refined coconut oil is made from dried coconut meat that’s often chemically bleached and deodorized. There’s also partially hydrogenated coconut oil that’s even further processed, which you want to stay away from.”
Can Coconut Oil Fight Cellulite?
Many products promise to improve cellulite but few deliver. We’ve heard that coconut oil may be helpful in the fight against cellulite when ingested orally since it revs up the fat-burning process and releases stored toxins. While there is still no scientific proof that coconut oil is the secret weapon to getting rid of cellulite for good, New York dermatologist Julie Russak, MD, says that massaging the oil into cellulite-dimpled areas may help improve lymphatic drainage and hydration to improve the appearance of the surface of the skin.
Made from organically harvested Balinesian coconuts, Indah Extra Virgin Coconut Oil works double-duty to do away with dry skin when applied topically, while boasting some serious superfood abilities when used for cooking. $15, indah.com.au