We asked our readers on Facebook to tell us their tips for treating dry skin. Maria recommends moisturizing while you’re still damp after taking a shower. And Erin said that she uses Aveda’s Intensive Hydrating Mask ($22) over her moisturizer at night. But an overwhelming amount of you recommended coconut oil! We were so curious to find out what all the rage was about that we did a little research.
In a previous post, we mentioned that drinking coconut water can help hydrate and soothe dry skin. That’s because coconut contains oils that are part of the essential ingredients for a healthy skin barrier, says West Palm Beach, FL, dermatologist Kenneth R. Beer, MD.
But what about coconut oil? Aesthetician and co-founder of Nohona Pure Organic Coconut Oil Noelle Mathieu says that the magic of coconut oil comes from the lauric acid it contains. Lauric acid is an anti-microbial also found in breast milk that is loaded with natural vitamin E. This acid is anti-inflammatory, and is even used to treat burns, rashes, eczema and psoriasis. It is also extremely moisturizing and nourishing for the skin.
“The difference between coconut oil and other oils is it has a small molecular structure so it penetrates deeper and more quickly into the skin leaving no oily, greasy feeling,” says Mathieu.
Not only is coconut oil good for your skin, but it can also be used as a makeup remover, a hair conditioner, a treatment for split ends and as a cuticle conditioner among other things.
If you deal with extremely dry skin, Mathieu recommends applying small amounts of the oil to your skin throughout the day. Over time, your skin cells will come to the surface more nourished and you will see overall improvement.
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