Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
With its signature coconut aroma, mild flavor, and smooth texture, coconut oil has become the go-to ingredient for everything from cooking to hair care. This powerful superfood has long been praised for its multitude of beauty benefits, especially on the skin. According to the Coconut Oil Handbook by John Matonis, the oil from a coconut has the ability to keep skin soft without feeling greasy, reduce the appearance of red rashes and chronic skin inflammation, and reestablish the skin’s natural antimicrobial acid barrier to help ward off troublesome skin conditions like eczema. Organic Virgin coconut oil is also a natural ingredient, free of harmful chemicals, artificial colors, and additives.
Organic Coconut Oil Origin and History
Organic virgin coconut oil has been used for more than 4,000 years for a wide range of functions. The tender meat of the fruit was originally used to add flavor and substance to dishes. The leaves were weaved into mats and baskets. The sap produced from the trees themselves were used to create sweet syrups, and the oil was used in cooking and baking as a healthy alternative to vegetable oil.
While the scientific term for the coconut is Cocos nucifera, some of the first Spanish explorers referred to the fruit as coco, which translates to “monkey face”. According to the Coconut Research Center, the three soft “eyes”, coupled with the hairiness of the fruit, resembled a monkey’s head.
Organic virgin coconut oil served different functions in various parts of the world. According to Virgin Coconut Oil by Bruce Fife, the oil was used for medicinal purposes in the Pacific islands and India, applied topically or consumed orally with other plant extracts or herbs. In China, ancient medical textbooks described the use of coconut oil in the treatment and cure of more than 69 diseases.
How Coconut Oil Is Produced
It takes 11 to 12 months for the average coconut to mature, according to the Library of Congress. Similar to grapes in wine, how and where a coconut is grown can affect its quality and flavor. Coconut oil is derived from the flesh of the fruit, known as the kernel. Coconut milk is also made from this white, meaty part of the fruit.
Most of the coconut oil produced comes from dried coconut flesh, known as copra. However, virgin coconut oil is produced via a wet-milling process. During this process, the oil is extracted directly from fresh coconut meat. To achieve the highest quality of virgin coconut oil, the majority of water is removed.
Benefits of Coconut Oil for Skin
With its high-nutrient content and powerful moisturizing properties, it’s no surprise that coconut oil is a miracle ingredient for skin. Just a small amount of oil applied topically can leave your skin feeling soft and supple. This is why the oil is widely used in natural skin products like soaps, lotions, and creams.
If you’re dealing with dry or irritated skin, coconut oil may just be your saving grace. According to a 2013 study in the Journal of International Dermatology, virgin coconut oil was found to improve skin barrier function in people with atopic dermatitis. Coconut oil helps to rehydrate dry skin and protect it from further irritation.
Organic coconut oil contains a hefty amount of fatty acids. These “good fats” have been credited to replenishing loss moisture, maintaining the integrity of cellular walls, and stabilizing membranes that can contribute to sagging skin. Coconut oil has also been associated with a reduction in acne and cellulite.
Interested in trying it for yourself. When purchasing natural beauty products containing coconut oil, opt for a virgin oil that has not been bleached, hydrogenated, or deodorized. When in its most natural form, coconut oil is an excellent way to maintain healthy, radiant-looking skin.