Coconut Oil: To Cleanse or Not to Cleanse?
There has been a lot written about coconut oil. A lot of claims. A lot of hype. And a lot of conflicting statements. So what’s the real deal with coconut oil and skin? Let’s break it down.
The Anti-Miracle Oil
Coconut oil is not a miracle oil. It does, however, contain a unique combination of medium-chain fatty acids: most notably lauric, caprylic, capric, oleic and linoleic acids. These fatty acids have natural antimicrobial and antifungal properties that can help to protect the skin against bacterial and fungal infections.
A number of clinical studies have shown that lauric acid alone, which makes up 49 percent of the composition of coconut oil, can destroy and inhibit the growth of pathogens that flourish into bacteria on the skin. It doesn’t stop there. Coconut oil also contains phytonutrients and polyphenols; antioxidant compounds that support and protect skin tissue.
The upshot? These antimicrobial, antifungal and antioxidant properties make coconut oil an excellent natural cleansing and detoxifying agent, particularly for those with sensitive skin.
Cool, Calm and Collected
Coconut oil has clinically proven anti-inflammatory properties that help to relieve and reduce redness and calm inflamed skin. This is particularly useful for sufferers of skin conditions that result in itchy, flaky and irritated skin such as psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema. Clinical studies have shown that, when applied regularly, coconut oil significantly improves skin hydration and reduces the severity of eczema symptoms.
When combined with its antimicrobial, antifungal and antioxidant properties, the anti-inflammatory compounds found in coconut oil can assist with wound healing, making it suitable for those with dry, cracked and damaged skin.
Hydration Lock Down
When applied topically, coconut oil creates a natural barrier that locks moisture into the skin. This barrier contributes to deep hydration and overall skin health, while protecting the skin from bacteria and toxins.
Coconut oil is also a natural source of vitamin E, which is known for its ability to assist with cellular restoration and skin repair. How? Vitamin E neutralises and protects against free radicals, which result from exposure to chemical and environmental pollutants. This is particularly significant for the skin on the hands as they are constantly exposed to sun, air pollution, chemical detergents and cleaning products.
The Take Away
Coconut oil is not a miracle oil, but it does have array of well-researched benefits when it comes to natural skin care: reducing inflammation, healing wounds, deeply hydrating, and protecting the skin from harmful bacteria. This is particularly significant for the hands as they are constantly exposed to the elements and prone to dryness due to regular contact with water, detergents and chemicals.
At WØRKS melbourne, we use certified organic cold pressed virgin coconut oil in our ÅRHUS organic hand soap. We source our coconut oil from sustainable suppliers that maintain strict growing and harvesting standards to ensure environmental integrity.