Coconut oil is the hottest thing going on in green beauty these days.
It can fight wrinkles and acne, heal wounds and dermatitis, remove makeup gently, soften skin and condition hair, help brain functioning and act as a natural sunscreen!
Dr. Oz calls it a “miracle food” and his blog contributor Audrey Kunin, M.D. said,
“Virgin coconut oil has an amazing ability to fight free-radical damage, presumably because it is rich in ferulic and p-coumaric acid. Consumed, this means these powerful antioxidants can fight free-radical damage and is now yet another tool in my wrinkle-busting arsenal. Applied topically, it has been shown to be useful in wound healing.”
To follow, are all the benefits this miracle food can give you, a couple of fun videos, plus a yummy recipe!
Dr. Mary Newport published a highly convincing study that shows why she believes coconut oil can positively affect brain functioning and diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes.
Rose Marie Swift created an entire makeup line around coconut oil called RMS Beauty. When I interviewed her for our In the Spotlight feature, she told us, “The enzymes and natural antioxidants [of coconut oil] help heal the skin and its natural anti-fungal, anti-bacterial properties clean the skin and remove bacteria beyond anything. Yes…even for acne prone skin.”
Watch this video about using coconut oil as a makeup remover. Yep, see me taking it all off…the makeup, of course!
Hair Be Good
Anyone with dry ends or kinky curls will benefit from slicking on a little bit of this non-toxic oil after a shampoo, when hair is still slightly damp, as a leave-in conditioner to tame hair and add sheen. For a deeper treatment when you don’t have to be anywhere for a while, slather coconut oil on clean, damp hair from scalp to ends. Concentrate on giving your head a massage to stimulate blood flow to the scalp, which promotes healthy hair growth. After you’ve coated the hair, wrap it up in a shower cap and leave it to rest for at least 60 minutes, or all night while you sleep. Wash it out, and your hair will truly look and feel nourished!
See Juxta’s two-part series on DIY Hair Oils for more inspiration.
Yes, Men it’s For You Too!
Frequently I work as a makeup artist for Men’s Fitness Magazine. Rather than using the standard mineral oils to make these musclemen shine, I’ve been using coconut oil. Much to my surprise, these beefy guys love being coated in it, saying they look forward to the day on set with me because their skin smells and feels delicious afterwards… they probably don’t mind the rub down either, eh hmm.
Even Cats Know
Internationally renowned stylist and friend of mine shot this video of her kitty’s love for coconut oil. She says she has to buy two jars, one for her and one for him, which she has to leave open or he goes crazy!
Our favorite raw chef, Andrea Livingston of Phytofoods says, “As a food or dietary supplement coconut oil can contribute to many things including immune support, intestinal balance, proper digestion, a healthy heart and weight loss. It is a quick energy source, which makes it the perfect addition to any morning smoothie and great for pre and post workout drinks.”
Another benefit to cooking with coconut oil is that it can cook at a higher heat (around 350 degrees Fahrenheit) than olive oil, which really shouldn’t be used past 200-250 degrees Fahrenheit when its beneficial properties begin to burn off and create toxic fumes.
Tasha Gerken, Green Beauty Team Expert Nutritionist shares, “Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, so it makes a great vegan replacement for butter or margarine in baking or spread on toast with a sprinkle of cinnamon.”
Tasha also advises, “Like all saturated fats – from animal and plant sources – coconut oil should be approached with a bit of caution as it can contribute to high cholesterol.”
Let’s Get To The Important Part, How To Eat it With Chocolate!
Green Beauty Team readers, this delectable recipe comes courtesy of Phytofoods and is a great way to get the benefits of coconut oil in a tasty treat.
2 cups pecans
½-1 1 cup pitted medjool dates (or enough so that when you squeeze the crust it holds together)
1 teaspoon organic extra virgin coconut oil
Pinch of sea salt
Pulse nuts in food processor until slightly crumbled. Add dates and pulse a few more times. Add coconut oil and sea salt. Pulse until uniform and crust holds together when you squeeze it between your fingers. Press into bottom of classic 10-inch tart pan.
2 cups raw unsalted cashews
¾-1 cup cacao or cocoa powder
1 ½ cup water
½ cup organic extra virgin coconut oil
¼ cup agave or maple syrup (or to taste if you like it sweeter, less for more bitter)
½-1 vanilla bean seeded
Pinch of sea salt
Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Pour over crust and refrigerate until firm (2 hours in refrigerator, 1 hour in freezer)
Feel like getting a little fancier? Top this torte with fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries or raspberries) or sprinkle on shredded coconut. Keep refrigerated until serving so that it is nice and chilled. And enjoy!
Where Do You Get This Oil Of Wonder?
You can buy coconut oil from any natural food store, many conventional stores and online.
Quality Makes a Difference
I stumbled upon Nature’s Approved at a green products expo in New York City. They claimed to have an extra virgin organic coconut oil using ‘double green processing’. If you are wondering what that means… Their coconut oil is cold expeller pressed on a remote island in Fiji in the South Pacific, where the air and water are pure and unpolluted. It’s unrefined and unbleached. Even their production process is eco-friendly and ‘double green’ as their website declares because “coconut husks, shells and old coconut trees fuel the boiler… that produces the steam… that runs the steam engines… that drive the generator… that provides power for the coconut oil press, machinery and lights for the factory and workers’ homes.” The taste is definitely richer, creamier and more delicious than many of the other oils we’ve tried on the market.
So ladies and manly-men alike, dive into the wonders of coconut oil! Your body will thank you.
Copy editor: Marielena Santana