THE 101: Coconut Oil

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There was a Chris Rock joke on one of his comedy specials that went something like "When I was a kid, we didn't have insurance, so my Dad just got into the habit of putting Robitussin on everything, and I mean everythingggg! Dad, I got asthma. Take some Robitussin! Dad, I broke my leg. Put some Robitussin on it, let it sink in there." 

Is coconut oil the new robitussin? 

I can't flip through a magazine or read an interview where someone isn't swearing by coconut oil for everything and anything. Coconut water for hangover, sure! Coconut oil for deodorant, hmm not trying that one.  Let's cut to the facts..

The most intriguing components are fatty acids (primarily lauric, myristic and palmitic acid), polyphenols, vitamins K and E, and iron. This makes coconut oil not only moisturizing but naturally anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-bacterial. Theres not enough research to compare this to using a medicinal preparation for skin problems like acne or eczema, but its nice to know it can have some soothing benefit when applied to skin.

I tested some of the popular ways to use coconut oil with two brands. The lower-priced option was Dr. Bronner's Fair Trade & Organic White Kernel Virgin Coconut Oil, and my luxury pick was RMS Beauty's Raw Coconut Cream. They both felt and smelled exactly the same, however the RMS comes in really beautiful packaging. A little goes a long way with this stuff, don't go nuts. (sorry not sorry)


Heres what i tried and liked:

  • makeup remover: i put a dab of this on a cotton pad to remove mascara. it totally worked with no irritation, but i did have a little residue of the oil even after cleansing my face.
  • hair smoother: loved! a tiny bit kept my ends shiny and glossy looking.              
  • shaving cream: this was by far the best shave I've ever got. wash first, rinse, then shave. there will be a little oil lingering after, but hey, I'm moisturized, so thats one less product I'm putting on after a shower!
  • and balm/cuticle oil: soaks in beautifully 
  • massage oil: brought this to my masseuse to try on me instead of her usual massage cream, we both loved it, although i noticeably smelled like a cookie for the rest of the day.


Bottom Line: If one was stranded on a desert island, this is all very exciting information. However its still just ONE ingredient, which is why I personally wouldn't rely on this for my cure-all. Our skin is so smart and so complex, why not nourish, treat and feed it with multiple state of the art ingredients.