Earlier the name coconut oil would make me scrunch my nose and bring back the not-so-good memories of using Parachute coconut oil when I was in school. As it was presumed to make your hair strong and healthy, Parachute coconut oil was/is common household name in India. In my mid teens I stopped using it all thanks to the greasy and frizzy effect of it on hair. Furthermore I felt it was because of using this oil, dandruff started. My assumptions were right as my dandruff considerably reduced after I stopped using it. According to hearsay, Parachute coconut oil available then was admixed with mineral oil, paraffin wax and other chemicals. No wonder, the greasy effect and smell, by which one can guess from a distance if someone had used this oil or not. And on top of that we get see Deepika Padukone endorsing it where they show her going to photo shoots after applying this grease fest.
Because of this experience I never bothered to do add coconut oil to the list of natural oils, I was experimenting. But every time I surf about natural oils, coconut oil is always the most raved about. So, this made me embark on the goodness of coconuts and made me realize problem lies in the brand we choose. For testing of any natural oil’s suitability for your skin or hair the foremost prerequisite is to get 100% pure oil. So go for cold pressed oils or virgin oils.
Before I present my review I would like to mention few findings on Coconut oil-
Coconut oil is mainly composed of Lauric acid, Myristic acid, Palmitic acid, Capric acid and Caprylic acid which are saturated fatty acids. These constitute around 91% of oil.
Lauric acid has antimicrobial activity stronger than benzoyl peroxide ( Benzoyl peroxide ointment is commonly prescribed for acne vulgaris).
Myristic and Palmitic acid are natural emollients and enhance absorption into the skin and therefore Coconut oil can be used as carrier oil for Essential oils.
Clinically Coconut oil has shown remarkable improvement in people having extremely dry, rough, scaly, itchy skin (Xerosis) and also patients suffering from Atopic dermatitis which is more common is younger children.
Though many people claim its use as natural sunscreen it is still not yet proven if it can be used as standalone against harmful UV A/B rays of sun. Nevertheless it is used as tanning oil for spending a day at beach.
For hair: When compared to mineral oil and sunflower oil, coconut oil was the only oil found to reduce the protein loss remarkably for both undamaged and damaged hair when used as a pre-wash and post-wash grooming product. Coconut oil, being a triglyceride of lauric acid (principal fatty acid), has a high affinity for hair proteins is able to penetrate inside the hair shaft. So this research finding confirms what our ancestors have been saying on using coconut oil for getting strong and healthy hair provided we use 100%pure oil.
Coconut Oil- La Flora Organics:
I was looking for cold pressed or extra virgin coconut oil. After checking all available brands I choose Coconut oil from La Flora Organics. As you could see in the below images, label mentions that it is Organic, Certified, Cold pressed coconut oil. With No mineral oil, Hexane, Preservatives and perfume. The packaging and labeling seems pretty impressive. Bottle seems travel friendly with no leakage issues. I bought this from www.firstcry.com
The oil has faint odor of coconuts and with absolutely no greasy feel. I started using it as my after shower moisturizer for body. I suggest you apply it on moist or damp skin immediately after shower by this it absorbs pretty fast into the skin. You won’t even feel like you have applied any oil as it absorbs well into the skin. You can replace your body lotions with Coconut oil.
As I have combination skin I avoid using it on face directly.Instead I prepare a mask: 1 tbspoon grounded coffee powder (do not use instant coffee) + Coconut oil 2 tbspoon. This mixture you can apply it on your face and body and leave it for around 15-20mins. And then rinse it off. No matter what your skin type is, this mask helps in exfoliating and nourishing your skin. So far, I am loving it. There is no overnight miracle but I could sense a change in my skin texture.
As I have acne prone skin I was very cautious with regard to its usage. But now after using it for a while I am confident enough that coconut oil doesn’t exacerbate your acne or cause any breakouts. Instead if you use it in moderation it helps restore skin’s vitality. On daily use it imparts a natural shine to your skin.
For hair: I have been using it as pre-bath massage oil. And also as after shower leave-on serum on scalp and hair.
When compared to skin this seems to work wonders on my hair and scalp. Even in peak winter my dandruff seems to be in control. And this has never happened earlier. My frizzy hair seems to be more tamed. In fact it is so light and non-greasy that you can use it and go to work or college without having to worry about how your hair looks. Apply moderate to minimal amounts on your wet, dripping hair and then you can blow-dry or air dry your hair and then you are good to go. If you blow-dry your hair opt for cool settings. Ever since I have been using Coconut oil I have less hair whirling down the shower drain .
So my final verdict is thumbs up. If you have dry skin or dry scalp condition then this oil is a must have in your toiletries. Even though you have no skin or hair issues go for Coconut oil massage as often as possible or else you are surely missing out on a great deal of nature’s Well springs!! If you are searching for a face oil that can be used as makeup primer as well as imparts skin care then include tamanu oil.
Mentioned below are few top selling brands of coconut oil:
US based people please check these links : Viva Labs Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil