And it’s not Victoria’s. If you’re not familiar with her, the – ahem – runway “angel” is also the natural birthing wife of Orlando Bloom. Earlier this year she raised a ruckus by releasing a nursing photo with her newborn son that is more discreet than anything I’ve seen in a VS catalog – **sigh** – and controversy is knocking at her door again.
“I’ve been drinking it since I was 14 and it’s the one thing I can’t live without,” quotes Cosmo. “I will not go a day without coconut oil. I personally take four tablespoons per day, either on my salads, in my cooking or in my cups of green tea.”
“Experts” emerged from all corners of the earth to denounce her endorsement of “unhealthy” saturated fats (despite what the research shows), and in the end Miranda released a statement saying she was misquoted. Her blog currently states that her intake is 4 tsp, not tablespoons.
Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if she released that “correction” simply to silence the angry mob- no one knows except her. Either way, she’s right. Coconut oil is one of my favorite beauty products because it’s so versatile!
Extra virgin coconut oil happens to be very rich in antioxidants that prevent free radical formation (free radicals cause skin to lose elasticity). It’s antibacterial and antifungal, too, which is beneficial for maintaining clear skin. And because it’s molecular structure is relatively small, these benefits penetrate deep into underlying tissues that most moisturizers can’t reach. Of course, it smells really good too!
All healthy fats aid in hormone function, but coconut oil is special. Bob the liver reaaaaally likes coconut oil because – well, because Bob gets to sit back and do NOTHING! You see, coconut oil contains rare medium chain fatty acids (MCFT’s) that break down almost immediately when they come in contact with saliva and gastric juices. So rather than convert to lipoproteins (fat & protein), coconut oil converts directly into energy. So we have a fat that isn’t stored as fat in our bodies, moisturizes from within, and gives Bob a break so he can focus on clear, healthy skin. Win win WIN!
Psst! Did you know that WHERE acne erupts can tell you a lot about what’s going on in your body? Certain areas of your face are linked to specific organs. If you have acne, matching the areas you most often break out with the corresponding organ can tell you how to focus your efforts nutritionally. For more on this (including a facial reflexology chart), check out this article from Mail Online.
About That “Fat Not Stored As Fat” Thing . . .
Coconut oil has been proven to increase metabolism. As a bonus it also kills the one-eyed green monster behind those raging carb/sugar cravings (which, if you were wondering, is likely to be candida).
Lots of people like to add a spoonful to their morning tea or coffee. If you’d like to give this a try, start small! Begin with 1-2 teaspoons and work up to 3-6 tablespoons per day.
Don’t want to lose weight? I take a few tablespoons to increase the lauric acid levels in my breastmilk even though I need to keep a little fluff on. The body is a wise – it’ll figure things out. Moving on . . .
Coconut Oil & Essential Fatty Acids To Prevent Stretch Marks
Right then, with everyone listening.
But aside from the normal embarrassment, puberty had other complications for me. My new body came with scars. Stretch marks, to be exact, all across my hips.
Fast forward through two pregnancies. Despite the fact that I neared planetary proportions both times (see exhibit A →) I didn’t get the stretch marks I expected. They say genetics plays a role, and that may be. But unless someone did some very tricky stuff with my DNA while I was sleeping the only thing that changed was my diet. I think it would be presumptuous to say that coconut oil will prevent stretch marks in every case – I know of some well-nourished women who reported getting them.
However, I do think that the inclusion of healthy fats like coconut oil improved the elasticity of my skin.
Coconut Oil As Sunscreen
According to DNA and cancer researcher Dr. Elisabeth Pluorde, antioxidants work better than sunscreen to prevent cancer when taken internally or applied directly to the skin. They do this not by blocking UV rays which help our bodies make Vitamin D sulfate and reduce our risk of breast, colon, prostate and many other cancers, but by mitigating the sun’s oxidative effects. For an deeper look at why virgin coconut oil is considered a sunscreen by many check out this post. (Please keep in mind that this is virgin coconut oil only because it contains the highest level of antioxidants).
Coconut Oil Soap
Coconut oil can also be used to make a bubbly, cleansing bar of soap, and you only need three ingredients!
How To Select Coconut Oil
In a nutshell, here’s what you need to know: centrifuged virgin oil retains the most antioxidants, cold-pressed virgin is next best, then there’s expeller-pressed and refined oils. The last category isn’t very useful for beauty purposes, but you can still cook with it and get lots of good MCFT’s! And then there is coconut oil extracted using neurotoxic solvent like hexane. I would avoid the last category.
Thanks Alexandra, Abbey, Morgan and Carrie for suggesting a beauty post. This was fun!
Looking For More Beauty Tips?
My ebook, DIY Organic Beauty Recipes, is a 198 page guide that will show you how ridiculously easy it is to make your own beauty products, like:
- Quick yet luxurious gifts for friends and baby showers
- Fabulous shampoos and conditioners
- Tooth whitener
- Body sprays
- Deodorants and more.