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Coconut Oil For Radiant Skin, A Supercharged Metabolism And – um- A Stretchier You!

on October 7 | in DIY Beauty, Natural Personal Care Products | by | with 83 Comments

Miranda Kerr Has A Secret

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.

Cosmopolitan magazine recently quoted the Australian supermodel as saying that coconut oil was the key to her clear skin, lustrous hair and svelte figure.

“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!

Glowing Skin

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

So, um, when my mom discovered that I was going through “the change” in a Dillard’s dressing room we had the talk.

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).

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.

(Where to buy coconut oil)

Thanks Alexandra, Abbey, Morgan and Carrie for suggesting a beauty post. This was fun! 

Looking For More Beauty Tips?

diy-beauty-ebook-cover

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
  • Lotion
  • Body sprays
  • Deodorants and more.

Check it out here

Photo credit: Hugo971, Chiot’s Run

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83 Responses to Coconut Oil For Radiant Skin, A Supercharged Metabolism And – um- A Stretchier You!

  1. Britt Bolnick via FB says:

    We eat a spoonful of it every morning, put it in our hair, and use it on our skin!!

    • Lori Peltzman says:

      I make an awesome deodorant with coconut oil. I also substitute coconut oil in ALL my baking and I use it as my body cream. So many uses for coconut oil!

  2. Jill Bryant Mitchell via FB says:

    Britt, we do too!! I bake with it and saute with it too.

  3. @Britt & Jill – I would love some tips for using it in hair!

  4. Jill Bryant Mitchell via FB says:

    So simple. I just scoop it on dirty hair (before shower) and let it sit while I do my morning stuff. Then I wash it out while in the shower. You will feel the difference.

  5. YAY for this article. Thankyou!

  6. And apparently my heart and hormones are to blame for my breakouts. Lovely :)

  7. Anna says:

    Thank you for reminding me. I need to stop and get a new jar of coconut oil today. I’m out!

    One thing we like to do is mix it with ghee and drizzle it on popcorn. Yum!

  8. Jill Bryant Mitchell – Awesome! Mind if I ask what you wash with?

  9. Robin says:

    So in a nutshell, 4 tbsp of coconut oil per day (ingested) and rub it on the belly every once in a while (I’m pregnant :p) as a lotion?

    Thanks!

    • Heather says:

      That’s what I did. It’s important to work up to that much gradually, though. Coconut oil is very antioxidant rich – which is a good thing! – but it stimulates healing/detoxing in the body and you want to take it very slow when pregnant. Plus, it can cause nausea if your body’s not used to it :)

  10. Jill Bryant Mitchell via FB says:

    Body wash? I live in Italy on a military base, so I am limited to what I have access to. Right now I am using Jason body wash because that is the best I can get here. But I am going to order some online soon. Shampoo is the same story. I loved Dr. Bronner’s before we left the states. Good company too.

  11. Jill Bryant Mitchell via FB says:

    Also nice, course ground sea salt, ground ginger, grated citrus and a splash of the citrus juice, body scrub.

  12. Kati Gunkelman Hornung via FB says:

    We dilute epsom salt in water and mix with coconut oil for an epsom rub. Sometimes you don’t have 30 mins for the bath but need some magnesium!!!

  13. Jen Stevens via FB says:

    Kati Gunkelman Hornung, how exactly does epsom salt help people when used in baths, etc? I’ve used it in baths for myself for a long time, but I’m not even sure how it’s beneficial… does it have anything to do with pulling toxins/heavy metals out of your system? I take super hot baths a few times a week with epsom, to sweat stuff out, but I’m not sure if the salts help that process or not.

  14. Kati Gunkelman Hornung via FB says:

    Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate. When you put it in a bath it breaks down to magnesium and sulfur and is transported via your skin into your body. The sulfur is a necessary ingredient in your detox pathways and the magnesium is a mineral that most of us (because of soil deficiencies) do not consume enough of anyway. If you have an oxalate issue the magnesium is used to bind oxalates and carry them out of your body so that can be a kind of detox on the magnesium side… Magnesium mostly seems to help me keep a saintly level of patience with the kids ;-)

  15. Jen Stevens via FB says:

    Wow– so cool. Thanks for edumacating me….

  16. Jen Stevens via FB says:

    Wow– so cool. Thanks for edumacating me….

  17. Jen Stevens via FB says:

    Um… doesn’t your hair just get incredibly greasy if you use it that way?

  18. Jen Stevens via FB says:

    Um… doesn’t your hair just get incredibly greasy if you use it that way?

  19. This was a great article, thanks! I too use coconut oil on my entire body, hair and in foods. I have naturally curly hair and I use the oil on my wet hair after my showers to help set my curls in place of gel most of the time.

  20. This was a great article, thanks! I too use coconut oil on my entire body, hair and in foods. I have naturally curly hair and I use the oil on my wet hair after my showers to help set my curls in place of gel most of the time.

  21. Christina – i use coconut oil on my naturally curly hair too!! it’s way better than gel (and cheaper!) – i also use it when i straighten it – just a tiny bit tames the fly-aways better than silicone and i don’t need nearly as much – my hair drinks that silicone stuff but the coconut oil is perfect!

  22. Christina – i use coconut oil on my naturally curly hair too!! it’s way better than gel (and cheaper!) – i also use it when i straighten it – just a tiny bit tames the fly-aways better than silicone and i don’t need nearly as much – my hair drinks that silicone stuff but the coconut oil is perfect!

  23. Jennifer says:

    I sleep with it in my hair once a week (grab a towel turban to keep your sheets grease-free). I take two tbsp a day (I’ve never had good luck cooking with it so I just melt it and take it as a shot). and put it on pretty much any dry skin condition from head to toe.

  24. Morgan Mayes – Did you see the article about bob the liver?

  25. Morgan Mayes – Did you see the article about bob the liver?

  26. Jill Bryant Mitchell – LOVE that scrub recipe, thanks!

  27. Jill Bryant Mitchell – LOVE that scrub recipe, thanks!

  28. Kati Gunkelman Hornung – I think I need an epsom salt bath now #patienceismygreatestweakness

  29. Kati Gunkelman Hornung – I think I need an epsom salt bath now #patienceismygreatestweakness

  30. @Jen – I’m curious, too!

  31. @Jen – I’m curious, too!

  32. I use it in my hair as and overnight soak. Sometimes I even leave it in there the next day since I put my hair in a bun or braid for work. I also use it on my skin and we’ll mix coconut oil and ghee to drizzle over popcorn.

  33. Yep, don’t have time to read right now. I’ll come back!

  34. Alison Wonderland Sheffield via FB says:

    Sorry, I got distracted when you said Orlando Bloom…. mm. All of mine is small intestine and it never goes away! Is colloidal sulfur okay to use as well? I mean I obviously need to do some work on my small intestine…

  35. face cream, sunscreen, aftershower body cream

  36. Alison Wonderland Sheffield – small intestine issues usually mean leaky gut. Some people find that including lots of gelatin rich homemade broth helps heal the lining :) Personally, I am out on colloidal silver if herbs are available. Silver is a metal, and metal disrupts energy in the body. Of course, I’d definitely use it if nothing else was accessible, but it’s more of an antibiotic than something that will heal intestinal issues.

  37. Alison Wonderland Sheffield Forgot to mention that probiotics and probiotic rich foods are great for intestinal trouble, too :)

  38. Heather says:

    Another great post Heather! Lately, my family has been making fun of me for suggesting coconut oil as the answer to everything (yes, I’ll be sending them this post). Though they did the same thing when breastmilk was the answer to everything, but alas I have none. Luckily, coconut oil is almost as awesome as breastmilk and less ‘icky’ to apply to one’s face, according to my husband and my brother anyway ;) Love that Miranda Kerr too! <3

  39. Alison Wonderland Sheffield via FB says:

    I was afraid of that. :) I’ve been making chicken broth. And got me some probiotics! I need to learn to make water kefir!
    And I think you misread my question. :) I was asking about colloidal sulfur. :) it’s an acne treatment but I haven’t found much about its safety especially while nursing.

  40. Jodi Strassheim via FB says:

    Awesome article!!! We love coconut oil and I’ve got some in my family taking baby steps by making their stovetop popcorn with it!

  41. Angelica Biernat via FB says:

    Goodness! There is so much good info in here! I bake with coconut oil, put it in oatmeal, and use it on baby butts, but now I will be putting it in tea, in my wavy hair, and taking Epsom salt baths!

  42. katie says:

    Wow. I read some of the articles bashing her. You’d think she said she did heroin four times a day or something! Why would anyone bother to speak out against her habits, when it’s “just” coconut oil? Sheesh. I use it in my body lotion and deodorant recipes, or just by itself as deodorant, cook with it, put it in smoothies, and I tried it in a cup of rooibos tea today. Yummy! Thanks for the article!

    • Rachel says:

      I already use it on my face/body, but I need some guidance in how to use it all these different ways. Can you direct me to a liink?

  43. Samantha Chilton LaMay via FB says:

    I picked up some organic, extra virgin coconut oil because of this article! Thank you! I’m all about natural remedies to care for my skin!! Plus, it smells amazing!!

  44. I used it already- just makes it better

  45. rawkinmom says:

    I love coconut oil….I use it everyday too!! We just made an apple pie tonight and used coconut oil for the crust…..I use it to take off my mascara too!!! Eye make up remover=perfect!!!
    P.S. Your blog pic next to the pic of that girl…sorry (I don’t know who she is) I thought it was you made up for a party!!! You look very similar!!!

  46. gina says:

    I was just curious if coconut milk was just as beneficial as coconut oil? Thanks!

  47. Amanda Edwards Bussard via FB says:

    How do you go about using it for skin care? I am transitioning over to natural products and soon hope to start the GAPS diet. I use Proactiv right now for acne and it works, but with all those chemicals. Eek!

  48. is coconut milk just as good as the oil?

  49. @Gina – Coconut milk is wonderful! Not really something I would apply topically, but it’s great when taken internally. We make our own using this recipe http://www.mommypotamus.com/how-to-make-coconut-milk-from-shredded-coconut-video-tutorial/

  50. we make ice cream using coconut milk- it is a fraction of the cost compared to so delicious & it’s homemade- if you have an ice cream maker- try it!

  51. Abbey Byrd says:

    YAY! Time to head over to the Health food store! ;)
    By the way, the facial issues corresponding with organs…AMAZING, and very concerning! My most problematic areas on my face are the areas corresponding to my Heart, stomach, spleen AND pancreas! YIKES! Looks, like some serious changes need to be made!

    Loved the post, Thank you so much!

  52. [...] you use coconut oil as a body moisturizer but want something that absorbs more quickly when you’re in a hurry to dress, don’t [...]

  53. [...] it seemed too good to be true. Folks, it WORKS! And it absorbs much more quickly than straight coconut oil, which is great if you’re dressing in a hurry. Louisa’s post is really good and worth [...]

  54. Jen says:

    So, I spent a ton of $$ buying 2 gallons of tropical traditions e.v.coconut oil & I think I’m allergic to it. My lips are getting really red, itchy, warm to the touch… :/

    • Heather says:

      That’s awful, Jen! I’m so sorry! Do you have any other food allergies or is this a freak occurrence? If you contact them and they won’t take it back let me know . . . maybe I can help connect you with someone that would like to buy it from you.

  55. AMANDA says:

    OKAY. The link that you provided with the “research” is funded by the “Coconut research center”??? This doesn’t at all seem a credible source of information. More like a company trying to sell books. Can you provide better scientific research on this before endorsing it to everyone as some kind of miracle oil that we should be ingesting a lot of? My suggestion is to look around and try to avoid the companies that have something to gain by having you believe that this is the healthiest oil out there. I love coconut oil, don’t get me wrong. But from the research that I myself have done, it doesn’t look to be so black and white.

  56. [...] Is why at the risk of sounding like some weirdo with tin foil on their head I have to say this book convinced me. Not just because American cyclists participating in the Tour de France reported a drastic reduction in tendonitis and accelerated wound healing when they slept earthed during the race, or because it’s been endorsed by famous folks like Gary E. Schwartz (The Energy Healing Experiments), Nicholas Perricone (The Perricone Prescription) and Miranda Kerr (yes, THAT one!). [...]

  57. [...] back I wrote about coconut oil for radiant skin, a supercharged metabolism and preventing stretch marks. It’s what I’ve been using for years and I’ve been very happy with it. Thanks to [...]

  58. [...] I have found similar results in my own life. After reading this post earlier this year, I “upped” my fat intake  in order to combat my insane sugar cravings (I was a cupcake-a-holic). Keep in mind, I did this with absolutely no intentions of losing weight.  I simply wanted to beat my sugar addiction for good… and I did just that. However, I lost 8 pounds in the process! …and that was with drinking 3-4 full glasses of whole milk each day, having a couple tablespoons of butter on my morning toast, and cooking with all the coconut oil I could work in to a recipe (side confession: I even ate the coconut oil by the spoonful a few times after hearing that Victoria Secret models do it.) [...]

  59. Brittany says:

    You mentioned that you got stretch marks from puberty but none during pregnancy. Did the coconut oil work to fade the stretch marks from puberty? I didn’t know about all of this when I was pregnant and am looking for ways to heal/fade my stretch marks. Thanks!

    • Heather says:

      The coconut oil didn’t do anything to help my scars, but there is a formula in my DIY Beauty Book that might help. Everyone is different so I can’t promise anything, but it might be worth a try. Also, derma needling might be worth looking into.

  60. [...] back I wrote about coconut oil for radiant skin, a supercharged metabolism and preventing stretch marks. It’s what I’ve been using for years and I’ve been very happy with it. Thanks to [...]

  61. Lauren says:

    Hi Heather, great post, great site! How can I tell if/when coconut oil has been process w hexane? the one I’m using now is certified organic, but it’s labelled “vigin coconut oil” and does not make mention of processing methods. thanks!

  62. April says:

    I love coconut oil and like many others have commented, use internally and externally. I have read a few things, however, about using it sparingly if you tend to have high blood pressure. I have read other articles that say it helps lower blood pressure. Can anyone shed some light on the two different sets of information? I really don’t want to use it sparingly–love it!

  63. Heather II says:

    Just a note on stretch marks – they are age related as much as any thing. My mum
    Is a midwife and said young mums (teens) tend to get much worse stretch marks than older women. I too had terrible puberty marks but nothing during pregnancy, so maybe not coconut oil helping you there. I’ve just discovered your blog. Enjoying having a look around and getting inspired…

  64. [...] beauty recipe I make. Ok, it’s a must-have in almost everything I make, because it has so many benefits for your skin. It boasts antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. Got athlete’s foot? Use this [...]

  65. Leah says:

    I want to invest in some good-quality coconut oil for cooking AND for skincare and beauty. I have read that unrefined is BEST for hair and skin care. Would you say that is pretty accurate? And, I haven’t cooked much with coconut oil, but plan to start. I want an oil that will not make everything I cook taste like coconut. What is the best type to look for in those regards?

  66. […] and of course, delay the aging process. The thing is that not too many people know about the benefits of this amazing oil and if you are one of them, then you’ll be surprised to discover in the article below just […]

  67. […] Coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids, which are easily digested and used as fuel rather than being stored as fat. Many people add a tablespoon to their coffee or tea in the morning to supercharge their metabolism. It also contains potent antioxidants that help repair dry skin, nourish hair and strengthen nails. You can read more about the benefits of coconut oil here. […]

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