Know your ingredients: Coconut Oil


What it is
Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil is an oil obtained by the kernels of Coconut. It is rich in vitamins and fatty acids.

What it does
Coconut oil moisturizes and softens the skin.
Coconut Oil also helps protect against the sun rays. It can block out about 20% of UV rays, so it can enhance the effectiveness of your sunscreen (never use it as a substitute of it though!).
Coconut oil has antibacterial and cleansing properties as well.
Finally, coconut oil is one of the few oils that can actually penetrate hair, moisturizing it from within.

Side effects
Coconut oil can clog pores.
Allergic reactions are rare, but can occur.

(Sources: Indian Pediatrics, Pharmacogn Rev. 2011 Jul-Dec, and J. Cosmet. Sci. March-April 2003)
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  1. says

    i have been using coconut oil as a makeup remover and har prewash conditioner for a long time. i also use coconut milk as hair mask which is EXTREMELY good for siofter and shiny hair. you don’t have to spend a fortune on hair if you do it regularly. Did you read my reviews on these products?

    you gotta try the coconut milk hair soak. I just did it today and my hair is baby soft!

  2. says

    Coconut oil also makes an excellent hair moisturizer and deep conditioner. Shampoo and rinse your hair. Then apply a fair amount of coconut oil to your palms, rub together to liquify the oil, and then massage through your hair. Leave in your hair for about an hour and then rinse well. You’ll find your hair will feel thicker and look healthier. Studies showed coconut oil actually penetrates the hair shaft – reducing protein loss and healing dry damaged hair. Here’s more detailed steps to using coconut oil on hair. I guarantee you’ll love what this tropical oil can do for you.

  3. beautifulwithbrains says

    Jojobs: I agree, coconut oil is great for the hair. I haven’t tried the cocnut milk hair soak yet but if it is that good I’ll try it soon, I definitely need softer hair. I’ll go and read your reviews now :)

    Healthy Oil Guy: thanks for the info.

  4. says

    People in my country use coconut oil as a hair detangler and some of the old ladies do have really thick long hair. They like to put some flowers in the oil to give it nice smell as well.

  5. beautifulwithbrains says

    Lucky them, I wish I had thick hair as well. Coconut oil is really amazing for your hair, being one of the very few oils that penetrates it. I didn’t know about the flowers though, that’s nice. Where are you from?

  6. says

    Hello beautifulwithbrains,

    I must say I like your post very much! Thanks for spreading the great word about coconut oil! I just would like to give my little two cents about this.

    “Coconut oil can clog pores.” I suppose anything is possible but in reality, coconut oil doesn’t clog pores. The relatively small molecular structure of coconut oil, which is mostly medium chain fatty acids (MCFA), can easily penetrate the pores.

    To somewhat prove my point, chew a stick of gum and then take a few drops of coconut oil but don’t swallow it, preferable virgin coconut oil (VCO). Make sure that you mix the coconut oil with the gum. You’ll notice that the gum would melt faster than it normally would.

    This effect can be compared to what coconut oil will do on your skin. It dissolves grime/dirt to penetrate the pores for some deep nourishing.

    Once again, thank you so much for helping re-establish coconut oil as the true King of Oils.

    Your Drugstore in a Bottle

  7. beautifulwithbrains says

    I’m glad you liked the post and thanks for sharing this info. All the sources I consulted when I was witing the articles said the coconut oil can clog pores, but I will definitely do that test and see what happens.

  8. dianna says

    i regularly use virgin coconut oil on my skin and hair and my face. also i tried doing the OCM with it and found that eventually it caused pimples. but if i don’t massage for more than a few minutes and make sure to steam my face very good i don’t get pimples. also i make sure to do a clay mask from time to time.
    VCO is really the only oil that actually works well for my aging skin. i used to have itchy dry skin and dry breaking hair and now i don’t.

  9. beautifulwithbrains says

    Coconut oil is such a fantastic oil with lots of bneficial properties and I’m glad it works so well for you too. Virgin coconut oil is not as comedogenic as coconut oil but it still needs to be used in moderations as oils can clog pores otherwise. You need to be careful when using the OCM method as well. If you use a washcloth and don’t dry it properly, it can harbour bacteria causing breakouts as well.

  10. Sue says

    Just tried coconut oil on my hair following highlights. While it did leave it shiny and stronger, I don’t like its stiffness. I’ve lost the fluffiness to my hair. After reading that this penetrates into the hair shaft, I’m really concerned it wil not come out and return to my natural texture. I’ve washed it quite a few times now. Will this wash out soon, or am I stuck? Thanks.

  11. beautifulwithbrains says

    Hi Sue, I’m sorry coconut oil didn’t work for you. It can be difficult to get the oil out of your hair. But if you keep washing it with shampoo and condtioner your hair should go back to normal.

  12. Muna says

    I’ve been using coconut oil for the past year, and it works wonders for my hair, skin and nails. I didnt know a product could be so versetile! I have thin hair and when i apply a small amount, i’ve notice thickness everytime. Its a great mousterizer for my skin, i’m always careful for putting too much b.c. dont want clogged pours :(. Also, its great to repair damaged nails! Overall, i’m happy w/ coconut oil, but whats the deference between the regular and the virgin coconut oil?

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Muna, I’m glad coconut oil works so well for you, it’s one of my favourite ingredients as well. It is easily absorbd by the skin and can penetrate deeply into the hair, so that’s why it is so beneficial and moisturizing.

      The main difference is that virgin coconut oil is unrefined. Unlike other types of coconut oil, nothing is added or taken away. :)

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