8 Things You Should Know About Coconut Oil

If you're not already a part of the coconut oil craze, you've certainly heard of it. This single ingredient has taken over beauty and diet fads and is touted by celebrities as a cure-all – and with good reason. Organic liquid coconut oil can be used for almost everything, from skin to hair to medicine. If you're looking to include this super-food into your daily routine, here are eight things you should know.

1. Coconut Oil Has Been a Staple of Asian and Polynesian Cultures for Centuries
Coconut oil’s endless benefits have made it a primary crop for tropical areas for generations. Across parts of Southeast Asia, the Philippines and India, the coconut tree is seen as the ‘tree of life' because you can benefit from every part of it. Communities have relied on the coconut tree for its leaves to build shelter, meat for eating, and water for drinking and cooking. Perhaps that is why it is one of the few natural products that have weathered the test of time, and has effortlessly made the leap from cooking ingredient to beauty lifesaver.

2. It's High in Fatty Acids (Which Makes It a Great Moisturizer)
One of coconut oil's main advantages is its ability to moisturize extremely dry skin. Because of this, it has found its way into many household soaps, skin care lotions, and facial creams, and can even be used to relieve eczema flare-ups. However, while many commercial creams will have a certain amount of coconut oil in them, they also contain a lot of water. This gives the impression of moisturizing, but as the water dries, so does the skin. Using coconut oil on its own can increase its moisturizing abilities tenfold, leaving your skin soft and smooth. It's also a natural alternative to petroleum, which can block pores and suffocate skin.
Coconut oil also has certain anti-aging properties that lie in its high amount of fatty acids. These fatty acids – lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid – allow the skin to heal much faster and reduce wrinkles, laugh lines and crow's feet. It works by stimulating the production and replacement of collagen which not only connects tissues, but also strengthens them. The skin naturally tightens, and baggy sections disappear.

3. High in Vitamin E
Another aspect of coconut oil's ability to prevent wrinkles lies in its high value of vitamin E. Vitamin E is packed with powerful antioxidant properties, that acts a a barrier between your skin and oxidation from the environment. Exposure to oxidation (which is unavoidable and happens every day) is one of the core reasons for aging skin. Using coconut oil can help keep skin protected, as well as soft and healthy.

4. It's Naturally Anti-bacterial, Anti-fungal and Anti-viral
In addition to the fatty acids and high content of vitamin E, coconut oil is also naturally anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral. So as it moisturizes and repairs skin, it can also prevent acne and keep your skin clean and protected from routine exposure to dirt and bacteria. Moisturizing hands and feet with coconut oil can also keep nail beds healthy from daily wear and tear.

5. It's an All-In-One Hair Care Product
Hair serum, conditioner, dandruff remedy – if you were ever looking for one product that can do it all, you've found it. Coconut oil's high contents of vitamin E help repair hair, while its moisturizing properties keep hair looking shiny and feeling soft. And much like it can calm eczema irritation, coconut oil can also reduce and prevent dandruff by naturally removing dead skin cells and rejuvenating the scalp. Read more about coconut oil benefits and uses for hair.

6. It's a Natural (But Low-Acting) Sunscreen
Coconut oil's SPF properties are still a topic of discussion within the medical and beauty communities. Coconut oil does have a certain level of SPF, but it is fairly low. While it shouldn't replace your regular sunscreen, it can added an extra layer of protection, especially if you're already using it everyday as a moisturizer.

7. It Is a Low-Impact Carrier Oil
What is a carrier oil, and why is coconut oil such a good one? First off, we know that coconut oil is small enough to easily be absorbed into your body through your pores, ensuring that your body extracts maximum use for it. It's excellent as a carrier oil because it can mix with other ingredients (such as essential oils and herbal extracts) and “carry” those ingredients with it as it gets absorbed into the skin, doubling its health benefits and giving you a powerful boost. What’s more, because liquid coconut oil is a low-volatility oil, it does not alter the properties of anything it is mixed with, while also providing a sealed, protective environment for the often-fragile oil and herbs mixed in it from microbes in the air.
Unlike mineral oil, liquid coconut oil has no adverse effects on the skin – even for those with sensitive skin. Organic To Green's liquid coconut oils are the perfect combination of essential oil and coconut oil to bring you the soothing and healing effects of all their ingredients.

8. You Can Eat It!
Though Organic To Green's liquid coconut oil line isn't approved for ingestion, you can easily find food-grade coconut oil to add to your cooking cabinet. Just search for FDA-approved virgin coconut oil and start using this super-food in your diet to increase your metabolism, keep down weight, and lower your cholesterol.