Coconut oil has been the all rage lately. Just walk down the aisle of your local Whole Foods or health food store and you’re likely to see many different brands. It has even made its way onto the shelves of more mainstream grocery stores. And for skin care? Coconut oil has been in the news for some time.
So what’s the deal with this new super ingredient? Is it that good and should you use it with your family? Read on for 6 great uses for coconut oil to bring into your home today.
- Moisturizer. It is widely known that coconut oil is a great moisturizer. In fact, several medical studies have shown coconut oil to be just as or more moisturizing than standard mineral oil, which is a common ingredient in most moisturizers. A 2014 study in the International Journal of Dermatology even showed topical virgin coconut oil to be superior to mineral oil in improving mild to moderate eczema (atopic dermatitis) in pediatric patients.
- Antibacterial. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which contributes to its antibacterial properties. A 2008 study in the journal Dermatitis showed topical virgin coconut oil to be antibacterial against the bacteria Staph aureus. Staph aureus is a common bacteria found in both pediatric and adult eczema. One concern of Staph aureus in eczema patients is that this bacteria actually stimulates the eczema process and ultimately makes eczema worse. Mutated, antibiotic-resistant versions of Staph aureus exist and routinely make national headlines.
- Salve. Because of its antibacterial properties, topical virgin coconut oil can be used on minor cuts and abrasions. The next time you have a minor cut, pull the coconut oil off your kitchen shelf and use it instead of your Neosporin or Polysporin. Of course, if it is a serious injury, see your doctor!
- Diaper Rash Cream. Coconut oil can even be used as a natural, effective natural diaper rash cream. Because of its moisturizing and anti-germ properties, it can be used as a natural diaper rash remedy. The lauric acid in virgin coconut oil provides antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal activity. The antifungal property can help fight against developing diaper rash.
- Natural Sunscreen. Did you know that topical virgin coconut oil provides a SPF 4? It naturally helps to protect the skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Baby Pibu™’s Baby Sunscreen SPF 30 has coconut oil (Cocos Nucifera) in it to utilize this natural sunscreen.
- Cooking Oil. More and more people are using virgin coconut oil to cook with because of the reported benefits to our overall health. A 2009 study in the journal Lipids showed that coconut oil intake can actually lower total and “bad” LDL cholesterol while raising “good” HDL cholesterol. Other reports have shown coconut oil may improve brain function and help with memory-impaired individuals such as Alzheimer patients. Coconut oil also has special fats called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). It is thought that the breakdown of these MCTs in the liver helps our bodies burn energy more efficiently. This concept was shown in a 2009 study in Lipids. In this study, women who ate two tablespoons of coconut oil for 12 weeks actually lost abdominal fat.
Is coconut oil a silver bullet to improve our health? No. But it definitely has uses to support overall health. Try out some of the uses above and incorporate it into your family’s daily routine.
~ The Baby Pibu™ Team
The effect of topical virgin coconut oil on SCORAD index, transepidermal water loss, and skin capacitance in mild to moderate pediatric atopic dermatitis: a randomized, double-blind, clinical trial. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ijd.12339/abstract
Novel antibacterial and emollient effects of coconut and virgin olive oils in adult atopic dermatitis. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19134433
Effects of dietary coconut oil on the biochemical and anthropometric profiles of women presenting abdominal obesity. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19437058