Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Benefits of Coconut oil

Benefits of Coconut oilThe benefits of coconut oil are many. And we tell you how you can put this miracle oil to good use this summer.

1. Natural sunscreen
Studies have shown that coconut oil has an SPF of up to 8. Though the protection isn't high, applying it often on the skin makes it less susceptible to burning.

2. Effective moisturiser
The sun robs your skin off water content and leaves it dry. Often, we tend to have dry patches near the lips, temples and ankles. To retain moisture, dab coconut oil on all exposed body parts and rub it gently in circular motion till it gets absorbed.

3. Can reduce dark circle under the eyes
Exposure to sun for a longer period can affect the paper-thin skin near the eyes. Coconut oil is a wonderful undereye cream. It can improve dark circles and keep the area wrinkle-free. All you need to do is just rub some on the area without applying too much pressure.

4. Helps soothe skin conditions like eczema
When the moisture in the skin is lost, thanks to the harsh rays of sun, higher temperatures and humidity associated with summer, it can aggravate conditions like eczema. Applying coconut oil on the red patches and flaky areas of the skin can provide you relief from itches and allergies.

5. Conditioner: When the teeny tiny overlapping plates that make up our outer hair shaft get rumpled and out of whack, coconut oil is there to smooth those tiny little cells right back into place, and hold them there. You can use it on your entire scalp/head for deep conditioning, but you can generally just use it on your ends, where it’s the hardest for the body’s natural oils to reach, and where the most breakage occurs.

6. Fungal Infections: The medium chain fatty acids found abundantly in coconut oil are incredibly effective natural fungicides. In a (coco) nut shell, they naturally insert themselves into the fungal membrane, which is crucial to maintaining the life of the fungus. This destruction of the membrane leads to the destruction of the fungus as a whole and voila! The fungus is eradicated. It is important to be diligent with applications of the coconut oil until your symptoms have cleared.

SPF Lip Balm: Lips are quite exposed to the elements, and it’s not like there are “lip scarves” or “mouth mittens” to protect them from the harsh world. One thing that’s especially over-looked is sun exposure. You should really apply sunscreen to your lips for full protection, but coconut oil also has a mild SPF protection. It can’t rival SPF 80 (indeed it has an SPF of about 4-6) but even that little bit can help. Apply some coconut oil just before heading out into the sun, and reapply every few hours. I like to melt mine down with just ¼ teaspoon or so of beeswax, as I find it easier to apply, and it has more staying power.

Exfoliating Body Scrub: One of my personal favorite uses for coconut oil is serving as a base for body or face scrubs. You can melt some down, stir in some sugar, let it cool, and then use as is. Or, for a fun little project, melt down about a half cup of coconut oil and pour into a muffin tin, soap mold, or anything of the like, and stir in 2-4 tablespoons of white or brown sugar. You can add more if you would like the texture to be coarser. I usually let it cool some before adding the sugar so you don’t just dissolve the grains. Pop it in the fridge and let it solidify and cool completely before removing from the mold. Slice off a piece when needed and use it to gently scrub and exfoliate your face/body (dampen your skin with water first.) Rinse off, apply moisturizer, and resist the urge to use it again until later in the week, otherwise you run the risk of drying your skin out.

Deodorant: Sweat on its own typically doesn’t smell. In fact, most sweat doesn’t smell at all, since most sweat glands on our body are eccrine, which produces mostly water with some salt and maybe some uric acid. Apocrine sweat glands become active during puberty, and produce sweat from our underarms, around the genitals, etc. The sweat from apocrine glands has other stuff in it, such as lipids (fats.) When the bacteria on our skin feed on these fats, the byproducts smell. Like store-bought deodorant, coconut oil helps decrease the bacteria count that’s causing the odor. Mix about a tablespoon of arrowroot powder into 3-4 tablespoons of coconut oil for an easy homemade deodorant. Apply as needed; adding beeswax to solidify it some if you feel the coconut oil is too thin on its own.

Soften Dry Elbows: Elbows are one of the hardest places to keep soft. Rub coconut oil onto them morning and night to help them stay supple. I don’t suggest doing this if you are going in for a big test and plan on setting your elbows on the desk. The horror if they slipped off and you ended up banging yourself against the table in the middle of a dead silent room.

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