Coconut oil nourishes and prevents skin dehydration. It leaves a soft touch on the epidermis and provides a subtle and appetising fragrance. It is also relevant for hair care, as its high concentration of lauric acid gives it a strong affinity for hair proteins.
What you need to know about coconut oil.
- Coconut oil, extraction process and key characteristics
- The benefits of coconut oil for the skin
- The benefits of coconut oil for hair
- In which skincare products can one find coconut oil?
Coconut oil, extraction process and key characteristics.
Thecoconut tree bears the botanical name of Cocos nucifera. It is a palm tree belonging to the Arecaceae family, whose origin remains somewhat uncertain today, although it appears to be Malaysia. Nowadays, the coconut tree is one of the most cultivated plants in the subtropical and tropical regions of the world ; it thus grows in more than 90 countries including Indonesia, the Philippines, and India.
Coconut oil, also known as coconut butter, is renowned not only in skincare and haircare but also in cooking. It is a solid oil at a temperature of 20°C or lower. It is derived from a first cold pressing of the flesh of ripe fruits. It is rich in essential fatty acids such as linoleic acid (omega-6), oleic acid (omega-9), palmitic acid, lauric acid, capric acid, caprylic acid, stearic acid and myristic acid. Coconut oil also contains a natural antioxidant, vitamin E also known as tocopherol, as well as vitamin A .
It exhibits a high comedogenicity index, equal to 4. Therefore, it has the ability to clog pores; in this regard, it is not recommended for combination to oily skin whether or not it has imperfections. Even though it is relatively resistant to oxidation, it is preferably stored in a cool place, protected from heat and light in an amber bottle.
The benefits of coconut oil for the skin.
Firstly, let's clarify that coconut oil is considered by the international committee of experts as a safe cosmetic ingredient. It is well tolerated by all skin types. It does not have any contraindications and is suitable for pregnant and breastfeeding women, as well as babies and young children.
It is particularly recommended for dry, dehydrated skin as well as skin prone to redness and irritation due to the properties outlined below:
According to a study conducted in 2019, virgin coconut oil inhibits the action of certain inflammatory markers such as the Tumour Necrosis Factor alpha (TNF alpha). It thus soothes skin inflammation, particularly redness that may appear following sun exposure. This vegetable oil also protects the skin by improving the skin barrier function. Indeed, it stimulates the synthesis of filaggrin, a protein whose role is to aggregate the intermediate filaments located in the epithelial cells of the skin.
A study has shown that extra virgin coconut oil significantly reduces the levels of transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and increases the levels of lipids on the skin's surface.
Rich in omega-6 and omega-9, it also provides nutritionandelasticityto the skin and restores the hydrolipidic film. The coconut vegetable oil is thus qualified asrelipidising, it is recommended for taking care of dry and dehydrated skin.
Thanks to the Vitamin E it contains, coconut butter is an excellent antioxidant treatment to protect the skin from free radicals. As a reminder, these are reactive oxygen species naturally produced by the body. However, when cells are subjected to stress, they produce them in excessive amounts. The sources of stress are numerous, the main ones being exposure to UVA, pollution, smoking, and a diet too rich in fats and/or sugars. Free radicals are particularly unstable molecules due to their single electron. They tend to react with other molecules to form a pair of electrons, and thus cause damage to the body's cells, DNA, and proteins. This accelerates ageing and wrinkles appear on the skin's surface. Coconut oil is therefore a valuable ally in preventing premature skin ageing.
The benefits of coconut oil for hair.
Coconut oil has a strong affinity for hair proteins. Mainly composed of triglycerides and lauric acid, its molecular weight is relatively low (less than 1,000 Da); it easily penetrates the hair shaft. Moreover, it pleasantlyfragrances the hair.
Note : Due to its occlusive potential, coconut oil was traditionally used to eradicate lice by suffocation.
In which skincare products can one find coconut oil?
In regards to skincare, thecoconut oil is present in many products available on the market, such as exfoliating scrubs, tanning oils or after-sun repair oils, solid soaps, day and night face creams, makeup removing oils, as well as lip balms. In hair care application, it is a component in certain shampoos, treatment masks, conditioners, or even hair oils.
At Typology, many treatments are enriched with coconut oil.
Thehand balmwith 10 ingredients also contains hyaluronic acid to provide a hydration boost.
Thebody moisturising creamwith 10 ingredients and theface moisturising creamwith 9 ingredientsare designed to hydrate all skin types, even the most sensitive ones. These are minimalist formulas with a light and non-greasy texture,suitable for dry, normal and combination skin, even sensitive ones. Due to the presence of organic coconut oil, we do not recommend these creams for oily skin.
The moisturising cleansing milk containing 0.5% Hyaluronic Acid and Chamomile Extract removes impurities without drying out the skin. It emulsifies upon contact with water into a fine foam, simply massage it onto the face and then rinse.
All our solid soaps for face and body contain coconut oil. Depending on the active ingredients present, they target various skin issues.
LOPEZ-VILLAFUERTE L. & al. 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. International Journal of Dermatology (2014).
PARAMESH R. & al., In vitro anti-inflammatory and skin protective properties of virgin coconut oil. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine (2017).
SANTIAGO J. L. & al. Anti-inflammatory and skin barrier repair effects of topical application of some plant oils. International Journal of Molecular Sciences (2017).
LIYANAGE R. & al. Chemical composition and health benefits of coconut oil: an overview. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture (2021).