Safe, Natural Alternative Ingredients to Hydrate, Moisturize & Protect Skin: Coconut Oil for Skin Health from the Inside and Out

coconutCoconut oil’s ability to nourish and heal the skin has been known in the tropics for hundreds of years. One need only look to the Philippines to see the first hand evidence of this. Filipinos have been using coconut oil on their skin for generations because they known about its wonderful moisturizing and healing powers. Another interesting thing to consider is that skin cancer in tropical places like the Philippines, where its people are constantly exposed to the sun’s rays year round, is virtually unheard of. This may well be due to their regular use of coconut oil, with its protective qualities.

Most commercial skin care products in the US today are made from polyunsaturated oils, which oxidize and turn rancid very quickly causing free radical damage in the skin. Coconut oil on the other hand has wonderful antioxidant properties that protect the skin from free radical damage. That’s one of the reasons it makes such an excellent skincare ingredient. Of course virgin coconut oil is the purest form and the only one that should be used in formulating skincare products especially lotions and creams.

In addition to its highly moisturizing properties, it also helps to keep connective tissues strong and supple so that the skin doesn’t sag and wrinkle. In some cases it can even restore damaged or diseased skin. The natural oil our bodies produce is called sebum. This oil is very important to skin health because it softens and lubricates the skin and hair and prevents them from drying and cracking. Sebum also contains medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), in the form of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) that can be released to fight harmful germs.

While coconut oil applied directly to the skin doesn’t have any immediate antimicrobial action, when bacteria, which are always present on the skin, turn the coconut’s triglycerides into free fatty acids, just as it does with sebum, the result is an increase in the number of antimicrobial fatty acids on the skin, which provide protection from infection. By using a coconut oil cream, lotion or just pure coconut oil you can quickly help reestablish the skin’s natural antimicrobial and acid barrier.

Because coconut oil can help reduce chronic skin inflammation within days and be soothing and healing to wounds, blood blisters, rashes, etc., it’s also an excellent ingredient to use in healing salves and ointments.

If you use coconut oil both internally as a nutrient in your diet, and externally as a skin care ingredient you will reap its numerous health benefits!

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