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July 17, 2023
When it comes to natural ingredients with remarkable versatility, the coconut takes center stage. As one of the most popular ingredients in wellness today, from cooking to skincare and haircare, coconuts offer a multitude of applications. With a rich history that can be traced back to 1500 BC in Ayurvedic healing practices, coconut oil has been treasured for its numerous benefits for the mind, body, and spirit.
The coconut is actually a fruit. More specifically, it is a subcategory of fruit called a drupe or a stone fruit. It has an inner flesh and seed surrounded by a shell. The coconut has a high water content as compared to other fruit. The oil can be extracted using centrifuge and pressing, or using solvent.
It takes a coconut palm 6-10 years to produce it’s first fruit. Then it takes about 12 months for a coconut to mature. Although coconuts are harvested, it is thought that the best oil yields come from coconuts that fall to the ground naturally. Nature knows!
Let’s explore all that this treasure has to offer, focusing on its two main variants: virgin coconut oil and fractionated coconut oil.
Derived from the flesh and fresh meat of coconuts, virgin coconut oil is a true gem in the world of natural ingredients. Harvested primarily in Indonesia, the Philippines, and India, this oil has been used for centuries for various purposes, including hair care, skincare, and even as a source of light through candles.
When it comes to skincare, virgin coconut oil is a superstar. Its moisturizing properties make it an excellent choice for nourishing and hydrating the skin. Thanks to its ability to be readily absorbed, it works wonders in combating the signs of aging, acting as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Some even suggest that coconut oil may possess UV protectant qualities, making it a potential ally in shielding your skin from the sun's harmful rays.
The abundance of fatty acids found in coconut oil, including lauric acid, myristic acid, and caprylic acid, contribute to its cleansing, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties. Additionally, the oil's medium-chain fatty acids make it easier to digest and absorb, while its high smoke point makes it ideal for cooking delicious and nutritious meals.
But the benefits don't stop there. Coconut oil has also proven to be a valuable ingredient in hair care. Traditionally used to maintain thick, lustrous hair, it can also aid in soothing the scalp, reducing dandruff, and adding shine. However, those with oily or thin hair may find that coconut oil weighs their hair down. In such cases, a coconut water hair treatment could be a better alternative.
Fractionation is the process of separating the different types of fats (saturated vs unsaturated) to create a new product. As the number of carbons in the fatty acid chain increases, so does the melting point. In the case of fractionated coconut oil, fatty acids are separated from glycerol. Long chain fatty acids (which are solid at room temperature) are removed while Capric and caprylic short chain fatty acids (liquid at room temperature) are separated and added back in to the glycerin creating a liquid oil that remains in a liquid state even at room temperature.
You may be familiar with MCT oil. This refers to medium chain triglycerides. While MCT oil is produced as a dietary supplement, fractionated coconut oil is produced for use in cosmetics. It is a clear oil with a long and stable shelf life.
With its clear appearance and low chance of clogging pores, fractionated coconut oil is a popular choice for massage oils, lotions, and balms. Unlike virgin coconut oil, it won't stain fabric, making it a practical option for everyday use, especially for massage. Additionally, fractionated coconut oil acts as an ideal companion, helping to dilute other carrier oils that are recommended in smaller doses, for example hemp oil.
While both virgin and fractionated coconut oils offer unique benefits, it's important to note that some fractionated coconut oils on the market contain palm oil. If you aim to avoid palm oil for sustainability reasons, be sure to carefully check the ingredients before purchasing your raw materials.
Coconut oil has long been hailed as a key ingredient for effective skincare and haircare routines. Let's delve into the specific benefits it provides for both areas.
Delivering therapeutic benefits: Thanks to its ability to penetrate the skin easily, coconut oil is an excellent carrier for the therapeutic properties of essential oils.
Hydration and moisture: By improving hydration and creating a protective barrier, coconut oil helps lock in moisture, leaving your skin soft and supple.
Soothing properties: Coconut oil has a cooling effect, making it a popular choice for soothing sunburned skin.
Coconut oil is antifungal: Its antifungal properties can also help combat fungal infections like athlete’s foot.
Acne and blemish control: Some individuals find coconut oil useful for soothing acne. With repeated use coconut oil has a drying effect.
Anti-aging: Coconut oil may reduce the appearance of stretch marks and age spots.
Balance and sensitivity: While coconut oil can be very cleansing, some people find it drying. It's important to strike the right balance for your skin type. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to avoid using coconut oil topically, as it can be too potent and potentially irritating.
What you will need:
Mixer (either a stand mixer or hand held mixer will do)
2 oz virgin coconut oil
1 oz shea butter
4 oz jar
In a mixing bowl, add the virgin coconut oil and shea butter. Make sure that both oils are in solid form solid.
Whip the oil and shea butter together for several minutes. Stop blending periodically to ensure that any shea clumps are being broken down.
You will know that the mixture has finished whipping when it is a fluffy and homogenous consistency, like whipped cream.
Scoop out your mixture and store in a jar. I recommend keeping this in your fridge. The heat of your body will melt it on contact when you want to use it.
Directions for use:
To use this recipe, scoop out a small amount with a spoon or popsicle stick. You can buy popsicle sticks at the Dollar Store. Apply a small amount to your face using a small, gentle circular motion. Wet a face cloth with warm water and wipe the oil cleanser off of your face.
Scalp health and dandruff relief: Coconut oil can prevent the scalp from drying out and alleviate dandruff, leaving your hair healthy and flake-free.
Shine and strength: With its ability to penetrate the hair shaft and bind to proteins, coconut oil provides shine and may strengthen your locks.
Pre-wash hair treatment: To make the most of virgin coconut oil for your hair, warm it in your hands and apply it to the mid-lengths and ends of your hair. Leave it on for 30 minutes before washing off. This weekly treatment can help nourish and revitalize your hair. Be careful to not overuse it as you can produce the opposite effect to what you are trying to achieve – more dry hair!
Finding the right balance: Coconut oil is particularly beneficial for dry and brittle hair. However, those with oily or thinner hair might find that it weighs their hair down. Consider trying a coconut water hair treatment instead.
Coconut oil has secured its place as a staple ingredient in the realm of natural beauty. Whether you choose the solid charm of virgin coconut oil or the liquid elixir of fractionated coconut oil, the benefits for your skin and hair are undeniable, especially when mixed with other nourishing ingredients.
Fractionated coconut oil hair shine mist
I believe that carrier oils, like essential oils, work best when they are combined with others. This hair mist combines three great hair oils with a low dilution of essential oils.
What you will need:
Stirring rod or small whisk
10 ml Fractionated coconut oil
10 ml Argan oil
10 ml Abyssinian oil (or other liquid oil of your choice)
3 drops rosemary essential oil
1 drop peppermint essential oil
30 ml (1 oz) glass or PET plastic bottle with mister
Combine the three carrier oils in a small beaker. Use the whisk to combine.
Add your essential oils and continue to mix.
Carefully transfer the mixture to your mister bottle.
Directions for use:
Gently shake the bottle before using. I recommend lightly misting the mids to ends of your hair when it is dry, and brush it through with your fingers or scrunch your hair (which is what I do). Try to keep away from the root area. Your natural oils can more easily condition this area. Applying an oil here will, in most cases, cause an oil build up. I also recommend dry hair for a similar reason. As we know, oil and water do not mix. Applying this oil to wet hair will cause it to sit on top of your hair and it will not look dry. Applying a small amount to dry hair provides conditioning, shine and tames the frizz.
Be careful to not allow the oil to mist to the floor. You will create a slippery patch that could be a hazard. I suggest that you mist your hair over a sink or spray the mixture into your palm and scrunch the ends of your hair to apply.
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The information on our website is not intended to cure, diagnose or treat medical conditions, nor is it a substitute for medical advice. Please consult with a physician before beginning this or any other new health care program. The information contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be substituted for the advice provided by your doctor or other health care professional. If you rely upon any programs or techniques, or use any of the products and services made available by or through the use of our website for decision making, without obtaining the advice of a physician or other health care professional, you do so at your own risk. The views expressed on Standing Stone Wellness have not been evaluated or endorsed by any private or public entity. The information on our website is not legal advice. Please consult with a licensed legal professional for adherence to legal guidelines.
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