When it comes to taking care of the skin, essential oils are usually common products within natural treatments for this purpose. One of them is coconut oil, which is associated with numerous health benefits.
According to the Mejor con Salud portal, coconut oil stands out for the benefits attributed to it both in the field of health and beauty. This is because it is a product rich in lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, which have antibacterial, antioxidant and fungicidal properties, among others.
Regarding the benefits of coconut oil, the aforementioned portal mentions, for example, its ability to help reduce cholesterol levels, promote the immune system response and its contribution to weight loss.
However, its most common use is around skin care. In fact, a study entitled “Medicinal benefits of coconut oil” found that the main quality of coconut oil is its contribution to skin hydration.
“Coconut oil provides great benefits to the skin, only comparable to those provided by mineral oil. This oil is a safe option to prevent dry skin. In the same way, it reduces the appearance of wrinkles, it can be helpful in the treatment of some diseases such as atopic dermatitis ”, notes Mejor con Salud.
Coconut oil composition
According to information from the MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia, approximately 52-85% of coconut oil is made up of specific saturated fats, called medium-chain fatty acids. In addition, he agrees that this substance has a moisturizing effect when applied to the skin.
Generally, people use coconut oil to treat eczema or dermatitis. This condition manifests as dry and itchy skin, as well as a rash on the face, inside the elbows and behind the knees, on the hands and feet.
“It is also used for psoriasis, obesity, breast cancer, heart disease, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses”notes MedlinePlus.
In that order of ideas, the National Library of Medicine of the United States collects that the application of coconut oil on the skin can reduce the symptoms of eczema in children more than the application of mineral oil.
On the other hand, compared to the use of coconut oil to stimulate growth and development in premature babies, applying it to the skin could improve body temperature, respiration, skin health, and overall growth.
However, before going to coconut oil for any treatment, it is best to go to a medical specialist to have professional accompaniment.
Is coconut oil safe?
Coconut oil is generally consumed in food, however, it contains a type of fat (saturated fat) that can increase cholesterol levels.
“Like all saturated fats, it should be eaten in moderation. Coconut oil is possibly safe when used as a short-term medication. Taking coconut oil in doses of 10 ml two or three times a day for up to 12 weeks appears to be safe,” says MedlinePlus.
On the other hand, compared to its direct use on the skin, the evidence suggests that it may be safe. Of course, in case an allergic reaction is generated, it is convenient to stop its use and see a doctor.