Coconut: The Oil of Wonder

Coconut oil is the hottest thing going on in green beauty these days.

It can fight wrinkles and acne, heal wounds and dermatitis, remove makeup gently, soften skin and condition hair, help brain functioning and act as a natural sunscreen!

Dr. Oz calls it a “miracle food” and his blog contributor Audrey Kunin, M.D. said,

“Virgin coconut oil has an amazing ability to fight free-radical damage, presumably because it is rich in ferulic and p-coumaric acid. Consumed, this means these powerful antioxidants can fight free-radical damage and is now yet another tool in my wrinkle-busting arsenal. Applied topically, it has been shown to be useful in wound healing.”

To follow, are all the benefits this miracle food can give you, a couple of fun videos, plus a yummy recipe!

Brainiac

Dr. Mary Newport published a highly convincing study that shows why she believes coconut oil can positively affect brain functioning and diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes.

Makeup On

Rose Marie Swift created an entire makeup line around coconut oil called RMS Beauty. When I interviewed her for our In the Spotlight feature, she told us, “The enzymes and natural antioxidants [of coconut oil] help heal the skin and its natural anti-fungal, anti-bacterial properties clean the skin and remove bacteria beyond anything. Yes…even for acne prone skin.”

Makeup Off

Watch this video about using coconut oil as a makeup remover.  Yep, see me taking it all off…the makeup, of course!

Hair Be Good

Anyone with dry ends or kinky curls will benefit from slicking on a little bit of this non-toxic oil after a shampoo, when hair is still slightly damp, as a leave-in conditioner to tame hair and add sheen. For a deeper treatment when you don’t have to be anywhere for a while, slather coconut oil on clean, damp hair from scalp to ends. Concentrate on giving your head a massage to stimulate blood flow to the scalp, which promotes healthy hair growth. After you’ve coated the hair, wrap it up in a shower cap and leave it to rest for at least 60 minutes, or all night while you sleep.  Wash it out, and your hair will truly look and feel nourished!

See Juxta’s two-part series on DIY Hair Oils for more inspiration.

Yes, Men it’s For You Too!

Frequently I work as a makeup artist for Men’s Fitness Magazine. Rather than using the standard mineral oils to make these musclemen shine, I’ve been using coconut oil. Much to my surprise, these beefy guys love being coated in it, saying they look forward to the day on set with me because their skin smells and feels delicious afterwards… they probably don’t mind the rub down either, eh hmm.

Even Cats Know

Internationally renowned stylist and friend of mine shot this video of her kitty’s love for coconut oil.  She says she has to buy two jars, one for her and one for him, which she has to leave open or he goes crazy!

Eat it!

Our favorite raw chef, Andrea Livingston of Phytofoods says, “As a food or dietary supplement coconut oil can contribute to many things including immune support, intestinal balance, proper digestion, a healthy heart and weight loss. It is a quick energy source, which makes it the perfect addition to any morning smoothie and great for pre and post workout drinks.”

Another benefit to cooking with coconut oil is that it can cook at a higher heat (around 350 degrees Fahrenheit) than olive oil, which really shouldn’t be used past 200-250 degrees Fahrenheit when its beneficial properties begin to burn off and create toxic fumes.

Vegans’ Delight

Tasha Gerken, Green Beauty Team Expert Nutritionist shares, “Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, so it makes a great vegan replacement for butter or margarine in baking or spread on toast with a sprinkle of cinnamon.”

Moderation

Tasha also advises, “Like all saturated fats – from animal and plant sources – coconut oil should be approached with a bit of caution as it can contribute to high cholesterol.”

Let’s Get To The Important Part, How To Eat it With Chocolate!

Green Beauty Team readers, this delectable recipe comes courtesy of Phytofoods and is a great way to get the benefits of coconut oil in a tasty treat.

Cooking Instructions

Crust:

  • 2 cups pecans
  • ½-1 cup pitted medjool dates (or enough so that when you squeeze the crust it holds together)
  • 1 teaspoon organic extra virgin coconut oil
  • Pinch of sea salt

Pulse nuts in food processor until slightly crumbled. Add dates and pulse a few more times. Add coconut oil and sea salt. Pulse until uniform and crust holds together when you squeeze it between your fingers. Press into bottom of classic 10-inch tart pan.

Filling:

  • 2 cups raw unsalted cashews
  • ¾-1 cup cacao or cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • ½ cup organic extra virgin coconut oil
  • ¼ cup agave or maple syrup (or to taste if you like it sweeter, less for more bitter)
  • ½-1 vanilla bean seeded
  • Pinch of sea salt

Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Pour over crust and refrigerate until firm (2 hours in refrigerator, 1 hour in freezer)

Feel like getting a little fancier? Top this torte with fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries or raspberries) or sprinkle on shredded coconut. Keep refrigerated until serving so that it is nice and chilled. And enjoy!

Where Do You Get This Oil Of Wonder?

You can buy coconut oil from any natural food store, many conventional stores and online.

Quality Makes a Difference

I stumbled upon Nature’s Approved at a green products expo in New York City. They claimed to have an extra virgin organic coconut oil using ‘double green processing’.  If you are wondering what that means… Their coconut oil is cold expeller pressed on a remote island in Fiji in the South Pacific, where the air and water are pure and unpolluted. It’s unrefined and unbleached. Even their production process is eco-friendly and ‘double green’ as their website declares because “coconut husks, shells and old coconut trees fuel the boiler… that produces the steam… that runs the steam engines… that drive the generator… that provides power for the coconut oil press, machinery and lights for the factory and workers’ homes.” The taste is definitely richer, creamier and more delicious than many of the other oils we’ve tried on the market.

So ladies and manly-men alike, dive into the wonders of coconut oil! Your body will thank you.

As a long-time international, celebrity makeup artist and green beauty educator, I'm dedicated to dispelling myths, helping you find the very best safe cosmetics, and teaching you my secrets for enhancing your natural beauty at every age, so you can be empowered to make healthier choices, look fabulous and radiate confidence every single day.I spent the first 24 years of my life in So Cal (I never say Cali) and from there I lived in Oregon (so green!), then moved to Italy (Ciao bella!) and later NYC (how you doin'?) to work alongside fashion's greatest's. In the Fall of 2015 I traded in the big city hustle for the nurturing Pacific Northwest again.When I'm not traveling, I'm cozied up in a cottage with my orange kitty building a digital dynasty sharing the beauty secrets that have changed my life and the lives of my clients, which I’ve learned over decades working as a makeup artist and healthy beauty expert with women of almost every age from over 50 countries.I love that I get to help women like you clear out the toxic junk from their makeup bags and confidently reclaim their beauty through my highly popular online courses, in-person and virtual lessons, articles and videos with millions of views.From top models and celebrities, to working moms and retirees, the most common thing I hear is they want to feel amazing and look like the best version of themselves — without having to be covered in makeup.And I agree!! While makeup is my jam, I spend most of my week naked-faced because I don't think it's necessary to slather it on Kardashian-style every day (or ever).To me makeup is a way to enhance, frame, magnify and play....I know all too well how it feels to look in the mirror and feel un-pretty.Growing up on the beaches of Southern California, I tanned my pale skin, colored my hair blonder, worked out 4 days a week, and got padded bras to try and fit the standard of curvaceous “Barbie pretty” I was surrounded by.Having battled with acne for 10-years, I remember the frustration of attacking it with every drug and topical treatment available to no avail.It took a lot of internal work to feel truly feel beautiful - without trying to be someone else’s version of pretty.Now even as the sun damage from my past creeps up, and the signs of aging march forth on my face, I get more compliments now on how radiant I look than I did 15 years ago. And how I did that is what I'm excited to share with you!