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February 19, 2016 EDITOR

Coconut Oil: What's all the fuss about?

Coconut Oil:  What's all the fuss about?

Coconut oil (and in fact the coconut in general) seems to be everywhere at the moment, with all sorts of celebrities and beauty professionals saying they swear by it… So what’s the big deal?

 

To an extent it’s a follow on from the coconut water craze in recent years and includes coconut water, coconut milk and coconut for snacking. Part clever marketing, part “tipping point”, the coconut is tipped as one of this year’s big food trends.

 

A tipping point is, according to the author of the book of the same name, is “that magic moment when ideas, trends and social behaviour cross a threshold, tip and spread like wildfire”; it’s the phenomenon that explains the fascinating social dynamics that cause rapid change and has made little known brands and products into global trends.  And it’s happening to coconut oil right now.

 

Coconut oil has been used for centuries as a moisturizer for both skin and hair, for cooking and even for fuel/lighting. In the eighties everyone had a little pot of Coconut Oil hair treatment from The Body Shop or various other retailers. It was the time of big shiny hair, Afro combs and big tans, achieved with Hawaiian Tropic coconut sun tan oil and everyone smelt of coconut!

 

Like all natural beauty and cooking uses, people in Asia, The Caribbean, Central and South America and Africa are looking at us all with vague amusement, given they’ve been using all these products for generations without all the fanfare and marketing!

 

Coconut Oil is however a brilliant natural multi-purpose product. It can be used as a skin moisturiser for dry skin and hair, as a daily detangler, as a base ingredient for soap, as a lipbar and all sorts of other uses.

 

It melts at 24C, so it’s generally solid in chillier climates and can be stored and used in its solid state, but it needs to be warmed to be used. The best way to warm it is the double boiler method you would use to melt butter or chocolate for cooking. Put a teaspoon in a glass bowl; put the glass bowl into a saucepan containing water that has just boiled and let the oil gently warm up until it’s liquid.

 

While the beauty benefits are clear, the health benefits of cooking with coconut oil are contentious. The key is to use little amounts and not too often. Essentially it’s a very rich and flavoursome oil, great for baking, frying, for Asian dishes and anything that suits its sweet, nutty flavour.  HOWEVER, it is extremely high in saturated fat (similar to animal fat), so much be used in small quantities.

 

Health authorities around the world advise against regular consumption of coconut oil, so if you suffer from cardiovascular disease, you should be very careful about using coconut oil in everyday cooking.

 

Best stick to using it for beauty purposes. Remember to always use it melted (see above technique for melting).

 

TOP 12 uses for coconut oil:

1. Moisturising treatment (leave for 30 mins then wash off)
2. Sun protector (comb in and leave on for your day at the beach)
3. Dandruff treatment (massage into scalp and leave overnight)
4. Detangling (use a tiny bit to comb through tangly hair)
5. Colouring (use to mix with natural colouring herbs for great colouring results)
6. Lip Treatment (use melted or solid)
7. Waterproof makeup remover – great for mascara
8. Nighttime moisturizer – great for wrinkles and fine lines
9. Massage Oil
10. Body Scrub (mixed with coarse salt or sugar)
11. Itch relief (for bites and stings or itchy dry skin)
12. Cuticle oil and nail treatment

 

    ********* Versión en español

     

    El Aceite en Tendencia, Aceite de Coco

    El aceite de coco (y el coco en general) parece estar en todas partes hoy en día, todas las celebridades y profesionales de la belleza confían en él, ¿por qué lo aman tanto?

     

    El uso del agua de coco se ha vuelto una locura, incluyendo la leche de coco y los snacks, resultado de la mercadotecnia y de que está en un “punto de inflexión”, el coco está señalado como uno de los alimentos en tendencia de este año.

     

    Un punto de inflexión, de acuerdo al autor del libro del mismo nombre es “ese mágico momento cuando las ideas, tendencias y comportamiento social cruzan una línea, suben y se propagan como el fuego”; es el fenómeno que explica la fascinante dinámica social que causa el cambio rápido y ha convertido marcas y productos poco conocidos en tendencia mundial. Es lo está pasando hoy en día con el aceite de coco.

     

    El aceite de coco se ha utilizado por años como humectante corporal y del cabello, para cocinar e incluso como combustible. En los años 80 todos tenían un pequeño bote con tratamiento para el cabello de aceite de coco de la tienda “The Body Shop” o de otras tiendas. Fue la época del cabello brillante, de los peinados Afro y de lucir piel bronceada con el bronceador de coco de Hawaiian Tropic, ¡todos olían a aceite de coco.

     

    La gente de Asia, el Caribe, Centro y Sudamérica y África nos ven con asombro ya que ellos han utilizado el aceite de coco por generaciones como algo de uso cotidiano ¡sin toda esa mercadotecnia y publicidad exagerada!

     

    El aceite de coco es un excelente producto multiusos. Se puede utilizar como humectante corporal y para el cabello seco, como desenredante de cabello, como ingrediente base de jabones, como barra labial y para muchos otros usos. Se derrite a los 24°C, así que es sólido en climas más fríos pero se necesita calentar para usarlo. La mejor manera de derretirlo es poniéndolo dentro de un bote y después poner el bote en un recipiente con agua hirviendo, y dejar que el aceite se caliente hasta que se vuelva líquido.

     

    Mientras los beneficios del aceite de coco en el área de belleza son muy claros, los beneficios de salud son reservados. La clave es usarlo en pequeñas cantidades y no tan a menudo. Es un aceite de buen sabor, ideal para hornear, freír, para preparar platos asiáticos y cualquier otro que combine con su dulce sabor a nuez. Es alto en grasas saturadas (similar a la grasa animal) por lo que debe usarse en pequeñas cantidades.

     

    Las autoridades mundiales de salud advierten que no es bueno el consumo regular del aceite de coco, así que si sufres de problemas cardiovasculares tienes que tener mucho cuidado de no usarlo a diario para cocinar.

     

    Mejor utilízalo para propósitos de belleza, recuerda usarlo líquido. (revisa la técnica para derretirlo en la parte de arriba).

     

    Las 12 mejores funciones del aceite de coco

    1. Tratamiento humectante para el cabello: déjalo por 30 min y después retíralo con agua.
    2. Protector solar para el cabello: aplícalo para tu día en la playa.
    3. Tratamiento anti caspa: da un masaje en tu cuero cabelludo y déjalo reposar durante la noche.
    4. Desenredante de cabello: usa una pequeña cantidad para cepillar el cabello enredado.
    5. Teñir el cabello: utilízalo en combinación con colorantes de hierba naturales para obtener excelentes resultados.
    6. Tratamiento para tus labios: lo puedes utilizar sólido o líquido.
    7. Desmaquillante de productos a prueba de agua: excelente para retirar la mascara.
    8. Aceite de masaje.
    9. Exfoliante corporal: se puede mezclar con sal o azúcar.
    10. Reparador de piel lastimada: para calmar picaduras de insectos o piel seca.
    11. Aceite para uñas y cutículas.

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