The coconut tree is a member of the family Arecaceae (palm family) and the only living species of the genus Cocos. The term coconut can refer to the whole coconut palm or the seed, or the fruit, which, botanically, is a drupe, not a nut. The spelling cocoanut is an archaic form of the word. The term is derived from the 16th-century Portuguese and Spanish word coco meaning “head” or “skull”, from the three indentations on the coconut shell that resemble facial features.
Coconuts are distinct from other fruits for their endosperm containing a large quantity of water (also called “milk”). When mature, they can be used as seed nuts or processed for oil, charcoal from the hard shell, and coir from the fibrous husk. The oil and milk derived from it are commonly used in cooking and frying, as well as in soaps and cosmetics.
Coconut oil is an edible oil extracted from the kernel or meat of mature coconuts harvested from the coconut palm. Coconut oil is an effective moisturizer for all types of skin, including dry skin. Unlike mineral oil, there is no chance of having any adverse side effects on the skin from the application of this oil. Therefore, it has been safely used for thousands of years for preventing dryness and flaking of skin.
It also helps in treating various skin problems, including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema, and other skin infections. It also delays the appearance of wrinkles and sagging of skin, which normally accompany aging. The credit to this benefit goes to its well-known antioxidant properties. In the tropical parts of the world where coconuts are readily available and used in many ways, natives use coconut oil for protecting from the sun’s harmful rays.
Coconut oil contains Vitamin E, Proteins, Saturated fats, and Lauric and Caprylic Acid which form part of the barrier function of your skin and help maintain your skin’s natural flora aka the good bugs.
Saturated Fats: Predominantly, these saturated fats are medium chain triglycerides of fatty acids. When applied to the skin, they keep it smooth to the touch. Due to the presence of these fats, coconut oil also retains the moisture content of the skin, as the fats eliminate moisture loss through the pores of the skin. When applied regularly, these fats deposit under the skin, thus keeping it healthy and smooth, giving it an even tone and reducing the appearance of the pores.
Vitamin E: It is essential for healthy skin, keeping the skin smooth, and protecting it against cracking. Above all, it prevents premature aging and wrinkling of the skin, since it has good antioxidant properties. 100 grams of coconut oil has about 0.1 mg of vitamin E, thus enhancing its skin-nourishing properties.
Proteins: Like coconuts themselves, coconut oil is rich in many proteins. These proteins keep skin healthy and rejuvenated, both internally and externally. Proteins also contribute to the cellular health and tissue repair, along with a wide range of other essential activities within the body.
Capric/Caprylic/Lauric acid: These three fatty acids have strong disinfectant and antimicrobial properties.
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