Being a native of Kerala (A south-indian state) & forty years of our clinical practice is a testimonial of benefits of these two oils (Coconut & Olive oil). Nothing in this world can be compared to the goodness of these two oils in Skin & Hair Care. The modern medical world has started recognizing these facts in many of their recent research publication. But, how do we get benefit out of it? The trick lies in the form & method of using the two oils.
Benefit: First of all let us try to understand the benefits of these two oils.
Coconut oil & Olive oil is being used by humans for centuries in personal care. It is a great skin moisturizer, in part because it contains linoleic acid, a compound not made by the body, but which prevents water from evaporating.
Research on Olive Oil and Skin Health:
Research on Coconut Oil and Skin Health:
Coconut oil is an excellent massage oil for the skin. It acts as a moisturizer on skin, therefore a boon for dry skin. Coconut oil is a safe solution for preventing & curing roughness, dryness and peeling of skin.
It also delays the appearance of wrinkles and sagging of skin which normally accompany aging.
Coconut oil also helps in preventing premature aging and degenerative diseases due to its well-known antioxidant properties.
What is so magical inside coconut oil?
More than 90% of coconut oil consists of saturated fats, along with traces of few unsaturated fatty acids, such as monounsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids and Vitamin-E, vitamin K and minerals such as Iron.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids: Linoleic acid. (Moisturizer)
Monounsaturated fatty acids: Oleic acid.
Poly-phenols: Coconut contains Gallic acid, also known as phenolic acid.
Saturated fatty acids: Mostly medium chain triglycerides, which assimilate well in the body. Lauric acid 40% (the killer) of total, followed by capric acid, caprylic acid, myristic acid and palmitic.
Lauric acid was first found in palm oil by Prof. Dr John J Kabara, from the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacology, Michigan State University, America in the 1960s.
Virgin coconut oil is useful as antiviral, antibacterial, antiprotozoa, and antiparasitic. Because of its property to kill them, harmful micro-organisms that have cell walls composed of lipids, their cell walls are penetrated by monolaurin (our body converts lauric acid into monolaurin) that sucks out the liquid inside the cell. Cell shrinkage ensures death of micro-organisms. This mechanism is only applied to bad microorganisms and keep the good one.
Vegetable oils (corn, soybean, sunflower and canola) do not contain antimicrobial activity altogether.
What is virgin oil?
Virgin in other word is first press. The pure oil pressed out directly from coconut olive. But, what we get in the market is refined or processed oil mostly through RBD. RBD stands for refined, bleached, and deodorized. High heat is used to deodorize the oil, and the oil is typically filtered through (bleaching) clays to remove impurities. Sodium hydroxide is generally used to remove free fatty acids and prolong shelf life.
References1 . Novel antibacterial and emollient effects of coconut and virgin olive oils in adult atopic dermatitis. Dermatitis. 2008 Nov-Dec;19(6):308-15. Verallo-Rowell VM, Dillague KM, Syah-Tjundawan BS. Skin and Cancer Foundation, Pasig, Philippines. 2. Antimicrobial property of lauric acid against Propionibacterium acnes: its therapeutic potential for inflammatory acne vulgaris. J Invest Dermatol. 2009 Oct;129(10):2480-8. Epub 2009 Apr 23. Nakatsuji T, Kao MC, Fang JY, Zouboulis CC, Zhang L, Gallo RL, Huang CM. Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, California, USA.