Virgin coconut oil, brough to you by the tree of life in French Polynesia (although, from a strict botanical point of view, coconut tree is not a tree…!)
First glance at it, it reminds us of holidays, farniente, warm sand, and blue lagoon… Are you already there yet? Me too. Even by living in French Polynesia, a motu, coconut trees and the rolling sound of waves, keep me on a little cloud.
This tree is called the “tree of life”, because it is used in thousands of ways. You can make oil, milk, you can drink its water or use its wood (which, once again from a botanical perspective, it’s not wood because it is a stipe and not a trunk J). It is used in cosmetics, in the kitchen, and for traditional medicines uses as well.
For our concern, we’re interested by its virgin oil, made from fresh pulp. This is what we prefer to use in cosmetics. Even though this oil is also a delightful product to give a touch of exotism in your curry recipes, your veggies woks, and to substitute butter in pastries.
This is the MUST HAVE oil for dry skin because it contains about 90% saturated fatty acids. This is.a.lot. Those saturate fatty acids are responsible for the oil being solid at about 20C° and under. They also give the oil extra emollient (very hydrating) virtues, because they form a protective layer on our skin.
So just remember: saturated fatty acids = emollients for dry skin. This gives you an easy criteria to choose your oil, and virgin coconut oil wins the gold medal.
But it’s not just rainbows and butterflies… because saturated fatty acids also means occlusion…which means comedogenic…which means pimples!!! So, we use plenty for the body, we use it as a biphase makeup remover, or we limit its use for our eye contour care routine.
We also love it for its unsaponifiable components (“the unsaponifiables”) differing from the fatty acids.
Let’s talk about vitamin E naturally found in coconut oil. Vitamin E enhances the emollient virtues of the saturated fatty acids (SFA). Kiss cool effect ;). And once the hydrolipidic film is strengthened, your skin will love it, because it now has a double protection.
Vitamin E is also very beneficial for its anti-oxidant property. It can neutralize oxidative molecules that stress and damage our cells.
What more could one ask for in order to nourish and protect dry skin?
If you don’t want to bother playing the little alchemist at home, but you still want an easy tip for your dry skin to benefit from all the coconut oil properties, you can give your usual body cream a coconut boost:
- Mix in your hand a teaspoon of coconut oil with your daily body cream
- Homogenize the whole mixture by rubbing your hands together
- And there you go: you just boosted your daily cream! (This can be done everyday during winter season, or as much as needed).