Island in the Caribbean, a long time ago. The girl wrapped in a floating shawl looked around her and wherever her gaze rested she saw only heaven. Breathtakingly clear blue water lapped against a strip of white sand. In the background, lush palm groves overflowed with life. Now, everything seemed calm and peaceful. Yet a storm came the night before and uprooted trees and destroyed houses. At the girl's feet were the pieces of what had been her home. Disheartened, she shrugged her shoulders, nearly tripping over a coconut. The hurricane had caused a lot of them to fall to the ground. Suddenly, the young woman had an idea, remembering her grandmother who, bending over a bowl, crushed coconut pulp to create a face and body cream appreciated by all the villagers. With trembling hands, she began to collect and process coconuts, how many times had she seen her grandmother perform the same gestures as her! She worked all day and also the following night and finally produced, according to her grandmother's old recipe, a splendid moisturizer, ideal for tanned and sunburned skin! She went to the village market to sell her cream and everybody loved it. From that moment the girl created creams based on coconut pulp. Today we will be inspired by this Caribbean legend to create cosmetics for face, body and hair with an exotic scent and incredible benefits using, in fact, coconut oil, the product that is obtained from the pulp of coconut. But let's see, first of all, what coconut oil can do for our beauty, based on scientific research.
Coconut oil, beauty oil, here's what science says
Science recognizes the moisturizing properties of coconut oil, the very ones that have made it so popular for centuries in tropical areas (Varma et al, J Tradit Complement Med, 2019). Not only that, coconut oil also proves to be anti-inflammatory and soothing, also useful in case of skin irritation, sunburn, atopic dermatitis and psoriasis (Varma et al, J Tradit Complement Med, 2019). In addition, coconut oil strengthens the skin barrier, accelerates wound healing and protects the skin from sunburn (Lin et al, Int J Mol, 2018). Particularly interesting is the fact that coconut oil contains monolaurin, a compound obtained from the main fatty acid contained in this vegetable oil, namely lauric acid. In fact, monolaurin shows important antibacterial properties, useful for counteracting certain strains of bacteria such as Propionibacterium acnes, one of the main causes of acne. Finally, coconut oil, thanks to the presence of phenolic acids, such as ferulic acid, is anti-aging and antioxidant, useful for counteracting the aging processes of the skin (Lin et al, Int J Mol, 2018 - Pham et al , Cells, 2022). Regarding the health and beauty of hair, coconut oil still proves to be a powerful ally. In fact, coconut oil is one of the few oils to have the ability, if applied as a pre-shampoo, to penetrate the hair and prevent the loss of proteins, preserving and improving the elasticity and strength of the hair (Rele et al, J Cosmet Sci, 2003). Coconut oil can also be massaged onto the scalp, to improve the hydration and health of the skin's microbiota, while also reducing dandruff (Saxena et al, Sci Rep, 2021).
Cosmetics based on coconut oil, ideas and inspirations
For the beauty of hair, especially now that it can be stressed due to bathing in the sea and sun exposure, you can quickly dissolve two tablespoons of coconut oil in a bain-marie, combine them to two tablespoons of jojoba oil and mix. You can add a few drops of lavender or rosemary essential oil, which stimulate hair growth. Apply on damp scalp, with a slow massage, and then on the lengths. Leave on for 15 minutes then rinse with shampoo. Instead, here is an idea to revitalize dull skin, with dark spots but also for oily skin or during the holiday period, when once a week it is important to exfoliate the skin to ensure a homogeneous tan. In a bowl pour four tablespoons of softened coconut oil, add fine white sugar, so as not to irritate the skin of the face. The quantity of sugar is subjective in order to obtain the scrub of the consistency you want most, softer, therefore with less sugar, or more exfoliating. Mix and apply to damp skin on the face and body, massage gently for a few minutes, then rinse with plenty of water. Instead, for dry, burnt, but also mature and wrinkled skin, here is the idea for a coconut oil-based mask. In a bowl, combine 2 teaspoons of soft but not liquid coconut oil and add half a teaspoon of honey, emollient and capable of delaying the formation of wrinkles and rejuvenating (Burlando et al, J Cosmet Dermatol, 2013), mix. In case of dark spots you can also add a few drops of carrot essential oil. Apply to a clean, damp face for 10 minutes. Then rinse.