It seems people everywhere are obsessed with coconut oil. With all of the claimed benefits, and its extremely appealing price it’s hard not to be. Coconut oil has been highly regarded as an all around miracle worker for a variety of uses like cooking and baking, and all things beauty.
However, it has been slowly surfacing that coconut oil is not as beneficial as it’s made out to be. In fact, there can be a lot of negative side effects to the uses of the oil that we, as consumers, have been told is supposedly “healthy.” It can be hard to decipher when coconut oil can be your friend or your biggest foe. Here’s a list of the disadvantages and advantages of using coconut oil:
Coconut oil, for a long time, was held on a pedestal to be an amazing, healthy, and vegan replacement to butter and other dangerous oils. However, it turns out coconut oil is just as unhealthy as using butter and oils. According to Harvard Health Publishing, coconut oil is 90 percent saturated fat. That extremely high percentage outweighs the saturated fat levels of both butter (64 percent) and beef fat (40 percent). Such high levels can increase LDL cholesterol (hint: that’s the bad kind).
However, the oil doesn’t have to be completely banned from your kitchen. It can be ok to use sparingly and makes for a great replacement when baking vegan. Nonetheless, opting for olive oil and soybean oil for those other instances is ideal.
2. Skin Care
Once the coconut oil trend began bubbling to the surface, everyone was raving about using the sacred oil as a great, all around skin product. I, as a young broke college student, of course immediately bought into this. How could I not? An entire mason jar of the stuff is less than $10 and beauty influencers everywhere were raving about the benefits.
However, being told coconut oil is good for face moisturizing was a moment of extreme betrayal. I specifically remember Sav Montano, a beauty influencer with the best skin on YouTube, say that she uses coconut oil as a moisturizer and I was instantly, and easily, influenced to hop on the trend. But, once I decided to try it, I had breakouts for weeks. It turns out, the oil is terrible to use on your skin and you should avoid it at all costs.
Since coconut oil acts as more of a wax, it can lead to extremely clogged pours and breakouts. Not only that, but it is also is unable to actually penetrate the pour, blocking absorption and leading to extreme dryness. For these same reasons, beauty experts advise against using the oil as a makeup remover as well.
3. Hair care
Coconut oil has also been regarded as affordable hair oil. However, it has the same disadvantages for hair as it does for skin. Personally, I only used coconut oil on my hair for about a month and stopped because I didn’t enjoy the outcome. I found it took the volume out of my curly hair and left it with a weird greasy texture, which was not a good look.
People often use the oil for added moisture; however, it assists in drying out your hair. Hair needs water, and coconut oil can prevent that by repelling water from the hair. Additionally, coconut oil can act as a permanent solution, when in reality it is just a quick fix. It can make damaged hair look revitalized for a day, but it won’t actually help in the long run.
I have been using the remnants of my coconut oil on my lips because that is the one place where I found the benefits reined true. Coconut oil makes for a great lip moisturizer, and is the savior for all levels of chapped lips.
The oil can also easily be used as a base for DIY lip products. Allure suggested adding a little bit of lipstick, or Kool-Aid and Emergen-C packets, to make a quick homemade tinted lip gloss or combining the oil with salt or sugar for a wallet saving lip scrub.
Coconut oil also has amazing benefits for your mouth and teeth. For one, the lauric acid in the oil can help fight off harmful bacteria that causes bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease. When used as toothpaste it can also help whiten your smile. Add a little baking soda to the oil for a quick and easy tooth whitening toothpaste.
Coconut oil can be used in a variety of ways, and can be a great addition to your medicine cabinet. It serves as a great topical treatment to have stored in your first aid kit. It can help sooth burns and bug bites, and relieve eczema by reducing inflammation. Additionally, with its bacteria killing capabilities, coconut oil is great to use as a wound salve for any scrapes or cuts. It can also be used as a great and cheap, cold sore treatment. Not only does it sooth the pain and itching, it also helps prevent the virus from reproducing, and spreading out further.