Coconut Oil

Kokosöl mit Nüssen

 

  • Vegetable Fat
  • INCI: Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil
  • Melting point: approx. 73 – 79 °F (23 – 26 °C)
  • Comedogenicity: 3-4
  • Composition: Lauric acid (up to about 50 %), myristic acid (up to approx. 20 %), caprylic and capric acid (up to approx. 9/8 %), palmitic acid (up to approx. 10 %), oleic acid (up to approx. 8 %), stearic acid (up to approx. 3 %), linoleic acid (up to approx. 2 %), tocopherols.
  • Iodine number: 7 – 10.
  • Cosmetic use: Dry, chapped skin; hair care.
  • Shelf life: If cooled, 1 – 2 years.

 

Plant

The coconut palm is a tree that grows up to 25 m tall and has been cultivated for over 3000 years. The trunk of the palm tree is slender, unbranched, and usually grows slightly curved. A tree carries up to 40 feathered, 4 – 6 m long fronds, which themselves carry up to 180 leathery leaves. The inflorescences grow from the leaf axes in groups, each with a yellowish-green female flower and two yellowish male flowers. The fruit of the coconut palm is a stone fruit that has a dry shell when ripe and weighs up to 2.5 kg. There can be up to about 150 ripe nuts growing on a full-bearing palm.

Extraction of coconut oil

The white to yellowish-white coconut oil is also called coconut fat since the oil is solid at room temperature, but becomes softer and melts when heated. The reason for this is the high content of saturated fatty acids (about 90%). Coconut oil is extracted from the flesh of the coconut. The fresh pulp is dried and pressed. The oil is then refined.

Cosmetic use of coconut oil

Although coconut oil has a low penetration capacity into the skin, it is often used in cosmetics due to its moisturizing and cooling effect. The oil is absorbed quickly by the skin, but only superficially. The oil relaxes the facial skin and gives a fresh complexion. For irritated skin areas or sunburn, coconut oil provides a cooling, soothing relief.
Coconut oil is also a treat for the hair. Coconut oil has a nourishing, regulating effect on hair, hair roots and scalp. It smooths the hair and gives it moisture and shine.

Mangobutter in Schüssel

Benefits of coconut oil for the skin

  • provides moisture
  • has a cooling effect
  • is absorbed quickly
  • relaxes the skin
  • gives a fresh complexion

Internal use of coconut oil

Coconut oil is described as extremely healthy despite its high content of saturated fatty acids. It contains medium-chain fatty acids, which are very easily digestible. The reason for this is that these fatty acids can be digested without pancreatic lipase (fat splitting enzyme of the pancreas). The liver, bile and pancreas are therefore less strained than during the digestion and absorption of long-chain fatty acids, which are often found in concentrated form in vegetable oils.

The fatty acids of coconut oil are water-soluble and reach the liver directly via the bloodstream. There they are used by the body to produce energy and are rather not stored as fat. Studies have also shown that the intake of coconut oil as part of a diet can result in a reduction in body weight and body fat percentage.

Buy coconut oil – what to consider?

Coconut oil should preferably be cold-pressed and above all untreated. When cold pressing, the oily components of the plant are pressed out mechanically, without using high temperatures. Therefore, all important nutrients and fat-soluble vitamins are preserved, which make the oil so valuable for health and cosmetics. Often you can also find refined coconut oil. Refined oil has been exposed to high temperatures and is therefore not as valuable as unrefined coconut oil. Therefore you should pay attention to the marking “unrefined” when buying the oil.

Preferably the oil should also come from organic cultivation to avoid possible pesticide residues.

Sources
Sources: Krist, Sabine (2013): Lexikon der Pflanzlichen Öle und Fett. Vienna: Springer Verlag. | Braunschweig, R. (2020): Pflanzenöle - über 50 starke Helfer für Genuss und Hautpflege. Wiggensbach: Stadelmann Verlag.

Latest posts

Recipes