Not all coconut oils are created equal. When comparing refined vs extra virgin coconut oil, you’ll find these two types are actually quite different. Before picking one over the other, it’s critical to understand the specific differences. One will suit your needs considerably better than the other, depending on what you’re using the oil for.
Why is coconut oil so popular for skincare?
Coconut oil is a popular skincare product due to its numerous therapeutic properties and anti-aging properties. It is the safest oil for even the most delicate skin and can be used from head to toe as a moisturizer, makeup remover, face washing, treatment for skin conditions, and even hair application.
Many people are put off by the concept of putting oil on their skin, or they believe that since they have oily skin, coconut oil skin care won’t work for them. But there’s good news: coconut oil is suitable for all skin types.
Applying nourishing oils to oily skin helps exfoliate it by breaking up and dissolving excess oil without stripping the skin of its natural lipid barrier. This is why using coconut oil to clean your face or using it as a facial moisturizer can benefit oily skin.
It is also highly effective for dry skin, which occurs when we lack oils resulting in rough, dry or flaky skin. Topically using a nourishing oil such as coconut oil helps to maintain the lipid barrier, which lowers water loss, prevents oxidative damage, and promotes antibacterial action.
You can use coconut oil to cleanse your face and remove any oil that has hardened on your skin due to pollutants and closed pores. Coconut oil has been discovered to help with inhibiting the growth of bacteria associated with acne due to its antibacterial characteristics. Because of its anti-inflammatory qualities, it effectively lowers acne-related inflammation and swelling.
Skin conditions like eczema will benefit from coconut oil through increasing skin hydration and minimizing skin infections. It also promotes wound healing by enhancing collagen and antioxidant enzyme activity.
Benefits for the skin
Coconut oil is a naturally occurring saturated fat that’s made up of medium-chain fatty acids. Coconut oil is one of the few sources of medium-chain fatty acids, which is why it is so beneficial to the skin.
Coconut oil’s main medium-chain fatty acid, lauric acid, has been shown to have antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. Various chemical compounds included in coconut oil, such as phytonutrients and polyphenols, operate as antioxidants and have other tissue-supporting and tissue-protecting qualities.
Refined vs extra virgin coconut oil: what are the differences?
While coconut oil may appear to be a simple and uncomplicated product, there is a limitless range of brands and varieties on the market, making selecting the finest coconut oil for skincare much more difficult. This makes it more important to understand the differences when using refined vs virgin coconut oil for skincare. The main distinction between these two types of coconut oil is how it is made, which has an impact on its physical attributes like flavor and smoke point once heated.
Virgin coconut oil is made from coconut meat that hasn’t been processed in any way. All of the naturally occurring phytonutrients and polyphenols are preserved in virgin coconut oil, which is derived from fresh coconut meat. The oil can be extracted from the coconut in one of two ways. The dry process involves pressing coconut oil from dried coconut flesh with a machine. The wet method entails extracting both coconut milk and coconut oil from fresh coconuts before separating the two. At room temperature, virgin coconut oil is solid and has a pronounced coconut flavor and aroma. Its smoke point is 350°F (177°C).
Refined coconut oil is made from dried coconut meat that has been extracted using chemical solvents. This method of production necessitates the purification of coconut oil by refining, which means that some of the good elements are lost. It has a higher smoke point than virgin coconut oil of around 400–450°F (204–232°C), making it better suited for high-heat cooking. It’s typically flavorless and odorless.
Does it matter which type of coconut oil to use on your skin?
Coconut oil is well-known for its health and beauty benefits — it can be used for nearly anything! But when it comes to choosing virgin coconut oil vs refined coconut oil, you need to use a high-quality oil, or not use it at all. You can use refined coconut oil for skincare if the virgin variety’s fragrance bothers you, but the latter is the better choice.
Virgin coconut oil is unprocessed, pure, has a quality nutrient profile, and offers more benefits to your skin. It keeps the delightful, tropical coconut scent while maintaining all of the skin-beneficial elements including vitamin E and antioxidants.
How to choose the best quality coconut oil for your skin?
For skin application, it is best to look for organic virgin coconut as it has been minimally processed. Look for labels that include words such as ‘raw’, ‘expeller-pressed or ‘cold-pressed.
Food is raw when it is not processed. Raw food appeals to people because it has more nutrients because it has undergone less processing. Although the term “raw” is thrown around loosely by marketers, it usually means the oil has never been processed using heat or chemicals, which are known to destroy natural enzymes.
Virgin coconut oil is expeller-pressed, and it is frequently cold-pressed as well. The oil is extracted using an expeller press that squeezes the oil out of a fresh coconut. It can also be extracted using a natural technique referred to as centrifuge, which spins the coconut meat to isolate the oil. Nothing is added to the oil using these methods making it a clean and pure product.
Refined coconut oil goes through various levels of processing and uses solvents to expel the oil and can be bleached or deodorized.
Where can you find and buy the best skincare products with coconut oil?
It’s important to know the differences between refined vs virgin coconut oil when choosing quality skincare products. However, with so many coconut oil-infused products to select from, it might be daunting to know which ones are best.
Pay attention to trusted brands that sell fair-trade coconut oil and provide correct, extensive information about the extraction process. When selecting a quality product with coconut oil, you will enjoy numerous skin benefits, such as improved evenness, proper hydration, healing, and nourishment. It also works as a natural sunscreen, shielding your skin from the sun’s damaging rays.