Why is Coconut Oil Good for your Skin, Hair, and Body?

Why is Coconut Oil good for your Skin, Hair and Body?

At a health seminar, I heard about oil pulling. Not hindered by any kind of knowledge I bought a pot of coconut oil and tried it myself. And concluded that I lack the patience for something like that. Oil pulling is comparable to mouthwash. You have to keep the oil in your mouth for 15-20 minutes and let it swish around.

Finally, wanting to answer the question “Why is coconut oil good for your teeth”, I discovered that coconut oil is 100% saturated fat. Half a year before that I was warned that my cholesterol was too high, and I was panicky about anything leaning towards saturated fat.

As said, I wasn’t hindered by a lot of knowledge back then. Nowadays I am more careful with my conclusions. I look at trusted sources and try to compare opposite results, to be able to make educated choices.

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Why is coconut oil good?

Despite the fact that coconut oil is 100% saturated fat, it has a lot of health benefits for our bodies. Not all are properly backed by science (yet) but if you choose a good organic quality you’re set.

Some scientific facts about coconut oil

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is 100% saturated fat, but because it’s natural it’s good fat. The saturated fat that does a lot of harm is trans fat, for instance in margarine, which is used for a lot of fast food. Coconut oil contains little else: no cholesterol, no fiber, and faint traces of vitamins and minerals.

It is good for cholesterol, as it increases HDL and lowers LDL. In contrast to soybean oil that decreases HDL and increases LDL. But, as I say regularly on this website, for every scientific report that claims this is true, there is an equally scientific report that claims it’s probably not.

In my view, it depends on the quality. There are 2 types of coconut oil: (extra) virgin oil and copra oil. You cannot always check that on the label. As with any fad product, there is a lot of rubbish on the market.

How to determine the quality of coconut oil?

USDA Organic
  • The melting point of (extra) virgin coconut oil is between 24 and 26 degrees Celsius;
  • Copra coconut oil has a melting point between 30 and 33 C;
  • Virgin coconut oil is cold pressed and not deodorized, the Copra kind is refined and hardened;
  • Choose an organic brand that has a quality label;
  • Good oil is not cheap, although not all expensive oils are good. That’s why certification is important.
  • Preferably with an ISO number on the packaging;
  • In a glass jar, so you can see the color. The color should be off-white. Too yellow or too white is a sign something in the process was wrong;
  • Country of origin is stated;
  • The manufacturer or supplier is on the label.

In the US you can watch for the USDA approval. And in the EU the food hygiene and organic approval are recognizable from the starred leaf.

Here is a list of the benefit claims

EU approved organic

Internal use:

  • Increases energy;
  • Minimizes belly fat by helping with fat burning;
  • Slows down the aging process, because it counteracts damaging oxidation processes in the body;
  • Improves the absorption of nutrients;
  • Improves the stomach and intestinal health;
  • Strengthens the bones;
  • Promotes the health of teeth;
  • Reduces hunger;
  • Is not stored as fat and therefore promotes weight loss;
  • Protects the liver;
  • Fights infections by viruses, bacteria and fungi. 50% Of the oil is lauric acid, which kills harmful microorganisms;
  • Good for cholesterol, increases HDL and lowers LDL;
  • Ideal ingredient in a keto diet;
  • Strengthens immune system;
  • Can improve sleep and mood when used daily (15-30gr);
  • Can have a beneficial effect on brain disorders (Alzheimer’s and epilepsy);
  • Reduces hot flushes.

External use:

  • By smearing it into your hair, you’ll get healthy hair;
  • Helps with dry skin, by improving the moisture level of the skin;
  • It helps with eczema;
  • Good for your nails;
  • Helps with acne if you have a dry or normal skin type;
  • Oil pulling for 15-20 minutes reduces plaque;
  • Mix with baking soda as a toothpaste;
  • Suitable as after sun;
  • Soothes insect bites and itching.

Are these claims true?

Dr Bronner's Coconut Oil

Are you getting suspicious of so many health claims? I am, to be honest. And the only way to know what is true and what is not is to try it for yourself. And to listen to friends and acquaintances. But my adagio is always that what good is for someone else, doesn’t have to be good for me. We are all different. 

My experiences with coconut oil are both good and not good. As I told you at the beginning of my article I didn’t like the oil pulling. My mouth felt like it was layered in fat and I didn’t like it. That feeling is gone soon enough, I just didn’t have the patience to swirl the stuff around all the time. This is a bit strange now I think of it because I do have the patience to sit and meditate for 15 minutes or to swim my laps in the pool. 

I am still convinced that it is a good method. In this video, a dentist explains the benefits. As he says, it will not cure cavities, but it does have anti-bacterial and anti-parasitic properties!

Yikes, swimmers’ eczema

Talking about my laps in the pool! I swim 15 minutes each day. Last summer I skipped a lot of days because of eczema between my toes and on my legs. I hated the idea of having that happening again this year.

From the first day (May the 2nd) that I started my laps again, I developed a mindful and curing routine. As soon as I leave the water I dry my feet and legs meticulously. After drying the rest of my body, I sit on a stool and massage coconut oil in between my toes. And I finish it with a foot massage. Delightful!

Coconut oil diminishes my swimmers' eczema

Occasionally I feel some itching spots. But I didn’t have to skip one day so far because of eczema. Making me very happy, because I love swimming.

Bulletproof coffee or tea

In the Himalayas and other cold and high areas, people drink butter tea or butter coffee for the much-needed energy on high altitudes. Bulletproof coffee is a brand, started by Dave Asprey, inspired by butter tea from Tibet. Recently Bulletproof coffee became a hype.

My son drinks Bulletproof tea and gains a lot of energy from it. But instead of the butter, he uses coconut oil.

Some final words

As you can see I haven’t yet examined all benefit claims. I certainly intend to do so, because studying coconut oil for this article has made me even more enthusiastic than I already was. 

Have you eaten or used coconut oil? What are your findings? Let me know in the comment box.

14 thoughts on “Why is Coconut Oil Good for your Skin, Hair, and Body?”

  1. I love using coconut oil. My mother in law introduced it me a few years ago.
    I found your article great on how to determine the quality of coconut oil?
    There are many brands out there which are not of good quality so now we will be able to determine which one is best.
    I see you mention that it helps for eczema I will try this on my son’s skin and let you know how it goes.
    I like to use coconut oil in my baking and cooking, much healthier and tastes great.

    • Please do, Kay, let me know how your son’s skin is holding up. I know that for some people it doesn’t help, but I am so happy with it. One of my grandsons has trouble doing the ‘number 2’ on the toilet, so at times my son gives him a teaspoon of coconut oil. It indeed is great, isn’t it?

  2. You always provide such interesting and helpful information on your website, I am always anxious to visit your website to read your next article to learn more from you. Coconut oil has been receiving high praises now for quite some time, so do you think this has increased the price consumers are paying for high-quality coconut oil now?


    • That’s so sweet of you to say, Jeff, thanks! And yes, whenever the demand is growing prices are getting higher, so I guess prices did rise. But I am not very price conscious, I have to admit, so I can’t say for sure.

  3. Hi Hannie
    I’m a coconut oil fan as well. 3 years and counting. Although it is a little pricey, I have to prioritise this on my grocery staples.
    I tried bulletcoffee with coconut oil but I don’t really enjoy it. Not sure how I did wrong.
    Glad that coconut oil is helping with your eczema!

    • Yes, Sarina, I am so grateful for the part of the oil helping me with my exzema! 🙂 That you didn’t like bulletcoffee can be a matter of taste, so I guess you didn’t do anything wrong – you just don’t like it. It’s great you are a fan of coconut oil for other aspects.

  4. Hi Hannie,

    I must say my relationship with the coconut oil goes a long way. I even wrote an article on my website too! 🙂

    I love using it on my hair. It makes my hair shiny, strong and improves growth as well as I never suffered from any dandruff.

    I have been doing the oil pulling a good few years (on and off) and highly recommend it to anyone who can tolerate the ‘swirling’ in your mouth first thing in the morning for 15 minutes!

    I personally found it great for moisturizing my skin after shower/bath. And again I never had a dry/flaky/itchy skin.

    I also use it as a lip balm and feet/hand cream with great results.

    I have used it in cooking few years ago but were not too keen on the aroma in my curry even though I love the coconut flavor . I might try using it in cooking again. Or alternatively, I might try consuming a teaspoon of it in the evening to promote sleep. I will let you know how I get on.

    Thank you for this amazing and informative post

    • That is marvelous, Habib. I will have to look up your article 🙂 It’s great that you have tried more possibilities of cocnut oil than I did so far!

  5. I really don’t have much experience with coconut oil. I didn’t have all of the knowledge of the benefits either. Now that I know so much I am going to 100% give it a try. My children and I have horribly dry skin and it seems like lotion either doesn’t help or just makes it worse. Thank you for possibly helping me find something that will help.

    • I sure hope it helps, Cheyenne, please let me know when you see or don’t see results? I for one are really happy that it helps me, because I too tried so many things to no use. Good luck.

  6. I love coconut oil. I have been using it for years, for me and also for my dogs. One of my dogs is crazy about coconut oil, as soon as I open the jar, he is right there by my side, begging me for a coconut oil treat 🙂
    It has so many benefits, and I also love the taste. I have not tried the swirling in the mouth, that is new to me, but I will try it out. I make toothpaste with baking soda and coconut oil, which reminds me, I have to make more today 😉
    How do you make bulletproof tea? Just a spoonful of coconut oil and hot water or can you add an ordinary tea bag like green tea of Earl Grey to it?

    • How do you give it to your dog, Christine? Just a spoonful or do you mix it with something? I have to tell my son this (I don’t have a pet), as he uses coconut a lot as well, and I am not sure he knows his dog might like it too.

      As far as the bulletproof tea or coffee goes:
      The YouTube video is from the inventor of the bulletproof coffee.

      Recipe of bulletproof tea:

      • Coconut oil
      • Coconut milk (canned)
      • Ground cinnamon
      • (optional) Collagen Peptides
      • Very strong tea

      I never had it, but as written: my son does. 🙂

  7. Thank you! I’ll try out the tea.
    My dog just licks the coconut oil from the spoon (he loves it so much), but sometimes I also add a few tea spoons to their dog food. When I cook lentils for them, I may also add some coconut oil to the brew, but I usually give it to them fresh 😉


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