It’s an ideal moisturizer for those with dry or aging skin. It can also help soothe sensitive skin issues such as eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. You can use the oil alone or combine it with other natural agents such as beeswax, honey, or even brown sugar to make an exfoliating scrub.
Coconut oil also contains lauric acid, which your body converts into a medium-chain fatty acid (which is easier for your body to break down — so it doesn’t sit around and turn to fat!) that is useful for the treatment of bacterial infections. Many people use coconut oil for minor scrapes and cuts, applying a thin layer over the injury to help it heal. Lauric acid also can help lower bad cholesterol and boost good cholesterol to help improve heart health.
Additionally, coconut oil is becoming more prevalent in cooking. Imbibing small amounts of coconut oil could prove heart-healthy, since the saturated fat in coconut oil is plant-based. While olive oils are still the best for dressings and sauces, coconut oil is popping up more frequently in pastry dishes (especially pie crusts) and especially in vegetable mixes, where the oil gives your veggies a delicious flavor. Make your next stir fry in coconut oil, or pour a bit over popcorn instead of butter, and taste the difference.
Locally, you can find coconut oil at Monmouth Health Foods (Manasquan) and Nature’s Express (Point Pleasant) starting at about $8 a jar.