Move Over Bounty – Rich & Creamy Coconut Goodness
My nutrient rich, skin softening Coconut Drench Cream isn’t just good for hands, but also elbows, knees, feet, cracked & dry skin days!
In my Natural Products range I make various hand & body creams to order for clients dependant on their needs & personal preference, but as it doesn’t produce an essential oil I had not considered Coconut before.
My clients like all sorts of every kind of scent & smell. My nan likes simple but soothing Lavender. For others I have concocted a wide range of creams for differing needs & scent palates:
- Calming Patchouli & Bergamot
- Joyful Orange & Geranium
- Zingy Lemon & Lime
- Cooling Palmarosa & Garden Mint
- Balancing Geranium & Frankincense
- Peaceful Sandalwood & Neroli (Orange Flower)
- Uplifting Ylang Ylang & Litsea
- Beautiful Rose, Geranium & Patchouli (my own personal favourite)
Some clients require creams for particular conditions such as Dermatitis, Eczema or Psoriasis – in which case I add particular carrier, enricher & essential oils to the base cream that can assist with issues such as inflammation, redness & itching, whilst promoting skin renewal & natural healing.
- Enrichers: Calendula-macerated, Avocado, Carrot-macerated & Rosehip Seed oil
- Essential oils: Rose, Roman Chamomile, German Chamomile, Frankincense, Patchouli, Lavender, Sandalwood, Spikenard, Carrot Seed & Helichrysum
Whilst many love this hot sunny summer we’ve been having – & pause here for a photo of it in my garden at Nature To Nurture:
– a few of my clients have bemoaned the drying effects on their hands, elbows, knees – & especially having cracked skin on their feet with all that sandal wearing (which is, of course, just what you don’t want when you’re wearing sandals). As a result I was asked to create a formulation for particularly dry skin. Anyone who knows me knows that I tend to avoid dairy (my tummy & sinuses thank me for it) & so love all things Coconut – fresh, dried, milk, cream, water, especially yoghurt (a whole other blog) & of course, the oil.
Lusciously Rich Coconut Drench Cream
The result is my scrummy new Coconut Drench Cream – a steal at only £6.50 for a 60mls jar. It is just as Nature intended – no nasties, preservatives, synthetics, SLS, parabens, PEGs or chemicals with unpronounceable names, just freshly made up for you to use. It has a shelf life 6 months if stored out of direct heat/sunlight; if it is a hot summer or you live in warmer climate or conditions it is best to store it in the fridge.
It is a rich cream so a little goes a long way, but because it is made with natural plant-based ingredients it will quickly sink into your skin for long-term moisturisation. As well as being antibacterial, Coconut oil has excellent emollient/skin softening properties (thus also being good for footcare & cracked skin).
These benefits are increasingly the subject of research – see this article in the Dermatology Times. However, do be aware that Coconut oil easily becomes solid at lower temperatures so it will thicken up if kept cold or in the fridge, although this is easily remedied with usage. Also, as with all my Natural Products you will need to keep it out of direct sunlight & heat to prevent oxidization & deterioration.
- Base Cream (Water, Sweet Almond Oil, Jojoba Oil, Glycerin, Vitamin E Oil)
- Coconut Oil
- Fractionated Coconut Oil
- Concentrated Coconut Oil
- That’s it!
Directions: slather on & enjoy
Let’s Go Coconuts!
If you are interested in all things Coconut – the good stuff in it; the benefits & latest scientific research; different types; what & what not to buy & how it is helping local communities to improve their lives then please read on…
and if you would like a recipe for good measure please see my blog for Chocoloco Coconutty Lollipops
The Coconut Palm (Cocos nucifera)
Coconuts are the latest craze food & the oil is not just excellent for cooking. There is a lot of information out there about them – they are an extremely hot topic at the moment due to their incredible range of benefits both inside & out. If you’re intrigued take a look at these:
- From Authority Nutrition on ‘10 Impressive Health Benefits of Coconut Oil‘
- Neal’s Yard Remedies take on ‘Coconut oil – not just for the kitchen‘
- ‘7 Health Benefits of Coconut Oil According to Science’ from Jen Reviews is a really good read. I plan to make Roasted Cauliflower & Lentil with Red Pepper Sauce & Vanilla Toasted Coconut & Cashew Mix – yum!
- If 7 or 10 aren’t enough then Cooking Detective offers a very comprehensive article on ’23 Health, Fitness And Weight Loss Benefits Of Coconut Oil (With Bonus Recipes)’
The Coconut is actually not a nut at all, but a drupe or the stone fruit of the Coconut Palm tree Cocos nucifera. A drupe is a fruit & seed in one – think of a Peach or Apricot stone, which are also drupes.
Coconut Oil Pulling
In the past few years there has been a lot written about using Coconut Oil for pulling (cleaning teeth) – see this article from the Daily Mail for a general explanation. As a previous user of mouthwash containing the antibacterial ingredient Chlorhexidine (think Corsodyl etc) I was fascinated to discover scientific research demonstrating that Coconut oil pulling not only works but is as effective as using such medicated mouthwashes. I love that Nature has such natural alternatives for us to try. See the article from Pub Med research here & also from the professional industry magazine Dentistry IQ.
Coconut Oil Benefits
As well as Lauric Acid, Virgin Coconut oil contains other highly beneficial medium-chain fatty acids such as Capric, Caprylic, Myristic & Palmitic acids, all of which retain their super emollient (skin softening) & moisturizing capabilities.
Also Oleic acid, which is particularly indicated for dry skin – see this article on the Best Oils for Your Skin Type for more information. It contains nutrients like Vitamins A, C, & E, which help maintain collagen production – plumping the skin naturally & reducing the appearance of fine lines & wrinkles & also high levels of natural antioxidants, which protect the skin from premature ageing.
Knowing just how luxuriously hydrating & moisturising Coconut oil is I often include it in my Natural Products range but this time I saw scope for a new formulation to help ease that dry skin & literally drench it with moisture
Coconut Oil – the different types I use in my products
Coconuts have been used in Asia & the Pacific Rim for thousands of years. The oil is used extensively in India for hair care & within the tradition of Ayurvedic medicine as a natural remedy for various conditions (Coconut pulling as above, also Eczema, Pruritis/itching, wound healing, hair growth, respiratory conditions, general debilitation; for more information see this article on Ayurvedic Use of Coconut Oil).
The extraction process for Coconut oil is complex & lengthy, requiring many types of chemical & solvent refining (Wikipedia explains this pretty well). So if possible I would always recommend using Virgin Coconut
oil, where the oil is obtained simply by using a mechanical press to squeeze the oil from the fresh Coconut flesh & milk & goes through the least amount of processing. I always use Organic Virgin Coconut oil as the prime ingredient in my Coconut products where possible.
Traditional methods of extracting Coconut oil using cold-pressing are also providing invaluable employment opportunities & income sources for women & village communities in various tropical countries like these women in Samoa. To read more please click on this article from Women in Business Development.
I would avoid Refined Coconut oil, where the oil is further processed, bleached & deodorized to remove its natural scent & colour, & is often further processed to removed contaminants picked up as a result. Also steer clear of Hydrogenated Coconut oil where the oil has been even further processed to increase its melting point, resulting in a completely different substance & chemical composition.
For more information on refined oils & processing in general please see my blog on ‘Products & Information: A Glossary of Oils‘.
Coconut Oil Types
Solid Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is usually solid at room or low temperatures, although it melts easily to become a liquid. About 49% of Coconut oil is a substance called Lauric Acid, a rare medium-chain fatty acid, found in very little other sources than mother’s milk, that supports healthy metabolism & is now being studied for its anti-fungal, antiviral, & antibacterial health-protecting properties. It is also being investigated for its potential beneficial effects on skin & in particular conditions such as Psoriasis & dry/cracked skin.
Although at present research is trying to determine if this is purely the Lauric Acid itself, what has been demonstrated is that Virgin Coconut Oil definitely improves the skin’s hydration & elasticity – see this article from the University of Technology, Malaysia for more information on current research.
Fractionated Coconut Oil
Sometimes a liquid oil is required however, & this is available in the form of Fractionated Coconut Oil. In massage we often use it for male clients who are particularly hairy, as the oil slides more easily over hair. It is also massaged into the hair & scalp in Indian Head Massage during treatment & in Indian Champissage afterwards (as it is a dry treatment).
During fractionation the oil is put through a process of hydrolysis (where water is added) & steam distillation – this changes the chemical composition of the oil to make it stable as a liquid.
The advantages of using Fractionated Coconut oil in products is that is a liquid & easily soluble with other oils, is a more stable product & thus has a longer shelf life, can also produce a smoother texture & simply some clients don’t like having a product which can solidify at cooler temperatures.
There are a lot of suppliers for Coconut oil out there & prices vary widely. It’s also worth shopping around for special offers (Holland & Barrett often have Penny Sales or Buy one get one half price offers on).
However, to my mind the star of the show goes to Aldi Coco Loco Coconut Oil who have managed to supply an organic cold-pressed raw virgin Coconut Oil for just £2.49 for 300mls – a complete bargain steal!
Aldi (organic cold-pressed raw virgin, £2.49 for 300mls)
Baldwins Coconut Oil (just in case you prefer an alternative – this is still a good-quality cosmetic grade refined Coconut oil, £10.99 for 500mls)
Baldwins Fractionated Coconut Oil (£17.69 for 500mls)
Biona (organic cold-pressed raw virgin, £7.99 for 400mls)
Holland & Barrett (organic cold-pressed raw virgin, £15.59 for 453mls)
Neal’s Yard Remedies (organic cold-pressed raw virgin, £15.00 for 500g)
Viridian (organic cold-pressed raw virgin, £9.00 for 300g)
Fancy trying lusciously rich Coconut Drench Cream for yourself?
Just contact me & I will be happy to make some for you, or try a 15mls sample pot for just £1.50