Why, Exactly, Is Coconut Oil So Miraculous?

From promises of skincare perks to oaths of immediate weight loss, coconut oil's benefits are touted as near miraculous. But why is coconut oil so good for you, exactly? If you have a blister, a dry patch, or a burgeoning boil, you can certainly lather up with coconut oil and behold the beautifying results. Celebrity adherents to coconut oil range from Mandy Moore to Mindy Kaling, and each insists that their luminous skin and cascading locks are a direct result of their love affair with the ingredient. However, there is a fine line between claims of greatness and greatness itself, especially where so-called "super ingredients" are involved.

The number of devoted coconut oil enthusiasts is high enough to suggest the oil does something for your general health, but what perks can you truly expect? The answer doesn't lie in the assertions of Hollywood's celebrities or self-labeled beauty experts, but rather, in the ingredient list and properties of coconut oil itself. Read on for the real explanation behind coconut oil's prettifying powers, and pocket the information for the next occasion when a friend mutters, "Something about the good fats," when asked why the product is so wonderful.

1. Coconut Oil Is Anti-Bacterial

You may only consider anti-bacterials beneficial for your hands after a subway ride or an encounter with a sneezing toddler, but anti-bacterial ingredients are ideal for usage on your face as well — especially for those suffering from acne. Coconut oil is an anti-bacterial substance, based on claims by Huffington Post, and according to The American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, antibacterial ingredients can stop blemishes in their tracks. Mercola affirms that coconut oil achieves its anti-bacterial status due to its lauric acid content. Instead of investing in an expensive prescription acne treatment, you may wish to further examine coconut oil as an inexpensive alternative. However, as with any other skincare treatment, coconut oil shouldn't be considered a magical cure-all. Test the oil on your skin and assess your own results before tossing your entire store of Proactiv products.

2. Coconut Oil's Fatty Acids Are Ideal For Moisturizing

There's no doubt that this ingredient does achieve its aim of lubricating the skin. The reason, according to The International Journal Of Dermatology, is coconut oil's ability to impede transepidermal water loss, or skin dehydration, and actually seep into the skin for increased moisturizing power.

3. Coconut Oil May Qualify As An Antioxidant

Medical News Today suggests that coconut oil may possess antioxidant capabilities, which can help in the prevention of oxidative breakdown from free radicals. As oxidative harm is a major contributor to the visible indicators of aging such as reduced collagen creation and the formation of dark spots, antioxidants are considered a significant facet in preserving the skin's youth. By swiping on a bit of coconut oil, you could be slowing your skin's outward aging, if current theories are correct.

The next time you consider investing in an expensive night cream or dipping into your savings for a drastic acne treatment, you may want to divert your attention to coconut oil instead.

Images: Alex Masters/Flickr; Giphy