Let’s be real folks: As far as beauty fads go, the coconut oil craze isn't dying down anytime soon. However, did you know that extra virgin coconut oil can make all the difference (hello better hair days!) when selecting your oil of choice? Now that coconut oil is getting a little more mainstream, there are bound to be all sorts of more affordable, lower-quality knockoffs, but to get all those seemingly-miraculous benefits out of the stuff, you definitely need the real deal.
Like extra virgin olive oil, extra virgin coconut oil happens to be the purest form of oil available. It's not diluted with other stuff, plus it's processed with little to no added chemicals, you can expect only natural benefits, as it’s raw formula contains essential fatty acids and antioxidants to boot.
“Extra virgin coconut oil is fantastic because it is the purest form of coconut oil available — it’s unrefined and 100 percent raw,” says Tara King, Vita Coco Brand Innovation Manager. “The oil is extracted from fresh coconuts without adding any chemicals or subjecting it to high heat treatments. This way, the oils natural goodness is protected which makes it perfect for nourishing thirsty hair, and much more.” Still not convinced? Here's a little breakdown of why extra virgin coconut oil is really the only way to go.
What's The Big Difference?
Sure, you could grab any old jar of coconut oil at your local grocery store, but know that with extra virgin coconut oil, you are only getting the purest quality possible. Unlike your average coconut oil creams and lotions filled with icky additives and chemicals, extra virgin coconut oil variants cause little to no irritation, making it ideal to use on your hair and skin.
“Virgin coconut oil is cosmetic grade. This is oil that is pressed from mature nuts within a day or two after harvest,” says Dr. Vermén Verallo-Rowell, dermatologist and author of Rx: Coconut, The Perfect Health Nut. “The process ranges from no heat fermentation which, for me, is the best kind of process, as heat labile materials are retained although the physic-chemical analysis is otherwise the same for all virgin coconut oils. Extra virgin coconut oils can be applied generously on the skin without irritation.”
Why It's The Bomb
Like apple cider vinegar, extra virgin coconut oil can be used in a variety of ways. Like that multitasking CC cream you’re totally in love with, you can use extra virgin coconut oil for pretty much anything.
“Extra virgin coconut oil can be a mega moisturizer for your skin,” says Sarah Jacobs and Rachel Brown, holistic counselors behind The Wellness Project NYC. “Rather than just water soluble moisturizers that pull moisture from the air to hydrate skin, it helps strengthen the tissue and increase the skin's ability to hold and retain moisture.”
Plus, if your hair is drier than Death Valley, extra virgin coconut oil can give your hair that necessary blast of moisture it craves.
“Great for dry hair, too, as studies have shown it has the ability to penetrate the hair shaft and moisturize from the inside out,” adds Jacobs and Brown.
Wait, There's More?
Seriously, extra virgin coconut oil is that miraculous go-getter that can pretty much do anything. In addition to all those well-known beauty benefits, it has antiviral properties and energy boosting advantages to brag about. Superman really has nothing on this all star superhero.
“Extra virgin coconut oil has three types of fatty acids all known to kill candida a common fungus that easily overgrows and wreaks havoc on humans, inside and out,” says Jacobs and Brown. “This property makes it great to use in foot scrubs and on the skin to reduce overgrowth.”
So go ahead — smear it on literally everything.