Coconut oil has gained popularity in recent times. Previously unnoticed, it has now risen up to great heights as people move on to healthy and natural alternatives to synthetic products. Virgin coconut oil – it’s all-natural, fragrant, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and what’s more, in the Philippines, it’s relatively cheap. All of these great properties make it one of the most versatile and handy things you can have in household.
Coconut oil, when eaten, helps strengthen the immune system, aid digestion and combat acid reflux. It has tons of beauty benefits – from the hair, skin, nails and lips – when used as a moisturizer. It can be used for cooking. It can also be used to help heal wounds. The list goes on.
Today, we’re going to narrow down its uses to only one area of concern: your baby. Here are the 4 ways coconut oil can help you save on personal care products. For babies, you want the best stuff; go for the purest and unrefined extra virgin coconut oil.
1. Baby acne ointment It’s not unusual for your baby’s skin to not be as smooth, soft and blemish-free as the commercials say they ought to be. At around three months after birth, you may notice red bumps on your baby’s face. Your child may be experiencing infant acne. They’re mostly harmless and go away on their own but if you want to speed up the process coconut oil might do the trick. It’s acne-fighting powers are backed up by research too.
How does it do it? Coconut oil is 50% lauric acid. Lauric acid is converted by the body into monolaurin, which has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-protozoa properties. Because of this, it's also good for minor cuts and stings.
2. Eczema/Skin asthma ointments and lotions Many have attested to the effectiveness of extra virgin coconut oil in relieving atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin that results to itchy, red, swollen and cracked skin. It’s most common in children; around 65% of infants are affected by it during their first year or life. Other names for atopic dermatitis are eczema and skin asthma. With its anti-inflammatory properties, coconut oil can relieve the inflammation of the skin and soothe the aggravating effects of atopic dermatitis.
3. Baby Oil/Lotion Go with a chemical-free moisturizer and massage your baby with the soothing aroma of coconut oil. If your baby’s going through a cradle cap, coconut oil will also be helpful in easily removing the unsightly flaky scales from his scalp. Apply a few drops and then rinse off afterwards. Here’s a bonus for mom: you can use coconut oil to nourish and moisturize dry and cracked nipples.
4. Diaper Rash Cream Diaper rash is a generalized term for any skin irritation in the diaper area. “Because it is an inflammation, it may look like a red, sore patch on your baby’s diaper area or groin, if mild,” says pediatrician Ina Atutubo. A thin layer of coconut oil on your baby’s sore skin can relieve the inflammation and act as a protective barrier between the wet diaper and his skin. More severe diaper rash can lead to secondary yeast or bacterial infection. Coconut oil, with its fungal and bacterial fighting lauric acid, can help with this too.
Sources: Oct. 9, 2015. "Atopic Dermatitis". medicinenet.com 2013. "10 Coconut Oil Uses for Baby". babble.com Oct. 22, 2010. "The Truth About Saturated Fats and The Coconut Oil Benefits". mercola.com Oct. 30, 2009. "The antimicrobial activity of liposomal lauric acids against Propionibacterium acnes". ncbi.nlm.nih.gov Nov. 2008. "Novel antibacterial and emollient effects of coconut and virgin olive oils in adult atopic dermatitis". ncbi.nlm.nih.gov