Coconut oil: There is a lot to be said for coconut oil and unless you have been living under a rock for the past couple of years you have probably heard or read something about it. There have been countless stories, on television, the internet, and in health and cooking magazines, all proclaiming the hundreds of uses of coconut oil. So since they have probably said it all, I will simply say, I love coconut oil for many things. When my husband says that something (usually mechanical in nature) needs lubricating, I will often joke, “get out the coconut oil.” Just in case you have just climbed out from under your rock, and happened to find my website, here is one article from natural news.
Most of the articles I have read do not go into detail about types of coconut oil, but here is a link the explains the difference in types of coconut oil.
If you are not interested in reading the article for yourself I will summarize it by saying, if the label says “coconut oil” then it is probably a mass produced, mechanically refined, bleached and deodorized (RBD)coconut oil. While not necessary unhealthy it probably has lost a lot of the nutritional benefits during the processing.
“Virgin” coconut oil, on the other hand, has been cold processed and retains the nutrition value.
So if you are eating coconut oil for maximum health benefits you will want the much more expensive “virgin” coconut oil. However, in my opinion, it is not cost effective to use virgin coconut oil in making soap, when the less expensive RBD coconut oil will provide the desired effects while keeping products more affordable. So while I do not use virgin coconut oil in my products, I do use a food grade RDB coconut oil.
In soap making, Soap-Making-Essentials.Com says:
“Coconut oil probably takes top spot as the most used soap making oil and for good reason.
Not only does it produce a rock hard soap with a fantastic lather but this oil is wonderfully moisturizing and adds a barrier to the skin protecting it from the elements.
It’s cleansing ability is amazing and is one of the few oils that produces a soap that will lather in salt water.”
I have discovered all of this to be true (not sure about lather in salt water, I haven’t had the occasion to test it.) I have experimented with making a soap that has only coconut oil as the only oil. The result is a soap that is so hard that it can not be cut. It will break into funny shapes with jagged edges. It does however provide great lather and cleansing power. I have a customer who uses this in her homemade laundry detergent. I have been testing it as a stain remover/pretreatment for laundry and am having great results.
I also use coconut oil in my balms and sunscreen. It is a wonderful moisturizer and protector for the skin and just feels sooo good.
So to answer two questions about this ingredient in my products:
Is coconut oil natural? Yes.
Can you eat coconut oil? Yes
Thanks for reading 🙂