If you had to choose a super-nourishing, gentle and safe oil for your precious little one, then virgin coconut oil should be right at the top of your list. It’s because there are so many benefits of virgin coconut oil for babies…that one blog may not even be enough!
But before we start listing the innumerable benefits of Virgin Coconut Oil…it’s important to understand what true virgin or extra virgin coconut oil is…
The most nourishing extra virgin or virgin coconut oil (used interchangeably by many) comes from the fresh coconut (white succulent part), which is first de-shelled, crushed and ground into a milky paste or slurry. It is then placed in a high speed centrifuge that rapidly spins the contents. Through this spinning process, the oil is separated from the milk. The This form of centrifuge extracted coconut oil retains the natural vitamin E, maximum lauric acid and anti-oxidants vs a simple cold-pressed coconut oil from the dried coconut (copra). It’s also a more expensive form of coconut oil as the milk of the coconut yields much less oil than copra
Centrifuged virgin coconut oil also known as wet milled or wet extracted coconut oil. It has a mild fresh coconut smell and not a strong roasted coconut or a nutty smell, typically found in cold-pressed coconut oil from copra.
At Prakrta we use only edible-grade centrifuge-extracted virgin coconut oil as that ensures it’s the best quality and is the safest for a baby’s skin, because we feel if it’s safe to eat, it’s safe to apply!.
Note: All references of Virgin coconut oil (VCO) by us denote the centrifuge-extracted virgin coconut oil variety only.
What makes this form of coconut oil so good for baby’s skin and hair?
- Skin nourishment with natural vitamin E - Centrifuged virgin coconut oil retains it’s natural vitamin E, which is able to nourish skin that much more. This form of vitamin E (tocopherols) is metabolized by skin much better than the commonly used synthetic form called tocopheryl acetate (more on this in subsequent blogs…)
- Improved skin immunity with Caprylic acid and Lauric acid4,8 – More than 60% of coconut oil is made up of lauric and caprylic acid (a medium chain triglyceride). These fatty acids have potent anti-microbial properties and help fight bacteria, virus and yeast. They help improve skin immunity and for a newborn act as a protective shield on skin.
- Maintain skin barrier function3- Infant skin is much thinner than adult skin and for the first 12 months (while the baby’s skin is going through a maturation process) it is important that, a baby’s skin is cleansed with mild pH balanced cleansers (we will cover this in more detail in coming blogs ) and moisturized with only natural, chemical free moisturizers like virgin coconut oil. It has proven ability to improve the skin barrier function and prevent water loss (trans epidermal water loss, TEWL) to keep skin hydrated and healthy, especially beneficial for new born babies
- Natural remedy to control or treat eczema, atopic dermatitis and xerosis (acute dry skin) – There are many studies1,2,3 that show that virgin coconut oil helps ease skin itchiness and irritation caused by atopic dermatitis or eczema. There are many pediatricians and dermatologists that now recommend virgin coconut oil to control and alleviate mild to moderate form of eczema and acute dry skin in babies. There is a reason why coconut oil is gaining momentum across the world for having unmatched qualities of being a natural anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral as well as a nourishing moisturizer.
It’s not just scientific studies but we have personally experienced the magical properties of coconut oil. With regular usage of virgin coconut oil, my 6-month-old niece’s eczema was almost 90% better and more importantly it was not constantly erupting. All this in a matter of 2-3 months…Its why we just love virgin coconut oil and hope more and more families benefit from it.
There are so many different ways to use virgin coconut oil…
Baby massage – Virgin coconut oil is light, easily absorbed and loaded with skin benefits. It makes a great pre-bath massage oil from top to toe for the little ones.
There is really just one precaution that should be exercised with coconut oil. In cold weather (temperature below 15 degrees centigrade) avoid applying coconut oil on the baby’s head. Coconut oil has a cooling effect and in very cold temperatures can be mixed with some warming sesame oil and applied.
- Healthy hair growth – A popular traditional use of coconut oil used in southern India as well as other southeast Asian countries is massaging baby’s head with coconut oil to improve and promote a healthy hair growth.
- Ease Cradle Cap symptoms – While massaging babies, take special care to massage oil on scalp, around the ears and eyebrows to help ease symptoms of cradle cap (a crusty, scaly patches on baby’s scalp).
- Nappy rash – a good quality virgin coconut oil used regularly for massage and spot treatment of rashes will almost completely negate the need for nappy rash creams.
- Soothe dry itchy/ irritated skin – It’s good to keep a bottle of virgin coconut oil handy and use it to soothe dry itchy skin caused by eczema or dermatitis 3-4 four times a day. You can even use it to ease discomfort caused by mosquito or other minor insect bites as well.
- 100% natural moisturizer in lieu of lotion – A baby’s skin is said to be 5 times thinner than adult skin and absorbs almost 50-60% of what is put on it! You can easily replace a lotion that uses preservatives and other chemicals with virgin coconut oil. Just apply the oil right after baby’s bath on slightly damp skin. Both moisture and oil together act as an instant natural lotion (with a mild natural coconutty fragrance!)
Hope you liked reading about the benefits and uses of virgin coconut oil. Keep watching this space for more informative blogs …!
If you would like to learn more from our personal experience, or about our products/philosophy feel free to reach us at +919871018767 / +919971704441
Listed below are some Prakrta Baby Products made with Centrifuge extracted virgin coconut oil.
Tender Skin Baby Oil - 100 ml (https://prakrta.in/collections/baby-care/products/tender-skin-baby-oil)
Tender Skin Baby Oil – 200 ml (https://prakrta.in/collections/baby-care/products/tender-skin-baby-oil-virgin-coconut-oil-with-vit-e-and-avocado-extract-100-natural)
Tender skin Baby Butter – 85 grams (https://prakrta.in/collections/baby-care/products/tender-skin-baby-butter-extra-gentle-no-fuss-multitasking-baby-butter-with-botanically-infused-calendula)
References of scientific studies or health articles/websites
V.M. Verallo-Rowell, K.M. Dillague, B.S. Syah-Tjundawan, Novel antibacterial and emollient effects of coconut and virgin olive oils in adult atopic dermatitis
Dermatitis, 19 (6) (2008), pp. 308-315
Accessed 14 May 2020 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19134433
A randomized double-blind controlled trial comparing extra virgin coconut oil with mineral oil as a moisturizer for mild to moderate xerosis
Dermatitis, 15 (3) (2004), pp. 109-116
- M. Evangelista, F. Casintahan, L. Villafuerte, The effect of topical virgin coconut oil on scorad, transepidermal water loss and skin capacitance in mild to moderate pediatric atopic dermatitis: a randomized, double-blind clinical trial
Bactericidal Effect of Lauric Acid-Loaded PCL-PEG-PCL Nano-Sized Micelles on Skin Commensal Propionibacterium acnes
Thi-Quynh-Mai Tran 1,2, Ming-Fa Hsieh 1,2,3,*, Keng-Lun Chang 2, Quoc-Hue Pho 2,
Van-Cuong Nguyen 4, Ching-Yi Cheng 5 and Chun-Ming Huang 6 Accessed 15 may 2020 - https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4360/8/9/321/htm
In vitro anti-inflammatory and skin protective properties of Virgin coconut oil
Accessed 15 may 2020 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2225411017300871
Effect of topical application of virgin coconut oil on skin components and antioxidant status during dermal wound healing in young rats
Skin Pharmacol Physiol, 23 (6) (2010), pp. 290-297