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Coconut Oil On Skin and Hair – Does it Really Work?

If you’ve gone shopping for any personal care products within the past 5 years, you’ve undoubtedly seen a surge in products containing coconut oil. Being a skeptic, I wanted to see if this coconutty goodness was scientifically proven or just marketing gone nutty. This short article is by no means exhaustive but in it, I hope to provide some useful information, and resources when looking for legitimate skin and hair claims for this tropical fruit. For more detailed information of the facts, I invite you to follow the links listed in the sources below the article.

coconut oil, coconut shampoo, coconut water

1. What is Coconut oil

According to Encyclopedia.com, coconut oil is normally a semi‐solid oil extracted from copra (dried coconut) that contains 90% saturated fats. But why then isn’t your shampoo solid at room temperature? The difference is the absence of linoleic acid. The coconut oil found in skin care products has gone through an extra step in order to remove the saturated fats from the coconut. This industry term is “Fractionated coconut oil”, and is said to absorb more readily into the skin as a liquid. (Source 2)

2. Why is coconut important?

According to current scientific literature there are significant  benefits of consuming coconut oil particularly for lowering bad cholesterol. (Source 3)  But what about topical application? Are there proven, evidence based benefits for that?

3.Does topical application of coconut make a difference?

Let’s look at the evidence for both skin and coat. We’ll start with the skin. 

Coconut skin care products

 

According to an article published in Karger, Medical and Scientific Publishers, coconut oil helped to heal wounds of rats faster that those that were not treated. (Source 1)

The main skin benefits were the following: (Source 1)

  • Higher collagen turnover – This can also be called “protein turnover” or “protein synthesis”, which is important for replacing damaged proteins within the body.
  • Antioxidant Enzyme activity – According to Cell BioLabs, Inc., “These form the body’s endogenous defense mechanisms to help guard against free radical-induced cell damage.”
  • Fibroblast proliferation – This is important for wound healing, and the process of tissue repair. It produces structural proteins such as collagen, and stimulate both angiogenesis (development of new blood vessels)  and epithelialisation (growth of surface skin tissue known as epithelium).
  • Neovascularization This is the formation of new blood vessel in abnormal tissue.

All of these processes aid in the healing of damaged skin tissues. For the full abstract, visit the following link: Effect of Topical Application of Virgin Coconut Oil on Skin Components and Antioxidant Status during Dermal Wound Healing in Young Rats – Nevin K.G. · Rajamohan T.

Now let’s look at some evidence on topical effects of coconut oil for hair.  

coconut products for hair

According to “Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage” published in Europe PMC,

“The findings clearly indicate the strong impact that coconut oil application has to hair as compared to application of both sunflower and mineral oils. Among three oils, coconut oil was the only oil found to reduce the protein loss remarkably for both undamaged and damaged hair when used as a pre-wash and post-wash grooming product.” (Source 5)

In another study, “Effect of coconut oil on prevention of hair damage” published in Society of Cosmetic Chemists, coconut oil was also seen to “prevent the lifting of surface cuticle, and its breaking by the force exerted by the comb.” In short, coconut oil was shown to prevent hair breakage and damage.

3. What products should I use?

What products do we recommend for you use to get the benefits of coconutty goodness? The Pure Paws H20 Line is filled with coconut oil, and is specially formulated to hydrate the coat and repair the skin. For extra healing power, the H20 line also contains aloe vera to compliment the coconut oil, and as one of our best-selling lines, we guarantee you’ll love it! 

h20 coconut shampoo

 

 

 

 

 

For any questions on the products, please feel free to email us at info@purepaws.net

Thank you,

The Pure Paws Family

Sources

  1. http://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/313516
  2. http://healthimpactnews.com/2013/is-liquid-coconut-oil-that-stays-liquid-in-your-refrigerator-real-coconut-oil/
  3. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0009912004001201
  4. http://www.cellbiolabs.com/antioxidant-enzyme-activity-assays
  5. http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/12715094
  6. http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=1437172
  7. https://www.purepaws.net/products/lines/h20/

Top 5 questions you have about Keratins

1. What is Keratin?

Keratin is a ”highly durable protein that provides structure to several types of living tissues.” Keratin is also a major protein found in mammalian hair and hooves along with nails, horns, fish scales, bid feathers and beaks, and skin.

2. Why is Keratin Important?

Keratin as an invaluable protein which has been found to “regulate key cellular activities, such as cell growth and protein synthesis.” Another important quality is “..its ability to flex in multiple directions without tearing.” This is why healthy keratin presence is so important in preventing damage to skin and coat.

Scanning electron micrograph showing strands of keratin in a feather, magnified 186X. Janice Carr/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (Image Number: 8673)

Scanning electron micrograph showing strands of keratin in a feather, magnified 186X.
Janice Carr/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (Image Number: 8673)

3. Does topical application of Keratin make difference?

Natural production of Keratin is essential for strong skin and coat. However, some question weather topical application has any effect. According to current scientific studies, the answer appear to be yes! A peer reviewed article from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) published the following findings: 

STUDY: Cosmetic effectiveness of topically applied hydrolysed keratin peptides and lipids derived from wool.

BACKGROUND/PURPOSE:

Skin moisturisation, elasticity, feel and appearance can all be improved through the topical application of protein hydrolysates. Recent studies suggest that supplementing intercellular lipids of the stratum corneum can enhance the functioning of the skin.

RESULTS:

Significant differences were found between the control and treated sites, with the treated areas showing an increase in hydration and elasticity as a result of keratin peptide application. Measurements also indicated that the keratin formulations reinforce the skin barrier integrity, improving its water-holding capacity.

4. Is “Hydrolyzed” Keratin better?

Keratin’s can range in quality, and can differ from where they are sourced. Some keratins are made from plants and some animal by-products. A common animal by-product is bovine blood plasma. At Pure Paws, we choose not to use this common source, and instead use Hydrolyzed Keratin derived sheep’s wool. In this way, we get closer to the molecular makeup of an animal keratin without causing them harm

Sheep's Wool

Sheep’s Wool

5. Are Keratin Products safe?

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), Hydrolyzed Keratins are safe and non-carcinogenic. The current concern over keratin product comes from some keratin “smoothing products” used in hair straightening processes like “Brazilian Blowouts”. These salon products can sometimes contain methylene glycol, which releases formaldehyde, a known carcinogen To help consumers stay safe, OSHA has listed other names that formaldehyde are sometimes disguised as in “formaldehyde-free” products. This includes, methylene glycol, formalin, methylene oxide, paraform, formic aldehyde, methanal, oxomethane, oxymethylene, or CAS Number 50-00-0. At Pure Paws, non of our products contain methylene glycol.

So those were your top 5 questions. So what lines do we recommend for you to strengthen your dog’s skin and coat? The name says is all – The Pure Paws Forte line. The word forte is derived from the French word fort, meaning “strong.” The Forte line is packed with Hydrolyzed Keratins to help increase moisture and elasticity, while strengthening each strand of hair to prevent breakage while brushing. It also provides added moisture with panthenol, aloe vera, and jojoba oil! 

forte-line

 

 

 

 

 

For any questions on the products, please feel free to email us at info@purepaws.net

Thank you, 

The Pure Paws Family 

Sources: 

https://www.britannica.com/science/keratin

http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/keratin.aspx

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18412569

http://www.cir-safety.org/sites/default/files/hprtns052012slr.pdf

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/formaldehyde/hazard_alert.html