Coconut Oil - It isn’t just for cooking or making your hair shinier…
by Beth Hall on Jan 31, 2023
It came as no surprise to us when we read that Coconut Oil was named as 2022's top searched for ingredient.
But you might ask yourself why?
Let us try and explain; as we knew all too well why this product is gaining more and more popularity each year since it's been a part of our product development since our inception.
For years, coconut oil has been used to clean and freshen many different types of surfaces, but there is so much more to it than that. Coconut oil has a variety of uses including being used as a cooking oil, a nutritional supplement, a personal care ingredient, an antimicrobial agent and in some countries, a biofuel. We are seeing now more than ever it being used in laundry detergents from brands which are taking a much more sustainable approach to their product development.
The history of coconut oil actually dates back around 4000 years, with documented historical applications of the edible and the healing properties from 3960 years ago. Even Captain Cook, one of the most famous European explorers, was noted as saying how coconut oil became a big part of the communities that were thriving within the Pacific regions at the time.
After World War 2, coconut oil was commercially marketed and sold across England and the USA, initially as a ‘butter’ but in 1954 it gained recognition for being much more nutritious compared to other oils and its uses expanded further from there.
The nutritious properties of coconut oil are one of the reasons why it is so popular today in both beauty & household products, but what other benefits does it have to make it the go-to oil for 2023 and beyond? What’s the reason for over 516,000 searches globally in 2022?
Coconut oil has the ability to promote wound healing due to its high concentration of monolaurin. Monolaurin is a fatty acid renowned for its antimicrobial effects. Many people claim to have seen great results when using coconut oil to treat sunburn or sores from saltwater. Coconut oil helps to hydrate the skin and reinforce its natural defence barrier to help retain moisture, meaning it is great for dry skin. The anti-inflammatory properties mean it can help with acne too. There is no wonder so many people are searching for coconut oil and its benefits and why brands are using it in their products. Not only kind to the skin, but helps heal it too.
Natural Stain Remover
Coconut oil has long been used as an effective stain remover, especially on fabrics which include wool, silk and cotton. This is because the fatty acids found in coconuts help to lift away dirt particles which get stuck onto the fibres in fabric. This is great news when you have a tough stain to combat like grass, or food stains. It’s also why we built our whole detergent sheet range around it.
Toxic Free Washing
As well as being great for stain removal, you will also find that so many eco-friendly, skin-friendly laundry brands are looking to develop whole ranges of laundry products with coconut oil (and its derivatives) which clean clothes without the need for harsh chemicals.
Here at Simple Living Eco our laundry detergent sheets (link to sheets page) are made with plant-derived ingredients extracted from coconut oils, and naturally derived surfactants.
Coconut based detergent is free from ethoxylates, 1,4 dioxane sulphates, phthalates and parabens.
As we all know too well, traditional laundry detergents are notorious for polluting water systems because they contain non-biodegradable chemicals and ethoxylates that are destructive for aquatic life. By educating individuals and brands on the alternatives to these harsh chemicals, we are able to play our part in saving the animals that live in our oceans, and are in great danger if we don’t make a big change to the way we live.
Overall it really does seem like coconut oil is a great choice for those with sensitive skin as well as those who want to take a more sustainable and natural approach to household cleaning.