Coconut took over the grocery and beauty shelves a few years ago. Now, there are waters, milks, snacks, curries, and skin care products for our delectation. If you are wondering why coconut suddenly arrived and then stuck around, we’ve gathered some answers for you. We looked into coconut oil as part of our ingredient spotlight series, which began with our deep dive into shea butter.
Shea butter is the first ingredient in MUTHA™ Body Butter. Coconut oil, also known as Cocos Nucifera, is the second ingredient. Something you might not know about ingredient lists is that they are presented on a label in order of the volume of content in the product, so you know what you are getting. MUTHA™ products are packed with nutrient-rich ingredients for your skin.
Coconut Oil Comes From the Coconut Kernel or Copra
That’s right. Coconut oil is made from the kernel of mature coconuts harvested from the coconut palm tree. This portion of the coconut is also called the copra. Raise your hand if you knew that the coconut kernel is the inner meat or flesh of the coconut. It’s OK if you didn’t know. We found out by reading about it too.
Kernel definition: The inner part of a nut, seed, or stone fruit. It’s usually softer than the outer shell and is typically the edible part of the nut’s interior.
How coconut oil is made:
- “Coconut oil is made by pressing fresh coconut meat or dried coconut meat called copra. Virgin coconut oil uses fresh meat, while refined coconut oil typically uses copra,” according to the Harvard School of Public Health.
Coconut palm trees grow in tropical areas all over the world. But it is an especially important commercial crop for farmers in the Philippines, Indonesia, and India.
Like shea butter, coconut oil contains a high concentration of fatty acids. And it has been used on skin and in health preparations for centuries.
But What Makes Coconut Oil So Good for Your Skin?
This is the exciting part. Researchers found that coconut oil acts to reduce inflammation and protect the derma (or skin) by “enhancing skin barrier function,” according to a 2019 study published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine. Virgin coconut oil specifically has proved to have some antimicrobial effects, inhibiting the growth of bacteria, according to 2019 study by Indonesian microbiologists.
Like shea butter, coconut oil soothes and protects the derma. It’s also a natural emollient. But, coconut oil melts at a lower temperature than shea butter making it a little easier to spread on your skin.
It’s easy to understand why coconut oil is such a popular skin care ingredient. But the source of the oil also contributes to the end product. MUTHA™ products are made in the U.S. and contain only the highest quality natural ingredients. Not every skin-care brand takes ingredients as seriously as Hope and MUTHA™.
When moving her company out of her kitchen, Hope found plenty of willing commercial labs to make her products, but they asked her the wrong questions, according to an interview in The Cut.
“They asked what I wanted our product to look like, what color it should be, what the texture should be, what it should smell like, and finally what it should cost, but they never asked me what I wanted it to do for the skin, which I thought was absurd,” Hope said.
When it comes to beauty and health, Hope, like many of us, cares deeply about what ingredients matter, and what they should do for us in return. That’s what makes her business, MUTHA™, so exciting to follow on its journey into the luxury skincare market. We can’t wait to dive into another ingredient next month!
Read about Hope’s journey from model to mogul.