Coconut milk is a versatile ingredient in a variety of cooking recipes all over the world, but it has become well known not just for its nutritional value but for its external benefits as well, especially in regards to hair and skin health. In order to help you understand why coconut milk might be something you should try, both cosmetically and in your food, we’ve put together this article explaining some of the potential benefits associated with its use and consumption.
In order to make this article easier to navigate if you’re looking for specific benefits, we’ve organized our list so that hair benefits are first (numbers 1 through 4), followed by skin benefits (numbers 5 through 9), and then finally we conclude our list with some overall health benefits that can from eating or drinking coconut milk (numbers 10 through 12).
Table of Contents
- 1 1. Good for Dry and Damaged Hair
- 2 2. Good for Healthy Hair Growth
- 3 3. Good for Conditioning Hair
- 4 4. Good for De-tangling Hair
- 5 5. Good for Preventing Acne and Blackheads
- 6 6. Good for Wrinkles and Age Spots
- 7 7. Good for Sunburned Skin and Sun Protection
- 8 8. Good for Revitalizing Dry and Rough Skin
- 9 9. Good for Use as a Natural Make-up Remover
- 10 10. Good Source of Iron
- 11 11. Improves Digestion
- 12 12. Helps with Weight Loss
1. Good for Dry and Damaged Hair
Coconut milk naturally functions as an excellent moisturizer, making it a great treatment for hair that’s dry and brittle. It can also help soothe an irritated or itchy scalp if applied correctly, and can even help with dandruff.
The most common way to apply coconut milk to your hair for a moisturizing treatment is to chill a can of coconut milk overnight (this allows it to solidify somewhat) and then apply it to your hair the next day (beginning by working it into the roots of your hair, and then moving down until you reach the tips). Let it sit for a little while (most people recommend fifteen minutes to half an hour depending on your preference) and then shampoo like you normally would and rinse it all out. Repeat this treatment a couple times a week and you should notice visible results.
2. Good for Healthy Hair Growth
Coconut milk can also help to promote healthy hair follicles and hair growth thanks to the wide array of nutrients and vitamins it contains (such as vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6, as well as minerals like iron, selenium, sodium, calcium,magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, zinc, and phosphorous).
The simplest way to achieve this effect is to massage some coconut milk into your hair and scalp for a few minutes, then ash your hair normally after letting it sit for fifteen to twenty minutes.
3. Good for Conditioning Hair
Coconut milk is also a fantastic natural conditioner, helping to add volume and a healthy shine to your hair. Coconut milk can also help to prevent greasy hair. The most common method for conditioning with coconut milk is to wash your hair with equal amounts of coconut milk and regular shampoo, but some people also use coconut milk as a leave-in conditioner in order to maximize its hydrating effects.
4. Good for De-tangling Hair
In addition to being a good conditioning agent just in general, coconut milk is very effective for helping to work out knots and tangles from your hair. Simply work some through your hair from root to tip and you will find tangles much easier to deal with.
5. Good for Preventing Acne and Blackheads
Coconut milk can also be used as an effective facial cleanser, especially if you’re prone to acne breakouts or blackheads. This is because coconut milk has natural antibacterial properties.
Furthermore, the fats contained in coconut milk are actually beneficial for your skin and won’t clog your pores. For facial cleansing and exfoliation, most people will make a paste of either almonds or oatmeal and then add in some coconut milk before applying the whole mixture to their face as a face wash.
6. Good for Wrinkles and Age Spots
Coconut milk can also provide very helpful anti-aging benefits thanks to all the healthy nutrients it contains. Notably, it has very high levels of vitamin C, which can help your skin maintain its elasticity over time (vitamin C is critical for high levels of vitamin C, which in turn is important for skin health).
Coconut milk has also been shown to help with wrinkles and sagging skin (thanks to its powerful moisturizing effects) as well as dark spots and age spots.
7. Good for Sunburned Skin and Sun Protection
Coconut naturally has a very soothing effect when applied to areas of sun-burnt skin, and in particular can help reduce redness and swelling, prevent peeling, and restore moisture to skin that’s lost moisture from sun damage. It also feels quite cool on your skin, which can help ease the general discomfort that comes with having a sunburn.
Coconut milk can also provide a small amount of sun protection when applied to your skin, although admittedly not as much protection as a real sunscreen.
8. Good for Revitalizing Dry and Rough Skin
Just as coconut milk can re-hydrate your hair and scalp, it can do the same for the skin on your face and body as well. It’s particularly effective at softening the rough patches of skin that can develop on your knees, elbows, and feet. All you need to do is apply some coconut milk (either by patting it onto the area in question and leaving it to soak in or lightly massaging it in) and you should see noticeable results fairly quickly.
9. Good for Use as a Natural Make-up Remover
Many over the counter make-up removers contain harsh chemicals that can dry out and irritate your skin; on top of that, they’re also often quite expensive. In comparison, coconut milk can remove your make-up naturally and at minimal cost, while also providing some of the aforementioned health benefits (like hydration) to your skin.
The most common method for using coconut milk as a make-up remover is to mix it with a little bit of olive oil (which has quite a few skin benefits in its own right) and then rub this mixture onto your skin using a cotton ball. The mixture should help your make-up to come off much more easily, while also nourishing your skin.
10. Good Source of Iron
A single serving of coconut milk is said to provide us with about a fourth of our recommended daily dose of iron. As a result, incorporating coconut milk into your diet can help prevent illnesses such as anemia, which can result from an iron deficiency and result in additional health concerns such as fatigue, dizziness, and even an irregular heartbeat.
11. Improves Digestion
Thanks to all the healthy fats, electrolytes, and nutrients that coconut milk contains, it can help relieve constipation and increase your overall digestive health. Coconut milk is also a popular milk substitute for people who are vegan or lactose intolerant, since it allows them to still get high levels of vitamins and nutrients but without the problems associated with traditional dairy.
12. Helps with Weight Loss
Not only is coconut milk a healthy and reliable source of nutrients and vitamins just in general, it also has medium-chain triglycerides (commonly abbreviated as MCTs), which are known to help burn fat and prevent overeating by inducing satiety (the feeling of being sated and full after eating a meal). As a result, a diet that includes coconut milk on a regular basis actually has the potential to aid in long-term weight loss.