Happy Sunday, all! First, I apologize for no blog last week; technology attacked - 'nuf said. But, without further delay, let's discuss the main differences between regular coconut oil & virgin coconut oil.
You see it in blogs, your friends tell you how great it is, & everybody's using it. So you go to your local natural foods store to pick up some coconut oil for all of its touted uses. But when you get there, you notice there is coconut oil and VIRGIN coconut oil, and why is it more expensive? Okay, but what is the difference REALLY? Read on.
Regular coconut oil is refined, which means that the coconuts are broken into pieces and the coconut flesh is allowed to dry, Once dried, the flesh is hydraulically pressed at around 130 degrees to extract the coconut oil. The resulting oil is then passed through a filter press to produce the finished material, which then goes through a further process of refining, bleaching and deodorizing.
Virgin coconut oil is raw, virgin and unrefined. To make virgin coconut oil, fresh, whole coconuts have the shell removed, then the flesh is milled to fine shreds and dried at a temperature not to exceed 100 degrees for about 2 1/2 hours. This helps in the evaporation of excess water which is prevalent in the flesh, but does not completely dry it out. Once dried, the coconut is passed through a cold process oil press where the oil is separated from the coconut at a controlled temperature of less than 100 degrees.
The cold process extraction allows the oil to retain many of its benefits that are normally stripped from the oil during a standard refining process. This is the most "true" form of coconut oil available. While both oils have their applications, I normally opt to use for virgin coconut oil in my products, heating it only to the point of melting (coconut oil solidifies at room temperature).
The great thing about this oil is you can use it straight, right out of the jar! Virgin coconut oil has a light coconut scent, and can be very good for the hair, skin, and nails. If you are like me & have fine, thin hair, you will likely find this oil a little heavy for your hair. I love the smell, but with thin hair it's a little too much. It makes a great treatment for hands & feet though. This is an oil, so allow time for absorption before trying to walk around... no skating down the halls! It is very mild, and thus, suitable for those with inflamed or sensitive skin.
You can buy virgin coconut oil at most health food stores, such as Whole Foods. There are also many reputable online distributors, such as Mountain Rose Herbs.
I hope you have found this article useful. Next week I'll be discussing the benefits of reservatrol for the skin. Have a fabulous week, and be sure to let me know if there are subjects you would like to see me write an article about!