Here’s why this natural ingredient should be a key player in your nail care routine
There’s a raft of health benefits to coconut oil when you include it in your diet – from increasing your levels of ‘good’ cholesterol to potentially reduce the risk of developing gum disease.1,2 But did you know that it can also boost your nail health?
The moisturising benefits
If you’re suffering from dry, rough skin around your nails, applying coconut oil might help. In a 2004 study, dermatologists from Makati Medical Centre in the Philippines tested coconut oil on 34 people with dry, rough skin. After two weeks, the participants saw a significant improvement in their skin’s moisture levels.3
Another study, published in 2014 in the International Journal of Dermatology, found that coconut oil may help eczema. The researchers asked participants with eczema to rub virgin coconut oil into their skin for eight weeks, and found that it was more likely to help add moisture to their skin than mineral oil.4
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Goodbye, yellow nails
Fungal nail infections are usually caused by the athlete’s foot fungi spreading to the nails, but they can also sometimes be caused by yeasts, like candida.5 In a 2015 study, published in the American Society for Microbiology, researchers reported that coconut oil has an anti-fungal effect, and that feeding mice a coconut oil-rich diet reduced the size of the population of candida in their guts.6
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3 ways to give your nails a coconut boost
Try these quick nail care tricks to reap the benefits of coconut oil:
1. Speedy hand and nail scrub
For healthy nails, mix coconut oil and sugar, and massage into your hands and nails. Rinse off with warm water.
2. Cuticle moisturiser
Massage coconut oil into your cuticles in a circular motion before bed for an overnight moisture hit.
3. Instantly shiny nails
Want unpainted, natural nails to look more polished when you’re heading out? Simply dab a little coconut oil onto your nails before you go.
Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP before trying any remedies.
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1. BBC. Is coconut oil a superfood? Available from: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-42608071
2. Peedikayil FC, et al. Effect of coconut oil in plaque related gingivitis – A preliminary report. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25838632
3. Agero AL and Verallo-Rowell VM. A randomized double-blind controlled trial comparing extra virgin coconut oil with mineral oil as a moisturizer for mild to moderate xerosis. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15724344
4. Evangelista MT, Abad-Casintahan F and Lopez-Villafuerte L. The effect of topical virgin coconut oil on SCORAD index, transepidermal water loss, and skin capacitance in mild to moderate pediatric atopic dermatitis: a randomized, double-blind, clinical trial. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24320105
5. British Association of Dermatologists. Fungal infections of the nails. Available from: http://www.bad.org.uk/shared/get-file.ashx?id=205&itemtype=document
6. Gunsalus KTW, et al. Manipulation of Host Diet To Reduce Gastrointestinal Colonization by the Opportunistic Pathogen Candida albicans. Available from: http://msphere.asm.org/content/1/1/e00020-15