30 Days of September: Day 5
I know I promised some exciting news for this post, but we are waiting one more day, so sit tight!
I use coconut oil almost everyday. It has so much utility in my life. I use it for cooking and baking, removing makeup, moisturizing, and oil pulling---just to name a few. With the coconut oil craze came so many options for purchasing coconut oil. It can be overwhelming. I use these 5 tips when looking for a coconut oil for both cooking and beauty use.
Please keep in mind there are many things to consider when purchasing products and this list by no means covers all of them. There has been extensive research done regarding the 'best' types of coconut oil based on processing and refinement. I encourage you to do your own research to become closer with the products you bring into your home.
1. Choose glass packaging
A lot of coconut oils these days even ones of higher quality are packaged in plastic. I try to avoid coconut oils that come in plastic because after time the properties of the plastic can make their way in to the coconut oil itself.
2. Avoid hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated coconut oil
Hydrogenated oil is not a word we hear every day, a more commonly heard term is 'trans-fat'. Trans fats are disruptive to our general health by increasing our LDL or 'bad cholesterol'. Read more about the concerns of consuming hydrogenated oils here.
3. Avoid refined coconut oil or chemically-refined coconut oil
I prefer unrefined or raw coconut oil. Some of the refined options are good for high temperature cooking as it increases their 'smoke point', but I still avoid them. During the refinement process they remove many of the health benefit contributors like lauric acid. Make sure that your coconut oil is not being refined using chemicals (hexane, etc). Look for words like 'Virgin Coconut Oil' or 'Extra Virgin Coconut Oil' to know that you are getting a pure coconut oil that still contains lauric acid (the main health boosting property in coconut oil).
4. Choose Certified Organic (please read below for more information)
I was hesitant to put this because while I often choose certified organic coconut oil, it isn't always an indicator of quality coconut oil. Getting organic certifications is a costly process and I believe some smaller companies who are truly providing amazing cold pressed, raw, unrefined coconut oil are looked down upon when they do not have the 'organic' label, when in reality their products are better than some who are labeled organic.
5. Look for coconut oil that is certified Fair Trade
"Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers." (Fairtrade Foundation)
I feel that it is important for us as consumers to think more about the products we use. While I am far from perfect, I continuously try to purchase products that are certified Fairtrade.
There are other fair trade organizations that certify in fair trade. Here is a list of certifications identifying companies that engage in fair trade practices.
Two of my favorite coconut oils are listed below. I often use Vitacost for many all-natural skincare and food purchases, which includes coconut oil.