Coconut oil has been used for hundreds of years for the many health benefits it provides. Coconut oil is rich in a combination of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) and other fatty acids, which help in the absorption of minerals in the body and also have powerful antioxidant properties (1). This unique combination of fatty acids present in coconut oil can have many positive health benefits (2). Due to its many benefits, coconut oil has today become a staple in beauty and health products. Coconut oil is being used not just for skin moisturization, but also for protecting the skin and hair owing to its antifungal and antimicrobial properties (3). In fact, the benefits of coconut oil can also be extended to protecting your eyelashes. Using coconut oil for eyelashes may keep your eyelashes healthy, provide fuller lashes and also strengthen the eyelashes (4). Read on further to know how coconut oil can be beneficial for your eyelashes.
3 Benefits of Coconut Oil for Eyelashes
Many research studies and clinical trials, both on animals and humans, have shown that it is perfectly safe to use virgin coconut oil around the eyes (4). Apart from being safe for use in this extremely delicate part of the body, coconut oil can actually work wonders and provides many benefits for your eyelashes and also for the skin around your eyes (4).
Let us take a look at some of the benefits coconut oil has for your eyelashes.
Coconut Oil Protects the Eyelashes against Bacteria
Many types of microorganisms are present on your eyelashes. These microbial organisms have the potential to cause various types of fungal and bacterial infections. The medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) that are present in coconut oil are known to have strong antifungal and antimicrobial properties that lend protection against these microorganisms. Lauric acid, a type of MCFA, is known to have the most powerful antibacterial activity amongst all other MCFAs (5).
By applying coconut oil to the eyelashes and the skin around the eyes, you protect yourself from many types of skin infections, and even from folliculitis, a condition that occurs when there is inflammation of the hair follicles (4). For people who wear mascara, applying coconut oil proves to be highly beneficial as the microorganisms present on the eyelashes can also potentially contaminate the mascara, especially when you use the same mascara tube for a couple of months.
In fact, a pilot study conducted by the Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry in the United States looked at the microbial growth present in two different brands of mascara that is used every day over a period of three months. The study found that there was microbial growth in over 35 percent of the tubes examined. Various types of microbes were found, including fungi, Streptococcus species and also Staphylococcus epidermis.
Coconut Oil Strengthens the Eyelashes (4)
Studies have shown that coconut oil protects hair against all types of damage from hair products, washing, and excess styling. While the evidence focuses on the scalp hair, it is also applicable to the eyelash hair. Coconut oil is rich in fatty acids, especially lauric acid. Lauric acid helps the oil gets easily absorbed by the hair roots and the hair shaft. This is why it has been observed that coconut oil provides longer-lasting and better protection to the hair as compared to other oils that are used on the hair.
According to a study done by the Research and Development Department at Marico Industries Limited in India, applying coconut oil either before or after washing the hair protected it by decreasing the resultant loss of protein. When this finding is linked to eyelashes, this may provide protection to the lashes also against damage that results from removing eye makeup or from washing your face every day.
Get Thicker & Fuller Lashes with Coconut Oil (4)
Coconut oil provides excellent moisturization to the hair and also protects hair from any type of damage and protein loss (4). Since these benefits are also extended to eyelash hair, coconut oil helps produce thicker and fuller lashes and also causes lesser eyelashes to fall out (4).
How to Use Coconut Oil for Eyelashes?
There are several ways in which you can use coconut oil for your eyelashes. This includes using eyelashes serums or applying virgin coconut oil directly to your eyelashes.
There are many types of eyelash serums available that contain coconut oil and other ingredients such as castor oil or mineral oil or even essentials oils.
There are certain benefits to using eyelash serums containing coconut oil. One is that these come with an applicator which makes it easier to apply the serum without making a mess. The drawback to using eyelash serum, though, is that they are quite expensive.
Virgin coconut oil is also easily available and can be easily applied with either an eyelash brush or a mascara wand. You can also simply apply with using a clean finger. You can also buy disposable mascara wands or eyelash brushes that can be bought at cosmetic stores for application of coconut oil to your eyelashes.
If you want to apply coconut oil with a mascara wand or an eyelash brush, then you can try the following:
- Dip a new wand or brush into the coconut oil container and then apply this oil to your eyelashes, similar to how you apply mascara.
- Apply to both the top and bottom eyelashes.
- Use a cotton swab to remove any excess oil that falls from the lashes or is present on the skin.
- If you want to apply coconut oil with your finger, then follow the below procedure:
- After washing your hands, take a little bit of the oil on your index finger.
- Then rub the coconut oil between your two index fingers and after closing your eyes, rub the oil gently along the lash lines.
Side Effects of Coconut Oil and Precautions to be Followed
It is extremely rare to be allergic to coconut or coconut oil, but some people can still be allergic (6). Virgin coconut oil is considered to be safe for use on the skin and also around the eyes. However, be careful not to get it into your eyes.
Using 100 percent pure and organic virgin coconut oil is the safest option as other types of coconut oil can cause an allergic reaction or may include certain ingredients that cause irritation (4). Always use a clean washcloth (damp) to remove any excess coconut oil from around the eyes and skin. If by chance, you get some oil in your eyes, then you should flush them with water immediately.
Coconut oil is a cheap and safe option to use for getting thicker and fuller eyelashes (4). If you want to naturally improve the appearance and health of your eyelashes, then coconut oil would be the best option to use.
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