You don’t have to spend a lot to get a lot. People (and car commercials) often say this, and sometimes it is true.
Like with Yes to Coconuts Eczema Relief Spray ($9.99, Yestocarrots.com) — this is a fantastic product for the body, especially before bed. I was recently sent a sample by a PR agent, and I will tell you, this stuff is awesome! I did my usual patch test, and then promptly switched to spraying it all over my hands, arms, legs…really. It’s that good. For the science behind it, read on…
When discussing coconut oil, it’s important to note that studies are generally talking about virgin, unrefined, or “pure” coconut oil — so if you decide to use it, keep that in mind. Unrefined coconut oil is richer in phytonutrients than refined coconut oil. Polyphenols, which act as antioxidants in the body, are damaged by the bleaching and heating process used to produce refined coconut oil, so more are present in the unrefined kind (SF Gate).
Coconut oil has been shown to hydrate skin as well as increase elasticity and decrease roughness (Molecules). It contains kinetin, which has been shown to be effective in anti-aging treatment, though it does not contain as much kinetin as products that list kinetin on the label.
Another study found that virgin coconut oil could be used for its antibacterial and emollient qualities to treat contact dermatitis (Dermatitis). It can also help to heal burn wounds, though the researchers did not uncover why exactly, hypothesizing that it is because coconut has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties (Indian Journal of Pharmacology). Unlike many oils, coconut also does provide some UV protection — blocking about 20% of UV rays (the study didn’t specify UVA or UVB) (Pharmacology Reviews).
But it can also clog pores, so it’s important to use coconut products on clean skin. And aside from its very limited potential to irritate due to allergy, the FDA has rated as “safe.”
Avocados are rich in vitamin E, a naturally-occurring antioxidant in the skin that can help cut the chain of free radical reactions (Encyclopedia Britannica). Avocado is essentially awesome in helping to work against UV exposure damage and save your skin (Skin Pharmacology and Applied Skin Physiology).
As with any natural oil, allergies are definitely possible. Avocado has been shown to cause allergic reactions when topically applied to the skin of susceptible individuals (Allergy, 2004). For this reason, it is important to patch test this or any other “natural” product containing many fruit or vegetable oils.
In the case of argan oil, the entire oil is rich in fatty acids that are able to maintain skin elasticity, smoothness, and radiance. These fatty acids include linoleic acid and oleic acid. In studies, linoleic acid has been proven capable of reducing inflammation and acne and increasing skin’s moisturization levels.
Of all of the oils listed here, I think that tamanu oil has the greatest potential to become the next argan oil. (Except for argan oil, because, hey, you can’t best yourself!)
That said, tamanu oil has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties (International Journal of Aromatherapy, 1999). It is a sticky, greenish-yellow oil that has been used in its native Southeast Asia to treat minor cuts, abrasions, rashes, sores, and scarring for centuries (Mountain Rose Herbs). Due to the fact it is relatively new in western skin care, there is a severe lack of scientific and medical studies determining its efficacy against other potent known healing herbs and nutrients. But tamanu oil still shows promise, nonetheless.
Tamanu oil also has very low allergic potential (Journal of Medical Entomology, 2010).
Is It Actually Effective for Eczema?
This one, quite honestly, is a big fat “maybe.”
Eczema itself is a collective term for a group of conditions that can cause the skin to become inflamed or irritated. No matter the trigger, eczema is believed to be a response of the immune system against the allergen or culprit. Eczema tends to leave the skin red, swollen, and itchy. It most commonly appears on the face, back of the knees, wrists, hands, or feet.
In order for an agent to be classified as “effective for eczema,” it needs to relieve the itching, redness, and inflammation. While Yes to Coconuts Eczema Relief Spray contains hydrators that are likely to soothe the skin, it doesn’t contain the anti-inflammatory prostaglandins or prostaglandin-triggering compounds that are likely to get to the root of the cause. These agents are found in prescription corticosteroids or over-the-counter colloidal oatmeal products.
So while I like Yes to Coconuts Eczema Relief Spray, I would not recommend it for severe cases of eczema at all.
Really Great for Normal to Dry Skin, Especially of the Body
I really like Yes to Coconuts Eczema Relief Spray for nighttime use. Yes, it contains a small amount of natural UV protection, but I find that the blend of rich emollient oils is great when applied to slightly damp skin, freshly out of the shower or bath. Apply a layer all over the skin, put on some cotton pajamas and socks, and wake up to really soft, hydrated skin. Bonus points if you apply a really thick layer and rinse it off in the morning!
The texture is a little thick for a spray, and it takes a few sprays to cover an area. It absorbs fairly well. It has a little bit of a plastic-like smell that is ironically characteristic of many natural formulas.
Yes to Coconuts Eczema Relief Spray is an awesome hydrating product that is stocked full of natural oils, including the hard-to-find sensation Tamanu oil. Ironically enough, I like this spray best for the skin of the body, and when applied at night. For best results, apply a thick layer after a shower or bath to still slightly damp skin.
Product Rating: 9.5/10. (High concentration of proven ingredients: 3/3. Unique formulation or new technology: 3/3. Value for the money: 3/3. Sunscreen: 0.5/1).
Water (Aqua), Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Coco-Sulfate, Lauramide DIPA, Glycerin, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil*, Aleurites Moluccana Seed Extract, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract, Morinda Citrifolia Fruit Extract, Musa Sapientum (Banana) Fruit Extract, Orchis Mascula Flower Extract, Psidium Guajava Fruit Extract, Polyquaternium-10, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Diisopropanolamine, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Phenoxyethanol, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Fragrance.
*Certified Organic Ingredient