The Truth About Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Here at ST. TROPICA we take coconut oil very seriously. It’s what the healthy hair benefits of our organic Beach Goddess Hot Oil Hair Mask are based on, after all. So when we see false claims in relation to this remarkable oil, it gets our attention.
If you have been anywhere near a health food store or natural cosmetics shop lately, you’ve probably seen the term “extra virgin coconut oil”. Food and cosmetic companies both flaunt this moniker on product labels.
So, what is the truth behind extra virgin coconut oil?
Hold onto to your bulletproof coffee, because…there isn’t any. That’s right, the U.S. has no legal definition or standard for the term “extra virgin” related to coconut oil. Olive oil, yes. Coconut oil, no.
Here’s the deal. The term “extra virgin” refers to oil obtained from the first pressing, as in olive oil. But coconut oil only undergoes one pressing, making “extra” virgin an impossibility. If “extra” is meaningless where virgin coconut oil is concerned, why do so many brands label products that way?
As with many organic cosmetic labels, it boils down to marketing. Many manufacturers add “extra virgin coconut oil” to product labels in an attempt to make their product seem of higher quality. Now you know to step away from that misleading advertising.
And it’s not just cosmetics brands getting in on the extra hype surrounding extra virgin coconut oil. Food companies are using the term too. Popular coconut oil brand, Nutiva, announced in January of 2014 that it was removing the word “extra” from its product label, and admitted to using the misleading term “to distinguish our dedication to the highest quality”. Oops.
There are two types of coconut oil:
1) Virgin coconut oil (VCO)
2) Refined, Bleached & Deodorized coconut oil (RBD).
VCO is made by cold pressing the liquid that comes from the meat of the coconut, and separating the oil. This type of oil tastes and smells like coconut, and is usually produced in smaller batches. RBD is a mass produced (refined) oil, obtained from dried coconut and is chemically treated. This is why RBD coconut oil is also odorless and flavorless.
Which type of coconut oil is better?
If you are purchasing coconut oil to eat or use on your skin and hair, or products made with coconut oil, choose those with VCO. The only oil we use in the ST. TROPICA Hair Mask is VCO: cold pressed, unrefined, Certified USDA Organic, Virgin Coconut Oil. As with all of our ingredients, our coconut oil is Certified Cruelty-Free and Vegan.
The high quality oil we use in our hair mask has been proven by Princeton U to fully penetrate the human hair shaft, repairing damage from the inside out. Government studies also show coconut oil has the ability to increase hair strength by reducing loss of protein.
Because cosmetics are vastly under-regulated in the U.S., it is up to you to make sure the products you purchase are safe. The best way to do this? Forget what the front label of a product says and look at the back. The ingredient listing shows you exactly what it is made of. And always follow brands with transparent labeling that you can trust.