After the low fat craze of the ’90s, extra virgin olive oil emerged as a kind of mythical force for good–first to promote physical health, soon after as a beauty cure-all. Now, everything from drug store shampoos to fancy eye creams to lipsticks taut it as an ingredient. We even hear about certain celebrities bathing in it for ageless skin.
Then, in the last couple years, coconut oil became the fat everybody’s not afraid of. It went from being the hippie beauty aid of choice to spawning 1,000 posts on beauty blogs praising its outlandish magical qualities–put it in your hair! use it as a makeup remover! moisturize everywhere! It was enough to make us go out and buy a jar, which now occasionally ends up in sauteed greens but not much else. We’ll probably die ugly.
But now, apparently, we learn of another reason to buy the jar: gargling. Yes, you should also be gargling your coconut oil.
Why’s that, you say?
For a number of reasons. Huffington Post talked to “nutritionist and naturopathic doctor” Bruce Fife (who runs the sort of website familiar to people who know what a naturopathic doctor is) about the beauty benefits of gargling oil and they break down like so:
1) Tooth whitening and gum health: “Coconut oil possesses natural antibiotic and anti-viral properties that brighten dull or yellowed teeth and enhance the cleansing action.” Additionally it’s good for breath and kills all manner of bacteria.
2) It’s good for skin… and slays acne, allegedly. “Removing bacteria and toxins from the body eliminates a great deal of stress that results in improved energy levels.” Stress, of course, being a major cause of acne. They go on: Because oil pulling involves “pulling” germs and toxins in the mouth that often leak into the bloodstream, affecting the entire body, Dr. Fife believes that it can improve skin health and appearance.
We get skeptical of anything promising acne-fighting powers (or using the word “toxins,” for that matter), but the basic premise makes sense: bacteria out, acne out.
So, tell us: we know there’s a million reasons to use coconut oil for beauty, but have you ever gargled with it? Seen results? Or are you already onto the next natural beauty cure-all (apple cider vinegar, duh)?