Coconut oil softens and protects the skin and hair. It is also soothing and adds a tropical touch thanks to its fragrance. When applied topically, coconut oil can reduce the symptoms associated with psoriasis and eczema as it encourages a natural balance to the skin.
The coconut palm (Cocos nucifera) is thought to be native to the warm climates of Polynesia, Malaysia and southern Asia. The trees bloom and bear fruit throughout the year, growing a new flower spike nearly every month. This then becomes a cluster of six to twelve fruits. Coconuts are the seeds of these fruits, the largest seed known to the world. When coconuts are young their flesh is soft like a melon. 'Kalpa vrishka,' the Sanskrit name for the coconut, means 'tree which gives all that is necessary for living.'
The oil is extracted from the inner flesh of the coconut. It takes around 25 coconuts to produce 1kg of oil. Lush buys cruelty-free coconut oil only, meaning no animals are involved during the whole process, including harvests.
When mixed with sodium hydroxide, alone or with other vegetable oils and kinds of butter, coconut oil saponifies resulting in a soft base, in which solvents, fresh ingredients and perfumes can be added to create an extravagant soap. Coconut is especially appreciated for this process as it creates a dense and creamy lather.
Extra virgin coconut oil is ethically sourced from a direct producer on the Indonesian island of Nias. Lush have been working with them for a decade, and since our demand rose due to the increasing use of the oil to create an in-house soap base, we also started working with another ethical coconut oil producer on a neighbouring island in 2018, to meet the production needs.