Coming straight from Indonesia’s paradise-looking islands, coconut oil does good for your skin and for people.
Where do we get it?
Coconut oil is extracted from the inner flesh of the coconut. It takes around 25 coconuts to produce 1kg of oil. Lush purchases this ingredient from two Indonesian sources. They are cruelty-free, meaning no animals are involved at any point in the supply chain, including during harvest.
- Nias island - Lush has worked directly with this small supplier for a decade. They started their business after a tsunami and earthquake devastated the region in 2004. Fundamentally, their aim is to provide work and support for the people of the island. The company is closely linked to a foundation to which they donate 20% of their profits. The idea is for the oil company to provide local jobs while the foundation helps with education and healthcare.
- Bangkaru and Simeulue islands - Since 2017, Lush has purchased certified organic oil directly from āluān, a collective of organisations in the Aceh region of Indonesia. They work with 500 smallholder farming families on 2600 hectares of land. Alongside producing the highest quality coconut oil, they aim to keep the islands wild through a sustainability approach where business, people and nature thrive side by side. The āluān collective comprises a foundation that is dedicated to conserving and restoring ecosystems and endangered species (such as reefs and green turtles). With support from Lush, they also started a pilot project to grow and plant new coconut trees to replace ageing crops and ensure successful continuation.
Learn more about Lush’s journey with coconut oil sourcing here and about the āluān collective here.
What are the benefits of coconut oil for the skin and hair?
- Contains antioxidants
Through a combination of anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects, coconut oil can reduce the symptoms associated with psoriasis and eczema when applied topically.
Coconut oil in soaps
Historically, soap is a foaming and cleansing paste created by mixing a fatty substance with caustic soda. At Lush, we call that a ‘soap base’ instead, because we add many key ingredients to it (like humectants or essential oils). Our goal is to make the most complete, effective, gentle and fragrant soaps.
In modern soap making, palm oil is often used to create soap bases as it is easily transformed. Given the environmental impact of palm oil’s overproduction, Lush switched to an (externally made) base of coconut and rapeseed oil in 2007. Eight years later, eager to vary effects and textures and choose the most qualitative and ethical oil sources, Lush inventors have developed their own soap bases, made in-house. āluān's coconut oil is mainly used in them and helps obtain a dense and creamy lather.
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. 'Kalpavriksha', the Sanskrit name for the coconut, means 'tree which gives all that is necessary for living.'