Top 5 Tips When Buying Coconut Oil Online
Coconut oil is incredibly popular right now – and for good reason. Hailed a ‘miracle oil’ by many, the benefits of the humble coconut are fast becoming apparent.
As with any new superfood or beauty elixir, online retailers have been quick to jump on the bandwagon; where there’s demand, there’ll always be people looking to make a quick buck.
At present, when you type ‘buy coconut oil online’ into Google you’ll be presented with more than 7 million results. And you’ll find that every coconut oil merchant is insisting that their product’s the best on the market!
This poses a very real problem for shoppers – how do you decide which product to buy?
1. Choose virgin coconut oil.
This is perhaps the most important point when it comes to buying coconut oil.
Virgin (also referred to as ‘extra virgin’) coconut oil is made from fresh coconuts. In most cases, the oil is extracted via a wet milling method – however this method varies quite a bit. If possible, it’s best to find oil that has been produced via direct micro-expelling. When this technique is employed, the flesh is cold-pressed to release the oil within an hour of opening the coconut.
Whether you’re using coconut oil in your cooking or for beauty purposes, virgin coconut oil is your best bet – it’s raw, unrefined and is void of any nasty chemicals or impurities.
2. Avoid refined coconut oil.
Refined coconut oil is made from copra, which is coconut flesh that has been smoked, kiln dried or sun dried.
Refined coconut oil is often referred to as RBD coconut oil, as it’s refined, bleached and deodorised. This process strips the oil of many beneficial nutrients, such as antioxidants.
Refined coconut oil is often just labelled as ‘coconut oil’; if it doesn’t say ‘virgin’ then it’s refined. Refined oil can also be labelled as expeller-pressed coconut oil, liquid coconut oil or hydrogenated coconut oil. Hydrogenated oil is the worst option, as this process leads to the production of trans fats!
3. Make sure it’s organic.
If you are looking to buy coconut oil, make sure that it’s organic.
Generally, the term ‘organic’ implies that the product was produced without the use of chemical fertilisers or synthetic pesticides. In general, organic products are not processed using industrial solvents, synthetic food additives or irradiation.
What constitutes ‘organic’ varies considerably; standards differ between countries and it’s therefore difficult to tell exactly ‘how organic’ something is. Generally, it’s best to stick to products that are advertised as ‘100% organic’ or ‘certified organic’, as there are tighter restrictions surrounding the use of these terms compared to the word ‘organic’ alone.
When it comes to coconut oil, the good news is that much of it is organic. Coconut palms are robust, and the countries in which they are commonly grown don’t generally use a lot of pesticides or fertilisers.
4. Find a supplier that offers information alongside their products.
There are many suppliers out there – so how do you divide the legitimate companies from those who are simply looking to capitalise on the coconut craze?
Information. The good businesses will have plenty of information on their website regarding the benefits and uses for coconut oil – and it won’t merely be information that is regurgitated from someone else’s blog!
Legitimate businesses should know their product inside out. They should be able to tell you how to get the most out of it – from great recipes and cooking tips, through to beauty applications. They should also know exactly how their product has been produced, and they should be able to explain the processes involved.
If there’s no information, beware!
5. There’s no need to buy more than one product.
When buying pure coconut oil, you should be focusing on how it’s produced (i.e. the production methods used) rather than what the label says it should be used for.
High quality, virgin organic coconut oil is a multi-purpose product. You can use it for cooking purposes, to beautify your skin or to nourish your hair. The same product can be used for all of these purposes (and more!), so don’t let clever marketing fool you into buying different types of coconut oil for different purpose.
Please note: There are many beauty products that contain coconut oil as an ingredient. These are different, as they harness the power of coconut oil alongside other ingredients – making them suitable for specific uses.
Be sure to do your research before making an online purchase; not all coconut oils are born equal. You want organic, virgin coconut oil – not some chemical-laden substance that’s full of trans fats!