Most of us are still in the shackles of winter, pining for an island escape. So let’s turn our focus to something tropical — coconuts. This hard-shelled hairy fruit of the palm tree is not just for pina coladas anymore. The mighty coconut has finally taken its rightful place as a super-food and wonder-ingredient with both internal and external health benefits.

Not long ago coconut oil had a bad rap, demonized as a highly-saturated artery-clogging fat that made movie popcorn a sin. It is true that in its processed hydrogenated form, coconut oil is something to be avoided like a heart attack. However, pure unadulterated virgin coconut oil is another story.

Asians and Pacific Islanders have been praising the power of coconut oil for centuries, but now modern science is catching up. Studies have shown that this tropical fruit is one of nature’s most effective natural anti-microbials. High in lauric acid, capric acid and capylic acid, it has proven antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. It is also a potent antioxidant, heroically scavenging those prevalent free radicals that do so much cellular damage and deterioration as we age.

From a beauty perspective, coconut oil is a rich, silky, readily absorbable emollient that soothes and softens skin. The oil has a particularly high moisture retention capacity, so it helps lock in hydration to nourish, protect and rejuvenate the face, body, feet, lips, hair, cuticles — the works! Miraculous healing effects have been reported on a host of skin conditions, including psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, dermatitis, blemishes, burns, wounds and wrinkles.

Coconut oil increases the levels of lipids on the skin’s surface, which helps preserve connective tissues and restore elasticity, one of the first qualities to diminish as time goes by. That lipid barrier also helps ward off sun damage, fades discolorations, promotes healing, firms sagging and erases etchings. Straight up, it makes a wonderful massage oil, facial oil, lip protector, lash lengthener, dry skin eradicator, hair defrizzer, scalp tonic, natural deodorant, stretch mark preventative, make-up remover and cuticle smoother. Phew — is that enough for you? It’s no wonder that coconut oil is taking center stage in so many body and beauty care products these days.

At Saffron Rouge, we’ve got a lovely bunch of coconut-based products. Here are a few you should let get under your skin.