The success of argan oil in both skin care and hair care has left trend forecasters to predict what the next big discovery in natural-based beauty will be. And many are pointing to coconut oil as the answer.

For years, coconut oil has been the silent secret weapon behind many famous beauty regimens, acting as everything from supermodel Miranda Kerr’s hair serum to Gwyneth Paltrow’s body moisturizer to Gabrielle Reece’s after shower must-have. Coconut oil, which as its name suggests is derived from coconuts, contains antioxidant properties that are key to blocking free radicals, giving it anti-aging benefits. It’s also super emollient and easily absorbed without greasy residue.

“Coconut oil can be the best moisturizer and anti-age tool as it is very stable and has antioxidant properties so if people are worried about leathery skin from free radicals, coconut oil can block the free radicals while it nourishes and protects collagen in the skin from becoming old and droopy,” said Dr. Bruce Fife, author of the “The Coconut Oil Miracle.”

Dr. Fife, who has studied coconut oil for 15 years, goes on to say that it can also be an effective weapon against acne and split ends. “Coconut oil is very good for acne because it kills the bacteria that cause acne. When people have an acne problem I will tell them put a thin layer on their skin…It’s antimicrobial and also, because of its molecular structure, it absorbs better than other oils into the hair shaft and prevents split ends, helping hair to glisten and shine.”

Natural-based skin care lines, such as Livpurely Organics, have often favored 100% virgin coconut oil as the top-billed ingredient. Now, mainstream beauty seems to be catching on, with brands such as Organix and its line of coconut oil hair care products and The Body Shop, with its coconut body oil and coconut soap. Other companies to incorporate coconut oil as a main ingredient also include Kiehl’s Since 1851, Burt’s Bees, Tarte, Too Faced and Sisley.

Aside from its many skin care benefits, Dr. Fife goes on to say that coconut oil also comes with an additional bonus that makes it the perfect oil to use in mass market production. “One thing great about coconut oil is that it is heat stable and has a much longer shelf life, so even in the processing it maintains its health properties…It can stay much longer and [still be effective.]”