Gwyneth Paltrow is a fan of oil pulling (Getty)
Over the last few days, us beauty ladies have been talking nonstop about the latest detox phenomenon called oil pulling, the act of swishing oil around your mouth. Now, gargling with oil may sound unappealing, but it has been an Ayurvedic practice since ancient times, and the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and Shailene Woodley are apparently huge fans. So, what exactly is it? Well, it’s a pretty simple process- swish a spoonful of oil (coconut and sesame are the most popular) in your mouth for 10 to 20 minutes, spit it out and get ready to reap a whole host of beauty benefits. As the oil actually pulls germs and bacteria from your gums, the whole process is about removing the toxins from the mouth before they can travel to other parts of the body.
It’s said that oil pulling can do everything from whiten teeth to cure eczema, prevent disease, purge toxins and even clear up acne and cure migraines. Sound too good to be true? Read on to discover the 5 things you need to know about the ancient practice making a big, A-list comeback…
5 Things To Know About Oil Pulling
1. Oil pulling is nothing new
As David Colbert, New York-based super-dermatologist explains, “Oil pulling is nothing new. The Italians do it three times a day. It’s part of the Mediterranean diet, and any diet rich in natural, healthy oils like olive oil will provide the pull.” Basically, Colbert is saying that oil pulling is basically a fancy term for something we all know- making healthy oils a regular part of your diet.
2. Make like Gwynnie and go for coconut
As nutritionist Eve Kalinik explains, “Coconut oil is great for oil pulling because of the lauric acid- it has anti-fungal, anti-microbial and natural anti-biotic properties. Try swishing 1-2 teaspoons around for 10-20 minutes first thing in the morning.” Gwynnie swears by the teeth-whitening properties of coconut oil, too.
3. It’s a preventative NOT curative treatment
As dental hygienist Michelle Hurlbutt explains, “Oil pulling should not be used to treat oral disease such as gum disease or tooth decay," It's more of a preventive rinse that could be used adjunctively with your regular mouth care routine."
4. It’s best done first thing in the morning
Why? When you wake, your bacteria levels are at the highest, so oil pulling as soon as you wake will have the best effects.
5. It can clear up acne
If you suffer from acne, oil pulling may be worth a shot as an alternative treatment. After all, the detoxifying effect oil pulling has on the body can also reduce the appearance of skin rashes and other blemishes.