The "COCO" in "COCOFLOSS"
Meet the Founders
Meet Philos Health, Our Smile for Smile Partner
“Coco” in our name, COCOFLOSS, was inspired by coconuts. Chrystle and I love anything to do with coconuts – Binbingka (must-try, Filipino dessert), pina coladas, the scent of Hawaiian tropic – and we are inspired by these magical drupals. Our grandfather started his career as a coconut entrepreneur in the Philippines, where coconut palms are called “the tree of life” for their wide range of daily uses – ranging from cooking to health and cosmetic.
The coconut’s cosmetic benefits come from the unique structure of its nutrient-rich oil. Coconut oil is composed of roughly 50% lauric acid, an agile and surprisingly powerful medium-chain fatty acid. Applied as a lotion, these molecules are small enough to penetrate deep into your skin, while protecting your skin from water loss. Applied as a hair mask, lauric acid penetrates your hair shaft (your hair’s outer, protective Keratin layer) and helps prevent protein loss.
For oral care, coconut oil pulling – an ancient hygiene technique where you rinse your mouth with coconut oil– reduces cavity-causing bacterial counts. It’s believed that oil pulling reduces bacterial counts via the swishing action of gargling, and that the medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil may inhibit bacterial growth via their interaction with bacterial cell walls.
In this light, a growing number of celebrities have been reported to use coconut oil regularly for its purported health and cosmetic benefits. Gwyneth Paltrow started oil pulling last year. Miranda Kerr and Angelina Jolie reportedly consume coconut oil regularly as a healthier alternative to other oils.
At the end of the day, given our love for coconuts and our fascination with this magical drupal, we decided to name our company COCOFLOSS. We are inspired by coconuts. We are loco for coco.
(Chocolate Hills in Bohol, Philippines)
In March, we met with the founder of Philos Health, our non-profit partner dedicated to building sustainable dental and medical facilities in the Philippines. For the past 10 years they have been working in the town of Jagna in Bohol, Philippines (population ~32,000).
Philos's work is impressive. with a single fundraiser each year and the donated time of physicians, nurses and volunteers from across the U.S., Philos Health provides over $1 million in care, medical equipment and supplies to the community at need in Jagna.
Having established a daily meal program for undernourished kids, a primary care clinic and birthing center, Philos is now focusing their efforts on dental health. They’ve identified oral care as the most important area to invest in, in order to sustainably improve the well-being and health of the community.
In the Philippines, 85% of children from the ages of 2-4 have cavities. They lack basic education, oral supplies (toothbrush, toothpaste) and care (extremely limited access to dentists). Philos wants to prevent oral problems such as cavities that can cause pain, result in missing teeth and diminish folks’ quality of life. More importantly, Philos sees oral health as a vital ingredient to long-term health and prevention as it’s so intimately tied to our overall wellbeing.
The mouth is the gatekeeper to our bodies, and the correlation between oral health and overall health is striking. For instance, those with moderate to severe gum disease are at increased risk for heart disease (read more), and over-consumption of sugar wreaks a similar degree of havoc on our arteries (my doctor most recently told me that sugar “furries” our arteries) as it does to our teeth.
Philos organizes three trips to the Philippines each year, and they are always looking for supplies and the donated time of volunteers (dentists = awesome! business people = awesome! designers and any other human beings = awesome! contact Philos, here)
We’re happy to say that we’ll be working closely with Philos as they build out their new dental program. We’ve committed to donating dental supplies for every product purchased at Cocofloss. Given Philos’s scrappiness, dedication and clear vision, we’re confident that everything we give will get to the right people and make a small contribution towards improving lives.
P.S. Bohol is home to the world’s smallest monkeys, the tarsiers.
Read more about Philos here.