Could coconut oil be your new beauty saviour? It’s certainly a product that gives a lot of bang for your buck.
Coconut oil has been touted as the new superfood for a while now, with models like Miranda Kerr chucking it in their green smoothies for years. But natural beauty fans, and celebs like Emma Stone, Mindy Kaling and Gwyneth Paltrow have long been using coconut oil as part of their beauty arsenal, too. You see, this fatty oil has antioxidant, antibacterial, and antifungal properties, and helps in the absorption of other minerals, plus it’s super moisturizing, making it a dream for your skin, hair and nails.
But what can you actually use it for in your beauty regime? Here are the many uses and benefits of coconut oil as a beauty product – plus a few coconut oil myths busted – from bona fide coconut oil converts.
1. Coconut Oil as Leave in Conditioner/Detangler
Because coconut oil is made up of smaller medium-chain fatty acids, it penetrates hair deeply and quickly. If you apply coconut oil melted to room temperature to the end of wet hair, it makes an excellent leave-in conditioner – and will make your hair easier to comb through.
2. Coconut Oil Hair Mask
Add coconut oil to some honey and apple cider vinegar and you have a super five minute hair mask. The coconut oil and honey will calm unruly hair – and the cider vinegar makes hair shiny. Our pals at The Debrief have a great recipe.
3. Coconut Oil Body Moisturizer
One of my favourite uses for Coconut Oil is on dry winter skin. After warming coconut oil in my hands, I apply it to rough skin on my elbows. But many people use it as an all-over body moisturizer.
4. Coconut Oil Foot Balm
If feet gross you out – look away now. Before bed I tend to slather my feet in coconut oil and pop on some socks – then my feet are super soft in the morning. My husband thought I looked like a total weirdo at first, but who cares – it works wonders.
5. Coconut Oil Lip Balm
Because coconut oil is solid at room temperature, it pretty much takes on the texture of regular lip balm. It softens your lips, soothes cracked skin and tastes delicious too!
6. Cleansing with Coconut Oil
I’ve read countless articles on oil cleansing – based on the idea that oil gets rid of oil. Plus coconut oil is anti-bacterial. But I was sceptical – until a friend told me she ditched her expensive beauty products after a bout of terrible spots and switched to coconut oil – and insists her skin has never looked better. Other natural beauty bloggers swear by coconut oil cleansing, which involves massaging the oil on to your face, leaving for a few minutes and then, using a warm cloth, wiping off the oil.
7. Coconut Oil Eye Make-Up Remover
Coconut oil breaks up water-resistant substances you find in mascara and eye shadow – making it a fab make-up remover. To use, scoop a little, rub between hands to warm and smooth over your skin, before wiping off with a cotton bud. It will melt the make-up away and leave your skin smooth – but avoid getting it in your eyes!
8. Home-made Make-up Wipes
Facial wipes have received a lot of bad beauty press over the years – but if you’re a lazy girl like me, you’ll love the countless tutorials for making your own natural beauty wipes using coconut oil. My favourite is from blogger Coconut Mama – and uses Dr Bronner’s mild castile soap (another natural beauty wonder) alongside coconut oil to take your make-up off in a minute.
9. Coconut Oil Moisturizer
Because coconut oil is packed with antioxidants (which many anti-ageing creams are chock full of), it’s believed to soothe fine lines and wrinkles. And obviously it is a great moisturizer. But if your skin has a tendency to break-out or you get a lot of blocked pores/blackheads, coconut oil may be too rich to be slapped on your skin all day. It has a comedogenic rating of 4 which means it could contribute to clogged pores.
10. Coconut Oil Cuticle Softener
Coconut oil is so moisturizing, it’s a boon for cracked cuticles. Simply smooth on to the base of your nails – it can also help protect your manicure for a little longer.
11. Coconut Frizz Fighter
Dry, unruly hair? Scoop out a 5p sized amount of coconut oil (a little goes a long way), and smooth on to dry or frizzy ends to tame and add moisture. You might need to warm it between your hands if it’s a bit hard.
12. Body Scrub with Coconut Oil
Pair coconut oil (at room temperature) with granulated or brown sugar or epsom salts and you have a ready made body scrub. You might have to use a blender to truly mix the two together – but beware getting the oil too hot as it will melt into the sugar and dissolve it. I like this tutorial from Monica Church.
13. Shaving with Coconut Oil
Coconut oil makes a great shaving cream – just smooth on to your legs, and shave as normal. It doubles up as a leg moisturizer – but keep the razor rinsed out regularly as you go so it doesn’t get clogged up.
14. Cleaning Make-up Brushes with Coconut Oil
Coconut oil’s anti-bacterial properties come in to play once again – dip your brushes in melted coconut oil, swirl on a napkin and then rinse in warm water – all the make-up will be gone! Here’s a good tutorial.
15. Coconut Oil Acne Treatment
Coconut oil is believed to be an effective acne treatment for some skins because it’s anti-inflammatory, contains Vitamin E and because it contains Capric Acid and Lauric Acid, which fight microbial infection, which often causes acne.
16. Scar/Stretch Mark Healer
The medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil prevent and reverse free radical damage – free radicals attack skin tissue and prevent it from regenerating. So using coconut oil to help scars and stretch marks makes sense!
17. Oil Pulling with Coconut Oil
Ever since Gwyneth Paltrow wrote about oil pulling (swilling coconut oil in your mouth to whiten teeth and freshen breath), it’s become a major beauty trend. Read all about how to use coconut oil to whiten teeth here.
18. Treating Eczema with Coconut Oil
While coconut oil may not be proven to heal eczema, some sufferers have commented on how to has helped to soothe inflamed skin – making it an alternative to other beauty producst that may cause flare-ups.
19. Coconut Oil Sunscreen?
Coconut oil supposedly has a natural SPF 4 – and some have recommended the oil as a natural alternative to sun cream, which could contain toxic ingredients. However, Doctors have warned that the oil is not proven to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
20. Treating Dandruff using Coconut Oil
Dandruff is a fungal infection and often starts due to dry scalp problems. So you can try massaging melted coconut oil in to your scalp to help. It’s anti-fungal and moisturizing.
Know any more uses for coconut oil? Comment below with your tips!