Frizzy hair? Coconut oil. Dry skin? Coconut oil. Peeling nails? Coconut oil. Bad credit rating? Coconut oil. Stress at work? Coconut oil. Well, maybe not. But you get the picture.
There’s not much that I don’t use it for, I’ve been a devotee for years and for good reason. Coconut oil is naturally antibacterial, anti-fungal and packed full of antioxidants. It’s an excellent moisturiser for and nails and can penetrate hair better than most other oils. It also smells like a Bounty bar- yum!
Vita Coco, everyone’s favourite coconut water, has just launched it’s own oil and it is on another scale. Organic, 100% raw, extra-virgin and cold pressed, it feels and tastes as good as it smells. Read on as celebrity beauty guru, Liz Taw, shares her top ten uses for this magical stuff that will take your beauty routine to super stellar new heights.
Exotic Miracle Makeup Remover
“I love to use coconut oil as my evening cleanser – it’s an easy and gentle way to remove makeup and leaves skin feeling clean and nourished. Take a teaspoon of the oil, warm it in your hands to transform it into a liquid and gently massage it into your face and neck. Use a flannel and hot water to gently remove and rinse.”
Deep-Down Clean Balancing Cleanser
“Those with oily, acne-prone skin are often worried about applying oil to their face. In truth, the antibacterial qualities of coconut oil help make it a gentle and effective way to treat and balance acne-prone skin; unlike aggressive foaming cleansers that can aggravate the delicate skin on your face, encouraging production of excess sebum to protect and replace the oil you’ve stripped away. Adding a couple of drops of tea tree oil to your coconut oil will further enhance the antibacterial levels of your cleanse. Massage the product into dry skin then remove thoroughly with a hot flannel.”
Hydrating Pre-Shower Body Treat
“Slather it all over your body, including areas prone to the formation of bacteria such as your armpits and in-between your toes. The deodorising and antibacterial qualities mean you can ditch your body wash, shower as normal and your skin will not only feel clean but also extremely moisturised. Coconut oil on its own has a wonderful scent, but I also like to add a few drops of essential oil into my pre-shower pot. To create this at home, liquefy the coconut oil by placing your Vita Coco in hot water (ensuring not to get any water in the jar), then add a few drops of essential oil, mix well and allow to cool. I recommend lavender before bed and neroli and lemongrass in the morning for their reviving and uplifting properties.”
Glow-Boosting Body Scrub
“Gently melt about three tablespoons of coconut oil gently on the hob until it’s liquefied. Remove from the heat and add two tablespoons of coconut milk, 3 tablespoons of sugar, a teaspoon of lemon juice and a tablespoon of lemon zest. Mix thoroughly until all the ingredients are well combined and transfer into a glass jar. To use, massage into dry skin (or damp skin for a gentler exfoliation), shower and rinse thoroughly. Just try not to eat it in the process!”
Delicious Whipped Body Butter
“Mix three tablespoons of coconut oil with three tablespoons of Shea butter, three tablespoons of cocoa butter, three tablespoons of olive oil and 10 to 15 drops of lavender and ylang-ylang essential oils. Excluding the essential oils, combine the ingredients in a heat-proof bowl over a pan containing a small amount of water. Bring the mixture to a medium simmer, stirring the ingredients constantly until they melt together. Once melted, remove the bowl from the heat, and allow to cool, before transferring the mixture to the fridge for around 1 hour until it starts to harden but still has a level of softness. Using a hand mixer, whip the ingredients for around ten minutes until the mixture resembles thick whipped cream, add your essential oils and whip again. Store your body butter in a sterilised glass container and slather on for silky smooth skin.”
Tropical Baobab Lip Balm
“I like to make my own flavoured blend of lip balm by melting a heaped tablespoon of coconut oil gently on the hob and adding a teaspoon of baobab powder – a delicious, antioxidant rich, vitamin C-packed super fruit – and a drop of orange oil. If making this at home, mix well, pour into a little glass jar/ decanter and leave to set. It’s easy, tastes great and is good for you instead of ingesting chemicals that can be found in some lip balms.”
Blissful Coconut Massage Stones
“Gently heat some coconut oil, add a few drops of your preferred essential oil, pour the mixture into chocolate moulds and leave to set to create small, massage stone-inspired shapes. For a blissful at-home spa treatment, massage skin with the coconut stones in your palms and they will slowly melt into massage oil. After the massage, use a hot flannel to towel of excess oil.”
Fragrant Flaky Scalp Treatment
“To treat a flaky scalp, melt about three tablespoons of coconut oil gently in a saucepan. Allow to cool, add five drops of tea tree oil and stir until fully blended. Apply the mixture to your scalp and massage well. Cover your hair with a shower cap or plastic wrap and leave for a couple of hours, before rinsing and shampooing with a gentle formula two to three times to ensure all of the oil has been removed. Apply conditioner from mid lengths to ends and rinse as usual.”
Super-Sweet Nourishing Hair Mask
“This treatment adds shine and silkiness to hair, helping to keep it bouncy and healthy. To create at home, warm solid coconut oil to liquefy and add a couple of drops of sandalwood and rose essential oils. Apply to damp hair, combing through to distribute, before wrapping in a hot towel or shower cap and leaving to penetrate for an hour. You can also leave the remedy on overnight for an intensely hydrating treatment. Rinse, shampoo twice and condition as usual.”
Skin-Loving Brush Cleanser
“Makeup brushes can be a haven for dirt and bacteria, but the anti-fungal and conditioning properties of coconut oil make it the ideal brush cleaner. Massage the oil onto your makeup brushes, then rinse off excess product with a gentle cleansing shampoo. The result? Soft, clean tools that will improve makeup application and help keep skin clear.”
What are your favourite uses for coconut oil?