For the longest time, I have only heard good things about coconut oil. From cooking to skincare to hair management and everything in between. With its anti-bacterial and health promoting properties, it’s not hard to understand why coconut oil has been recommended on every platform. Being in the beauty industry and having a keen interest for trying out new things, I was completely intrigued. That was until Liat tried a very thick coconut oil as a hair mask and the oil literally stayed in her hair for days! (Countless shampoo sessions did nothing.)
Since then I have been a little bit hesitant to try it out again. That was until my mom came home with one that had been recommended to her. Needless to say after one try, I was in love. Its consistency strikes the perfect balance between being light and not too oily.
I have already started using it in everything so I thought I would share some of my favourite tips.
Here are my top 10 uses for coconut oil.
For Your Body
As a moisturizer – Apply directly to the skin and massage it in. It’s soft, light, quick absorbing and leaves your skin with a smooth and glowing texture.
As an exfoliator – I’ve been using this green tea exfoliator but sometimes I get lazy and don’t feel like making it. Lately, I’ve been putting a sprinkle of sugar into a scoop of coconut oil and using that instead. It’s super quick and easy and the coconut oil not only makes my skin soft but adds that little bit of radiance too. Added bonus: I find that coconut oil is a lot less thick than olive oil. I use this exfoliator on my face but you can just as easily use it as a body scrub. Swap the sugar with salt and do gentle rotations and let it work its magic especially in those forgotten areas like the heels and elbows. I love the smell of coconut so for me it is a total winner, but you can always use an odourless oil with a few drops of your favourite essential oil for a beautiful smelling scrub.
For your feet – Let’s be honest, there’s nothing pretty about cracked, dry feet. Especially now that it’s summer, it’s high time that that your feet look gorgeous in sandals. My friend Ariella told me about this tip and I am definitely going to be trying it out. Before you go to sleep, lather your feet with coconut oil, wrap them in cling wrap, cover them with socks and let it absorb overnight. It’s a great way to nurture your feet and super time effective that it works while you are sleeping.
For cooking and baking – Replace butter and oil with coconut oil for a much healthier take on all your favourite foods.
For Your Hair
As a mask – After Liat’s nightmare you are probably shocked to see me recommending this. However, we’ve learnt our lesson and it really comes down to the coconut oil that you choose. I prefer organic coconut oil and I find the ones intended for cooking work best on hair. Apply the coconut oil throughout your hair, sparingly on the roots and more generously as you go down towards the ends. Most recommend sleeping with it overnight, but I say wash it out (with shampoo and conditioner) after an hour or so. However, it really just depends on how much moisture you are hoping to achieve.
For dry/coloured hair – Ari is just a beauty genius so it’s no surprise that this next tip comes from her too. Mix coconut oil, water and a few drops of your favourite essential oil in a plastic spray bottle (available at Clicks, Dischem and dollar stores) and spray it on the ends of your hair. It’s great for split ends and for keeping dyed hair healthy.
For your teeth – Coconut oil has long been argued to be an effective means of whitening your teeth and improving oral hygiene. I have to be honest, I have yet to try this out, but that has not deterred my intense curiosity with it. Oil pulling is done by swishing (and not swallowing) a table spoon of coconut oil in your mouth for 20 minutes. It works as an oral detoxification process and draws out toxins from the mouth and body. Having found a coconut oil that I really like, I am definitely going to try this out and do a post on it.
As a make-up remover – Cocount oil works efficiently as a make-up remover. Not only does it leave your skin feeling soft and refreshed, but it does not irritate sensitive areas (under or around the eyes) when taking make-up off. I don’t have sensitive skin, but I often find that certain make-up wipes aggravate my skin. It’s calming and hydrating properties make it a great substitute. Depending on the oiliness of your skin, you may want to cleanse your face after using the oil.
Cuticle oil – Massage into the cuticles and nail beds for stronger, more hydrated cuticles and nails.
As a highlighter – A few weeks ago, one of my favourite bloggers, Aisha Baker, gave a great beauty hack that she had learnt from a make-up artist – using vaseline over your highlighter to give your skin that extra glow. Liquified coconut oil works just as well. Rub it on top of the cheek bones to give your skin that healthy looking glow.
*Disclaimer – I have relatively normal-dry skin so coconut oil works well for me. Usage depends on skin type.
Advice – use with discretion.