Coconut oil is one of the most versatile beauty products on the market, and helps prove that Mother Nature is undoubtedly the best beautician you’ll ever meet. From skincare to nutrition – and even whiter teeth – there’s very little this miracle oil can’t do. Read on to discover five fantastic ways to incorporate this natural wonder into your daily beauty regime.
1. As A Pre-Cleanser
If your regular cleanser isn’t cutting it when it comes to removing stubborn mascara and eye makeup, coconut oil could be your new bestie. Simply warm up a level tablespoon of coconut oil in the palms of your hands and massage it into your face in circular motions like you would with any cleanser.
Do make sure that you keep your eyes shut tight while cleansing with coconut oil, as any type of oil in your eyes is a big no-no as it can be irritating. To remove, use a warm face cloth or muslin cloth and gently wipe over your skin, and then follow up with your favourite cream cleanser.
2. As a Hair Mask
Coconut oil is incredibly nourishing for your hair because it’s loaded with hydrating and frizz-fighting vitamin E. It’s also great for soothing an irritated or itchy scalp courtesy of its natural antibacterial and healing properties.
Treat your locks to a weekly mask by heating up two tablespoons of coconut oil (more if you have super long hair) and working it into your scalp and strands. Allow it to soak in for half an hour while you read a magazine or have a cuppa, and when you rinse it out your mane will be extra glossy and silky.
3. As A Skincare Supplement
Coconut oil is a fantastic beauty supplement when used in cooking, and serves as a great alternative to olive oil or vegetable oil. It’s packed full of healthy fats, which help to hydrate and nourish your skin from within, so your complexion glows like never before.
“It can tolerate high heat during cooking, making it a safe oil to cook with,” says nutritionist and wellness coach Jessica Sepel. “It’s also a good fat, made of medium-chain fatty acids, which keep you full and satiated after meals and provide the body with energy over a sustained period of time.”
4. For Oil Pulling
Oil pulling, which involves swishing a teaspoon of coconut oil around in your mouth for 10-20 minutes, is a natural way to help whiten your teeth and reduce toxins in your mouth. It might sound weird (and admittedly it can feel a little strange at first), but it’s a tried and tested technique for a whiter, healthier smile.
“Oil pulling is a traditional Ayurveda therapy that draws out toxins, and it’s a great cleansing remedy,” agrees Jessica. In addition to the more superficial benefits, coconut oil contains natural antibacterial properties, which can help to reduce plaque build-up that can lead to tooth decay. Want to give it a whirl? Try Keeko Coconut Oil Pulling kit in Morning Mint.
5. As A Face & Body Moisturiser
Thanks to all the healthy fats it contains, coconut oil in an incredibly effective natural moisturiser that helps to replenish dry, cracked or flaky skin. When used as a daily moisturiser, it can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and helps to plump up your skin.
Coconut oil also contains antioxidants, which help to combat skin-ageing free radicals, so with continued use it can work wonderfully as an anti-ageing treatment. Just be careful to avoid getting any oil in your eyes, as we mentioned previously this could cause irritation.
A Note On Fair Trade Practices
When shopping for coconut oil, it’s important to purchase brands that support fair trade practices. Many commercial coconut oil brands out there have been know to manufacture their product in mass quantities, and have been linked to worker exploitation and unsustainable practices. And while ethical and sustainable coconut oil might cost a few dollars more, it tends to be purer, healthier, so you get more bang for your buck.
“I think commercial coconut oil brands have enjoyed making a lot of money and exploiting fair trade practices, and more people are starting to realise this,” says INDAH’s Teisha Lowry. “We really noticed this when we stopped making our coconut oil for a period because we thought people wanted the cheap stuff, but we were pleasantly surprised. We had such a big callout for it to come back, because people really want what’s best for their health, our environment and humanity.”
Our favourite coco-nutty beauty buys:
These gorgeous products are either made from organic coconut oil, or use it as a key ingredient: