Over the past few years, we have seen an explosion in popularity of using oils to keep our skin and hair beautiful. Coconut oil, in particular, has seen a surge in demand, with many women (and men) now using it on a daily basis. CashLady takes a look at the many uses for coconut oil and how you could incorporate it into your beauty regime.
Why coconut oil?
Coconut oil is not only an excellent moisturiser, it also has natural anti fungal and anti bacterial properties.
Solid at room temperature, coconut oil will melt when rubbed into your skin, meaning that it will not leave behind any kind of sticky residue.
This all-natural product has a wide range of uses, so once you have invested in a tub, it should not go to waste. Also, a little of this oil goes a long way, so a 500ml tub should last you for months, depending which parts of your beauty regime you incorporate coconut oil into.
If you intend to use coconut oil on your skin or hair, it is important to buy organic, extra virgin coconut oil. If you want to cook with coconut oil, you should avoid the extra virgin stuff, as it burns too easily.
It is worth bearing in mind that if you have acne, some people find that coconut oil helps, while others find it makes the acne worse.
Skincare uses for coconut oil
If you use coconut oil to moisturise your skin, you should not need to invest in any pre-made, chemical-laden moisturisers from the high street.
Coconut oil could also help to reduce the appearance of your wrinkles, by helping to keep your skin hydrated.
Oil cleansing and makeup remover
The craze of using oil to cleanse your skin may seem counterintuitive but it does work and saves you from buying face wash and makeup remover.
Simply scoop out about a quarter of a teaspoon of coconut oil and rub it between the palms of your hands to melt it. Then gently apply it to your face, including your eyelids (if you are wearing eye makeup). You do not need to rub too hard.
Get a warm, wet flannel and hold it over your face for a minute or so. Then carefully wipe your face and eyes with the flannel. You do not want to remove all of the oil because your skin needs oil to keep it hydrated.
By oil cleansing once a day (preferably before bed) you are cleansing and moisturising your face at the same time, so no need to buy any additional moisturiser.
Coconut oil will even remove waterproof mascara, making it as good as, if not better than, any high street makeup remover.
Not only is coconut oil great for your face, it also makes an excellent moisturiser for your body. Add to this the fact that it makes you smell wonderful (kind of like coconut biscuits!) and using it on your body really is a no-brainer.
As coconut oil can feel quite greasy when you first put it on your skin, it is a good idea to rub it into your skin in the shower, where you can rinse yourself off afterwards. When you have finished getting clean, switch off the shower and put a teaspoon of coconut oil on your hand and then rub it all over your body, focusing on your legs and arms. Then switch the shower back on and give yourself a quick rinse.
Water does not rinse away much oil (as you will have noticed when you are trying to clean an oily pan without washing-up liquid!) but it will take off any excess oil on your skin.
Pat yourself dry and you will be lovely and moisturised for the rest of the day!
Shave your legs with coconut oil
Instead of using your expensive, chemical-filled shaving foam or shower gel, try using coconut oil to shave your legs. Simply smooth it into your legs, shave as normal and rinse. No need to moisturise afterwards, as the coconut oil does that for you, too.
Make it into a scrub
By melting coconut oil and then adding brown sugar, you can make a moisturising scrub for your hands or body. Just gently smooth the scrub into your skin then rinse it off, as you would a high-street scrub. You could even use this to help chapped lips and as it is completely edible (and rather tasty) you do not need to worry about accidentally ingesting it!
Haircare uses for coconut oil
Coconut oil can also be used as a natural (and cheap) moisturising mask for your hair.
Coconut and honey hair mask
You can apply coconut oil to your hair on its own but by adding the honey, you are making the mask even more hydrating.
Simply heat equal quantities of coconut oil and honey in a pan and stir until they are melted and mixed. Leave the mixture to cool slightly. You do not want it to solidify but equally, you do not want it to be too warm. Then massage it into your hair and scalp.
Leave the mask on for about 15 minutes, then rinse it out.
It is worth doing a ‘patch test’ of coconut oil on your hair to see how it reacts. Many people see really positive effects, while others find that coconut oil makes their hair brittle.
Coconut oil to tame frizz
By adding a tiny amount of coconut oil to the ends of your hair, you can help to smooth out any frizz and add a little bit of shine. Only use a small amount, otherwise, your hair could end up feeling greasy.
You could even do this before blow-drying, to help your hair retain some of the moisture blowdrying sucks out.
There are many uses for coconut oil, including cleansing, haircare and shaving.
This intensely moisturising oil is suitable for many skin types, including oily skin, as it could help to regulate oil production. Its antibacterial and antifungal properties also make it useful for anyone who suffers from skin conditions, such as acne.
It is also relatively inexpensive to buy and a little does go a long way, making it a great alternative for those on a budget.