How Coconut Oil Has Replaced Almost Everything In My Beauty Cabinet
It's the latest beauty and health trend to sweep the nation - coconut oil - the little miracle in a jar that will change your life for the better. We have been inundated with information about how good this stuff is for us for months now and at first I dismissed it as nothing but a fad. But the benefits that coconut oil supposedly have are still being shouted about from the rooftops, with claims that it's not only good for your skin, hair and body, but that it can have therapeutic effects on brain disorders like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s.
I decided to pick up a jar of Vita Coco Coconut Oil (250ml) from my local Tesco’s for £5.99 and see what all the fuss was about. After some internet searching and chats with friends who already use coconut oil daily, I came up with a short list of ways I could try it out. So, without further ado, here’s how I incorporated it into my routine…
One of the most popular uses for coconut oil is as a moisturiser. It’s incredibly nourishing, hydrating and great for your skin, so I’ve gotten into the habit of using it every day on my face, hands and body. The oil melts on contact, but you can heat it up in some hot water or by using a hair dryer and it’s left my skin feeling soft and smooth. I’ve even started carrying some around with me in a smaller pot, so I can use it on the go.
Coconut oil is really powerful stuff and can easily remove the most stubborn of makeup – even waterproof mascara. After melting some of the oil onto a cotton wool pad, I simply wiped it over my face as normal and my makeup came clean off. It was so easy and I even had the benefit of super soft skin afterwards.
As coconut oil is such a great moisturiser, it works really well as a shaving cream. I used it on my legs and underarms and couldn’t fault the results. The only thing is that it did gloop up (technical term, there) the razor quite a bit, but afterwards I was hair free with soft skin to boot.
This is an old Indian Folk remedy that has been around for thousands of years, although the Indians in question used sesame or sunflower oil, coconut oil works just as well. Start by putting a tablespoon of oil in your mouth and swish it around for 15 – 20 minutes, it’s not the easiest thing to start off with (I admittedly did retch a couple of times before I got used to it), but once you get going, it’s fine. By doing this regularly, you reduce the amount of harmful bacteria in the mouth, helping to cure bad breath, whiten teeth and improving oral health. I’ve only done this a couple of times so far, but my mouth did feel immediately cleaner after each time, so I can see this working for me – I just need to get into a routine.
Verdict: 8/10 (so far)
Coconut oil differs from other cooking oils as it contains a unique composition of fatty acids – I don’t claim to be an expert on this kind of thing, but it consists almost entirely of something called Medium Chain Triglycerides (*gulp*), which are special fatty acids that travel straight to the liver, where they are transformed into ketone bodies and provide a source of energy. It can also help to control weight, ease digestion and boost metabolism, support immunity AND stop sugar cravings. You can read more about that here.
I have cooked with coconut oil lots of times since purchasing it and have zero complaints. At first I could taste a little of the coconut in my food, but if anything it helped to enhance flavour and now I barely notice it’s there.
Ever since the weather has started changing, it’s had an affect on my skin, unfortunately, this included dry and chapped lips – lucky me. I usually reach for the Carmex in these situations, but seeing as coconut oil had been doing so well, I figured I’d try it out as lip balm too. Turns out, it works really, really well – my lips were repaired within days and thanks to that handy little pot I mentioned earlier, I could apply the oil whenever I needed to. What’s more, word on the street is that coconut oil is a miracle cure for cold sores too!
All hail the moisturising power of coconut oil. By now I imagine you’ve got the gist of how well it looks after your skin, so I tried chucking a dollop in the bath with some Epsom salts to help hydrate my skin and relax my muscles. Add a good book, a few candles and a glass of wine and you’re in for a pretty great time – just don’t get any in your hair, else you’ll end up with a greasy mop.
You can make pretty great hair masks out of coconut oil, avocado and coconut oil (read how to not to do it here), but using coconut oil as your regular conditioner is meant to do your barnet the world of good. Sadly, I messed up my attempt and didn’t manage to wash it all out, which resulted with oily hair that was thankfully just about saved with dry shampoo. I’m a bit nervous to try it again, but essentially, you’re meant to melt the oil the shower and apply to the ends of your hair, leave for five minutes and then rinse. Tried it yourself? Let me know how it went for you in the comments below!
I love highlighters – my makeup routine for a night out just isn’t complete without a few dabs of Benefit’s High Beam (£19.50), but with coconut oil I’m not sure I'll need to keep forking out for it anymore. I simply dotted a few spots of liquidated oil on the tops of my cheekbones and above my eyebrows for that same beautiful dewy look.
So, to sum up...
Total cost of items replaced by Coconut Oil: £58.57
Cost of Vita Coco Coconut Oil (250ml): £5.99
My Instagram pals are pretty obsessed with it too!