Coconut oil is lauded by nutritionists and doctors for its numerous health benefits when used in cooking, but did you know it's also excellent for skin and hair care? It's also prized by health and budget-conscious consumers as well as beauty experts for its deeply moisturizing properties, not to mention its warm tropical scent.
Coconut oil contains an abundance of vitamin E and rich moisturizers in the form of medium-chain triglycerides. Its high lauric acid content also gives it antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. When applied to the skin or hair, it's incredibly moisturizing but lightweight, so companies are continuing to add it to their products at a lightning fast rate. If you want to streamline your beauty routine and reduce your exposure to additional chemicals through skin and hair care products, you can try pure coconut oil in place of many store-bought products such as hand or body moisturizer, conditioner, shaving cream, makeup remover, face wash and massage oil. Not only will coconut oil make your hair and skin glow, you'll also save time and money.
When using coconut oil as a skincare or haircare product, it's best to choose organic, unrefined coconut oil. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, so you can soften and melt it in your hands before use, or place a closed jar of coconut oil in a sink filled with warm water. Just remember that a little goes a long way.
If you have dry, rough hands, try a small dab of coconut oil for long-lasting, rich moisture. Keep a jar by the sink, and use some each time you wash your hands.
Body or facial moisturizer.
Apply coconut oil all over your body to soothe and moisturize dry skin. If you've got extremely dry or sensitive facial skin, try a small dab in place of your usual night cream. It can also help promote wound healing. Coconut oil spreads especially well over warm skin fresh out of the shower. If you've got rough feet, massage in coconut oil at night after a bath or shower, and put on a pair of clean cotton socks to help retain the moisture. By morning, rough spots will be gone and your feet will be soft and smooth.
Coconut oil makes an excellent makeup remover, and it works especially well for waterproof eye makeup. Use a bit on a cotton ball or pad, and wipe gently to remove your eye makeup before washing your face.
Coconut oil makes a great, moisturizing oil cleanser when used as part of a two-step cleansing routine, especially for those with dry, sensitive skin. Just massage your face well with the coconut oil to remove any makeup and debris, then wash with your usual cleanser.
If your skin needs a surge of moisture, apply a thick layer of softened coconut oil over your face and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Wipe it away with a warm, soft cloth to reveal smooth, dewy skin.
Apply about 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to freshly washed, damp hair, focusing on the ends. Comb it through, and gather the hair into a loose bun. Cover it with a shower cap and let it absorb for an hour or even overnight, then wash your hair as usual.
Melted coconut oil makes a great alternative to traditional shaving cream. It also leaves your skin smooth, moisturized and glowing. Plus, its antibacterial properties can help calm any shaving irritation.
Melted coconut oil makes an ideal massage oil, and you can customize the scent by adding a few drops of your favorite essential oils.
Coconut oil can soothe your dry, chapped lips in place of traditional lip balm, and it tastes good, too. Scoop some into a small container and carry it with you to use on the go.
Melt a pea-sized amount of coconut oil between your fingers and run it through your hair from mid-shaft to the ends to smooth split ends, add shine and control flyaways. This works especially well for coarse, dry hair.
Melted coconut oil makes the perfect dewy highlighter minus the glitter. Apply a small amount to the tops of your cheekbones, your cupid's bow and anywhere else you want to add a subtle glow to your skin.
Sugar or salt scrub.
Mix equal parts coarse sea salt, Epsom salt, white sugar or brown with melted coconut oil for a sweet-scented, smoothing body scrub that exfoliates and leaves your skin moisturized. You can also add a few drops of essential oils to change the scent.