We don’t mean to sound like we’re completely and utterly coconut oil obsessed. But, really, what can’t this luscious, cure-all oil do for our health? When it’s not giving all of our dishes a hearty boost of the best kind of fats, it’s standing in as the most multi-tasking beauty product in our kit.
It’s a bit of a given that something so rich could hydrate dry locks and limbs (and it does – so well), but there’s a bevy of more unexpected beauty uses for the stuff as well. So, crack open a tub, scoop up the nutty goodness and get ready to prettify your legs, under-arms and even your teeth with everyone’s favourite, most raved about oil.
Because it has a natural affinity with your skin, coconut oil works like a magnet on grime and makeup when used as a creamy face cleanser. Rub it into a dry complexion, add some water to the mix, and then give your pores a thorough rinse. Even stubborn mascara will melt away.
2/ SHAVING CREAM
Rub a balmy layer over your legs, wet your razor, and shave as you normally would. Hey presto – your pins will feel silky-smooth plus ultra hydrated.
No, really. Thanks to the lauric acid, coconut oil has antimicrobial and antifungal properties that can be beneficial to your underarms. Mix 5 tablespoons of the stuff with 4 tablespoons of baking soda and 4 tablespoons of cornstarch for a natural alternative to your usual roll-on.
4/ BREATH FRESHENER
The lauric acid kicks in once again to lend a fresher breath and whiter teeth. Simply gargle a spoonful for 20 minutes to tackle germs in the mouth.
5/ BODY SCRUB
Whip up the most soothing of scrubs by blending the oil with salt or sugar. This skin-loving cocktail will slough dead skin cells, and leave a trace of hydration on your limbs.
6/ LIP BALM
For those days when your usual lip balm has vanished (where on earth do the things get to?), dip your finger in a pot of coconut oil, dab on, and enjoy a softer, pillowy pout.
7/ SCALP TREATMENT
Don’t stop at the tips of your hair; if your scalp is feeling dry or you’re dealing with dandruff, massage the oil right into the roots and let it work in overnight.
8/ FACE MASK
Give flagging skin a thwack of hydration by slathering coconut oil on your face, then leaving it for 10 minutes or overnight – depending on how parched pores are. Come morning, you’ll be the proud owner of one plump, dewy and cossetted complexion.
Want to know the best thing about using a dab of coconut oil as a highlighter? When patted over cheek and brow bones, it offers a healthy sheen that trumps glittery makeup.
10/ WONDER BALM
Pop it on with precision to target those dry, flaky patches that crop up at the worst of times, and it will gently pamper them back to their smooth, hydrated best.
11/ BODY BUTTER
You’ve already rubbed it all over your scalp, teeth, lips and flaky cheeks, so why stop there? Its unctuous quality puts it up there with the most comforting (and expensive) of body butters.
By Zara Kenyon, 31 July 2015, for Women's Health