It's not just for mealtime: the superfood that is coconut oil can be an essential beauty ingredient, too
How did we manage before coconut oil came into our lives? With many of us becoming more aware that processed food is bad and superfoods are good, reaching for the coconut oil when cooking has become one of the easiest changes we've made. It's the healthy kind of saturated fat (unlike the sorts that are in steak or cheese) and it's been shown that coconut oil is not only good for quick source energy, but also as being therapeutically effective for brain disorders like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s.
Mind that you use the correct kind of coconut oil, however: you can't just swap it out of the kitchen cupboard and into your beauty kit. Elizabeth Whelan is the Director of Zestivo Holistic Lifestyle and she advises that “organic cold pressed virgin coconut oil that is not processed is the only oil you should use for non-cooking situations.”
Now that we can pick up 500mls of Vita Coco Coconut Oil at Boots for €12.99, experimenting with this versatile product won't make a huge dent in your purse. And I say 'experimenting' because some techniques worked better than others for me, as they likely will for you.
For instance: when using it as a general hair styling aid. If you've got coarse and/or very curly hair, this will work much better than it did for someone who has fine hair (like me.) I tend to apply things with gusto, and thankfully I had the time to wash out the excessive oil I put in, and start over. So, take it handy and start slowly. Elizabeth recommends using it as a deep conditioning hair mask at night: “Take some and apply to your hair leave overnight and shampoo out, it will give a great shine to you hair and it will feel like satin.”
Speaking of bedtime, there's nothing better for the skin than a good, restful night mask. This allows you to get the best out of coconut oil's antioxidants in the PM without worrying that a slow absorption rate might make you late in AM.
Finally, this is the perfect product for people who are out in the elements — say, those who are training for a prestigious half marathon. “Coconut oil has antiviral properties so good for athlete’s foot or any fungal infections,” says Elizabeth. “I often use it as a lip moisturiser, especially if skiing or in very cold weather conditions.” It's great for your cuticles, too, and for removing makeup... it really is amazing!