Coconut Oil is cropping up on blogs everywhere at the moment, and as someone who uses this fantastic multi-purpose product on a daily basis, I thought it was time I shared my thoughts. Coconut has both nutritional and medicinal properties, being suitable for use with anything from cooking through to beauty treatments. Containing a unique fat called Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), which is said to aid weight loss, coconuts are also high in Caprylic Acid, which has medicinal purposes for the digestive system, as well as Lauric Acid which works as an antiviral. There are lots of varieties of coconut oil available on the market, ranging from high-street to high-end, but my personal favourite is the Viridian Raw Organic Virgin Coconut Oil (ViridianNutrition*, 500g, £15) which comes in a huge glass tub. I have been using mine for around five or so months now, and I'm only just half-way through! For hygiene reasons, I always use a a clean spoon to get the desired amount of product out, whether I'm using it for beauty treatments or cooking, rather than delving in with fingers, especially as it's such a versatile product which gets used for a lot of different tasks. With coconut from the Philippines and certified organic by the Soil Association, it's an everyday essential for me. So much so I also have the mini version which sits by my bed! Below are my top uses for coconut oil, and if you have any extra ways in which you like to use coconut oil, I'd love to hear your recommendations. I always love finding new ways to use what is the most multi-purpose product I've ever come across!
- Hair treatment; Coconut oil makes a super-easy and quick nourishing hair treatment, I scoop some coconut out of the tub before warming between my hands. Running through my hair from mid-lengths to ends, it works fantastically as a deep-treatment, leaving hair stronger, softer and with a natural and healthy shine. You can pop it on whilst in the bath, or leave on overnight before shampooing in the morning.
- Dry skin treater; Coconut oil is perfect for dry skin and I find massaging a touch into cuticles (both hands and feet!) as well as elbows and knees every night before bed, really helps keep my skin softer and happier.
- Cooking; Coconut oil is my favourite ingredient to cook with, particularly for making roast potatoes for which it is just heavenly! Just swap coconut oil for your usual oil and cook as normal. There's no overpowering coconut taste, although your kitchen will soon smell heavenly! A little goes a long way, the first few times I used it to cook with, I seriously overdid it. Less is more.
- Cleanser; Coconut oil is a fantastic cleanser which effortlessly removes even the toughest of makeup. It also feels lovely to massage into the skin, and done as a once-weekly treat, I find it leaves my skin looking noticeably clearer.
- All over moisturiser; Coconut oil in it's raw form is very firm and solid in texture, but a little goes the longest way. Half a level tablespoon is enough for me to moisturise my body with, which I like to do once a week before bed, to help keep my skin soft, healthy and glowing.
- Overnight treatment; Coconut oil can also be used as an overnight treatment, much like an overnight hydrating mask or moisturiser (although I would advise a patch test first) If my skin is ever in need of a real boost, coconut oil as an overnight treatment leaves my skin feeling super soft and smoother in texture, with any awkward dry patches sorted out no problem. It's also fab as an overnight treatment for hands and feet!
- Lip balm; Coconut oil makes a fantastic moisturising lip balm, without all the added extra (and sometimes unnecessary) ingredients found in standard lip balms. It's also often hailed as a fantastic product for making your own lip scrubs and body scrubs, too, which I hope to try soon!
- Smooth skin; Coconut oil is a great alternative to commercial hair removal products and I like to use some when shaving, which I find leaves my skin much softer and with no irritation afterwards, opposed to usual shaving creams.
- Hair styling; Coconut oil is also great for hair by working to add a touch of shine and controlling flyaway hairs and frizz. I find my ends can look quite dull and static, and using coconut oil helps to smooth the cuticles and tame frizz, leaving my hair looking healthy too.