It smells fantastic, it’s wallet-friendly and it’s THE must-have beauty item on everyone’s shopping list. That’s right – we’re talking about coconut oil. This incredibly nourishing, all-natural oil is not only super healthy and easy to use, it’s also extremely versatile and could replace a number of beauty products taking up unnecessary space in your bathroom cabinet.
Also known as copra oil, coconut oil is extracted from the kernel of mature coconuts harvested from the coconut palm. Usually stored in a jar, coconut oil is solid and waxy in appearance but it quickly melts into a butter-soft oil as soon as you handle it. Doubling up as a beauty remedy for both hair and skin, it’s no wonder that everyone’s slathering themselves in the stuff.
Coconut water has also become a popular ingredient amongst beauty experts, with its multiple uses and countless health benefits. Not to mention it smells and tastes like summer. Unlike coconut oil, coconut water is a clear liquid found in young, green coconuts.
Although these sweet, tropical essentials are a firm favourite with the stars, there’s no reason why you can’t reap all of their health and beauty benefits too. Read our handy guide below to find out more about using coconut oil and water.
Tame Those Locks
If you’re constantly looking for new products to fix your frizz-prone locks then look no further. The natural oils in coconut oil repel water, so by using coconut oil on your hair it helps prevent moisture from entering the hair shaft, keeping your tresses silky and frizz-free.
The oil also acts as a deep conditioning treatment and a hair mask – seriously, what’s not to love? To use coconut oil on your hair, rub a small amount between your hands and simply work it through the lengths of your hair. It’s usually better to start at the tips and gradually head upwards.
If you’ve got thin hair, be careful not to use too much oil near the roots as this might make your hair look greasy – instead focus on any dry ends. This tip is especially good if you love dip-dyeing as the fatty acids in the oil stop your coloured tips from drying out as quickly. For best results, leave the oil in overnight to condition your hair before rinsing it off in the shower. Otherwise, let it sit for five minutes after applying and then rinse.
Not Just For Drinking
You might love the sweet and nutty flavour of coconut water, but it does much more than quench your thirst. If your hair is feeling a bit dry, consider using a shampoo and conditioner with coconut water in the ingredients to help rehydrate your locks and get them shimmering again.
Many shampoos and conditioners contain hydrating formulas of coconut water, electrolytes and coconut oil, which will keep your hair feeling soft, nourished and silky clean.
Improve Your Health
Trying to lose weight or improve your diet? Yep, coconut water can help you with this too. Low in calories and sodium, it’s a much healthier alternative to a sports drink following a workout and is super hydrating, increasing your metabolism and aiding in any weight loss through exercise. It even acts as a diuretic, helping the body to stay hydrated for longer – a great hangover cure.
It also contains less sugar than many fizzy drinks and fruit juices as well as being full of antioxidants, so consider making the swap next time you shop. As with other things though, remember it’s everything in moderation – don’t drink too much coconut water as eventually the calories will add up. Take care to read drinks labels and choose plain coconut water rather than those with added sugar.
Coconut Oil Skincare Secrets
And now the top tips you’ve all been waiting for – how to use coconut oil as part of your skincare regime. Here are a few of our personal favourites:
Suffering from dry skin? The antioxidant properties in coconut oil and its creamy texture are perfect for moisturising your face and body as well as combatting wrinkles or skin irritation. For best results, apply the oil to your skin after a shower.
With its antibacterial properties and gentle grime-removing action, coconut oil is an effective makeup remover – even for stubborn waterproof mascara. Unlike many other makeup removers packed with chemicals, coconut oil is completely natural, making it ideal for sensitive skin. All you need to do is warm the oil between your fingers and gently rub it onto your face before wiping everything away with a face cloth. Magic.
While many traditional face creams or under-eye creams are water-based and can result in drying out your skin, coconut oil locks in moisture and offers superb hydration. You might raise your eyebrows at the thought of using oil on your face, but coconut oil is comedogenic, meaning your pores won’t get blocked and your skin is free to breathe. To apply, use the same amount of oil as you would with a standard cream.
If you’re tired of cutting your legs with your razor every morning, consider using coconut oil as your next shaving cream. Its lubricating texture helps razors to glide across your skin, leaving a smooth and silky finish.
Want your skin to feel extra soft? Mix half a cup of coconut oil with some sugar or salt for a cheap and natural exfoliator. You’ll have baby soft skin in no time.
If you want to be really beauty-savvy, use coconut oil as a cuticle softener. Melt some into a bowl, place your hands or feet inside and leave to soak. The anti-fungal properties of the oil works wonders for those ragged cuticles.
And if all that wasn’t enough, the fatty acids in coconut oil can also help keep your lips feeling soft and moisturised. Chapped lips, be gone.
So there you have it – two sweet-smelling beauty remedies with several benefits in one.