Coconut oil is an amazing health food with endless uses across natural beauty, natural medicine, cooking and so much more. It has gained in popularity for good reasons – it is a natural antibacterial, antifungal, a fantastic moisturiser and can penetrate hair better than other oils. It also happens to smell beautiful, too!
Across South-East Asia and particularly in the Philippines, the coconut tree is considered the “Tree of Life” due to its remarkable versatility. The tough skin of the coconut tree can be used for: making fences, decoration, landscaping; the mature flesh of the coconut can be used for cosmetics, oil or soaps; and the fruit can be cooked and made into charcoal - amazing!
We have rounded up 11 of the best beauty uses for coconut oil. All you need is one thing - the best type of coconut oil to use which is raw, virgin and organic.
1. Natural makeup remover
A small amount of coconut oil will quickly liquefy eye makeup, even waterproof mascara! Place some oil on a cotton ball and gently sweep over your upper and lower lids in a circular motion. Wipe off with a warm cloth. The oil breaks down waxy, inky eye makeup and leaves this delicate area hydrated and moisturised. Coconut oil will not sting or irritate eyes like most commercial eye makeup removers.
2. Natural skin moisturizer
Coconut oil is a fantastic body moisturiser that is effective in increasing hydration and reducing water loss in dry skin. It is absorbed quickly and is non-greasy. If your coconut oil has solidified at room temperature, simply place some in the palm of your hand and watch it quickly liquefy. To apply to your face, warm a small amount in your hand and apply to your face and body, rubbing in a circular motion. Let it sit for 5 minutes and then rub off any residue on your skin’s surface. Coconut oil has even proven to speed up wound healing when applied topically.
3. Cheekbone highlighter
For beautiful, dewy cheeks apply a small amount of coconut oil on top of makeup and let it sit. Your skin will appear to give off a natural glow which is why many makeup brands use it as their base.
4. Coconut oil pulling
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic practice that is used to detoxify your mouth by killing bad breath, fighting tooth decay and even helps boost your immune system. Oil pulling improves the health of your teeth and gums and also happens to be a natural teeth whitener. Swish the coconut oil in your mouth for between 10-20 minutes, being careful not to swallow the oil. Once finished, spit the oil into the bin and rinse your mouth with water.
5. Cellulite solution
Cellulite affects people of all ages but is predominantly found on women’s thighs, bottoms and upper arms. Cellulite is a breakdown in the structure of the body’s fat cell chambers which causes the dimpling. Coconut oil is effective in fighting this stubborn condition! Simply mix 1 tablespoon of coconut oil with 10 drops of grapefruit essential oil and massage in a firm circular motion over the affected areas. Once finished, dry brush the area with a soft, natural-bristle brush towards the direction of the nearest lymph nodes (back of knees, groin, armpits, etc.) to stimulate circulation and encourage cellular detox.
6. Insect repellent
Keep insects at bay and at the same time say no to harsh chemicals! Coconut oil is a fantastic base you can use to make your own natural insect repellent. Mix one tablespoon of coconut oil with a couple of drops of tea tree oil, peppermint oil and rosemary oil to repel flies, mosquitoes, gnats and bees. Some other essential oils you can use are citronella, eucalyptus, mint or lemongrass. Reapply throughout the day to keep your barrier intact.
7. Treat stretch marks
Caused by the stretching of the skin, which occurs most frequently during puberty, pregnancy or weight loss/gain or, stretch marks are an extremely common experience for the majority of women. Coconut oil can reduce the appearance of stretch marks, helping to fade dark marks, discoloration and reduce redness while hydrating the skin and allowing it to heal more quickly. If you are pregnant, try rubbing coconut oil all over your stomach during and after pregnancy to help reduce marks.
8. Wrinkle reduction
Coconut oil can even reduce the appearance of fine wrinkles for a more youthful-looking appearance! It has been found that coconut oil has the ability to penetrate deep into the skin with triglycerides in the oil attracting protein molecules, ensuring timely repair of the collagen, keeping your skin elastic and smooth - amazing!
9. Lip Balm
Coconut oil can help relieve dry and chapped lips, which can happen during any season. The healing properties of coconut oil help to nourish the lips and provide a small amount of sun protection. It can be mixed with different essential oils or herbal extracts to suit your tastes.
10. In-grown hair treatment
Rub coconut oil on areas that are prone to bumps and infections or areas that you regularly shave. The oil helps to soften skin and kill bacteria so hair can easily grow from the follicle without becoming in-grown.
11. Nail cuticle oil
Keep your cuticles looking fantastic with coconut oil! Apply some oil at the base of your fingertips to reduce the risk of developing fungal infections and to keep the skin supple for pushing back cuticles and encouraging nail growth.