If you haven’t been living under a rock, you have most likely heard about the wonder of coconut oil. It claims to be the cure for everything! However, with so many articles and people telling me what to use it for, it can be a bit overwhelming deciding what is actually worth trying and what actually works. So I’ve tried a few of the common uses for coconut oil to find out for myself. My experiences and thoughts are below:
When at room temperature, coconut oil has a white wax-like texture. However, it will start to melt when you put some in your hands and rub it over your body. Another option is to place some of the room temperature oil in a bowl and microwave until liquefied. I was very generous in my quantity because I have quite dry skin and rubbed it over my entire body. It was immediately very hydrating and felt amazing when applying to my skin. It can be a bit greasy depending on the amount of oil you use, so I recommend applying before bed and letting it absorb into your skin whilst sleeping. Just remember to wear a loose long sleeve top and pajama bottoms to avoid getting your sheets oily. Coconut oil also helped reduce the inflammation of my eczema.
Hydrating hair treatment
I was sceptical about this use of coconut oil, scared it would make my hair too oily and smell funky. But it was such a fantastic hydrating treatment. I used the rinse out method, where I applied about a tablespoon of the oil to my wet shampooed hair (I have long thick hair, so perhaps use less for thin or short hair) and combed it through, letting it sit for 5-10 minutes, and then rinsed thoroughly. My hair had more shine and felt very hydrated after use.
I tried dabbing a bit of coconut oil on my cheekbones and cupid’s bow as a highlighter. Whilst it did give my skin a dewy glow, I found it didn’t sit too well on top of foundation or powder. It may work better for people who do not wear other makeup on their face and are looking for a natural highlighter.
Try substituting your regular cooking oil for coconut oil. Coconut oil is approximately two-thirds medium-chain fatty acids (also called medium-chain triglycerides, or MCGAs), and is nature’s highest source of these acids. Such acids help digestion, increase energy, and strengthen your immune system. In small quantities, I didn’t even taste a coconut flavour. I did however struggle a bit with the aroma when I used it for shallow frying.
Shaving cream substitute
I was once again sceptical about this use of coconut oil, assuming it would clog my razor or be too thick for the razor to shave through. But I was pleasantly surprised! I applied the oil as if using it as a moisturiser or any other shaving cream, then shaved my legs as usual. I did have to rinse the razor more often and more thoroughly whilst shaving, however my skin felt so soft and hydrated subsequently. Ensure you rinse out your bath or shower thoroughly afterwards to remove any excess oil to avoid slipping over (I unfortunately learnt this the hard way).
Coconut oil contains lauric, capric, and caprylic acid, which are naturally anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory. Coconut oil has been laboratory-proven to kill candida yeast cells, which is the cause of thrush (yeast infections). Apply the oil to the inner and outer lips, as well as the vaginal opening. This has definitely helped me treat a case of thrush, and was a welcome alternative to harsh (and expensive) creams and chemicals. It also helped reduce any itchiness. If you’re feeling game, you could even try a coconut oil vaginal suppository. Additionally, coconut oil is a safe and natural personal lubricant. Just be careful, as it may reduce the effectiveness of latex condoms.
It’s hydrating, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and feels good. It’s the perfect massage oil! Mix the coconut oil with a few drops of your favourite essential oils (I added some jojoba and rose-hip), and it smells like the fancy and expensive oils at a spa.
Melt some coconut oil and mix it with some rough sea salt, raw sugar, or rolled oats to make a body scrub. Whilst this definitely felt good and was a great exfoliant that helped my skin feel soft and hydrated, it was quite messy. I think I’ll just stick with my exfoliating gloves in the future.
By lightly dipping a cotton pad into some melted coconut oil, you have a natural makeup remover. I used it over my face and for eye make up. Whilst it was quite effective for my mascara (I pressed the oil soaked cotton pad on my closed eyes for 30 seconds) and foundation, I must admit I didn’t enjoy the feeling of wiping oil on my face. It also made it a bit harder for my usual face cleanser to do its job because of the thin film of oil left on my face. I’ll definitely use coconut oil again for removing eye makeup, but not on my whole face.
Due to its hydrating capabilities, coconut oil is the perfect lip balm. Scoop some into a small container or old lip balm jar, and you’re all set. I found the oil to be a light lip balm that was easily absorbed and felt nice on my lips. It’s perfect to help my lips survive the cold Canberra winter.