A superfood that not only nourishes us from the inside, but has a multitude of beauty benefits when used on the outside too? And it doesn’t break the budget? And it’s available as close as your nearest grocery store? AND its scent can instantly transport you back to your last beachy vacay?! Sounds too good to be true, but lucky for us, coconut oil is all of these things and then some!
Let me add something here you should know about me: when I read about a new beauty or health product, I have to try it (assuming it is cruelty-free and preferably vegan). It doesn’t matter how ‘out there’ it is, if it promises my hair will be stronger, my skin will be firmer, or my teeth will be whiter, I’m in like gangbusters. So a few years ago when I read about the amazingness that is coconut oil, I made haste to my nearest Bulk Barn to score a jar of this supposed miracle for myself. I am so glad I did.
If you were to do a Google search of the benefits and uses of coconut oil, you’d learn that it can be used as a deodorant, a sunscreen, a teeth whitener, an age-spot remover…there are more than a hundred different applications that I have seen for the stuff. Today, I want to share with you a handful of my personal favourite uses for coconut oil.
Here they are, in no particular order:
Shaving cream. I keep a plastic jar of coconut oil in the shower, and slather a small amount on my legs before I shave. Not only does the oil allow for a close shave, but it leaves my skin feeling soft and moisturised all day long.
Eye make-up remover. Hands down, coconut oil has been the most effective remover of eye make-up I have ever used! It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing a waterproof/smudge-proof/cemented-on product, a little coconut oil on a cotton pad ensures your lids will be back to their au naturel state in no time. And again, the moisturising effect is wonderful.
Cat treat. I came across this use for coconut oil one day when I had slathered by hands with the stuff for a moisture treatment, only to have Reef lick it all off. Now he expects it every morning and will not leave me to sleep until there is a blob on the bathroom floor for him. Interesting side note here: If you read the About Me section of my blog, you know that Reef contends with some cognitive dysfunction these days. Pretty common in older cats and dogs (and people). Did you know that coconut oil, which is extracted from the meat of mature coconuts, has been found to have a therapeutic effect on certain brain disorders, like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s Disease? Start feeding your cat or dog some coconut oil and watch what happens – I bet you’ll notice, at the bare minimum, that their coat becomes shinier and any minor skin irritations disappear . Beyond that you just might see some improvement in whatever else might ail them. 🙂
Smoothies. To be honest, I’m kind of over smoothies at the moment. I was having them daily for so long, now I’m just a little ‘meh’ about them. Maybe I just need a really great recipe to get me back on the smoothie train. (Feel free to leave links or recipes in Comments section!) In any case, coconut oil was a staple ingredient in most of my smoothies. I’m not a huge fan of the taste of coconuts, but I found that a tablespoon or two blended in with my morning smoothie were barely noticeable. Why bother then? Well, there is a lot of research that suggests consuming coconut oil can strengthen our immune systems, reduce cholesterol, balance blood sugar, and keep our brains sharper. One suggestion I have if you’re going to start adding coconut oil to your own smoothies: melt it first. It will blend so much better than if you add it in solid form.
Hair conditioning treatment. I have very fine hair that is prone to breakage. At least once a week, I try to pamper it with an overnight coconut oil treatment. It couldn’t be simpler: take a glob of coconut oil, rub it between your hands until it liquifies, and massage it into your scalp and strands, from roots to tips. Pull hair back in a low ponytail or braids, and put a towel down to protect your pillow and linens. Don’t do this if you are in a new relationship and having a sleepover – you will look like a total grease bag. Now that it is summertime, I have taken to putting my hair in 2 low braids, slathering the braids with coconut oil, putting on a baseball hat, and sitting outside in the sun. I’m hoping the heat from the sun will turn it into more of a ‘hot oil treatment’, while the braids will hopefully lead to some pretty DIY highlights. (I wear the baseball hat to protect my scalp from the sun and to keep my roots a little darker for a natural ombre.)
Once Baby arrives (any day now!!!), I look forward to using coconut oil as a diaper cream, too.
So, if you haven’t paid much attention to the coconut oil hype, maybe it’s time you gave it a try. Personally, I plan to do some investigating into its use as a sunscreen and deodorant. If you’re a coconut oil enthusiast like me, I’d love to hear how you use it in your life – leave a comment and let me know!