Used for centuries in Asia as a cure-all for almost any ailment, coconut oil is finally getting its well earned turn in the natural beauty spotlight. There are countless studies proving that coconut oil deserves its superfood tag - and with its high content of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, coconut oil should be a mainstay in both your kitchen and bathroom!
Although the coconut tree is often called the "tree of a thousand uses" in Malaysia, it would be unrealistic to expect you to read through every single use! So we’ve summarised our top 13 ways to use virgin coconut oil in your daily beauty routine for beautiful hair and skin. The best part? It’s easy to use and you can save a ton of money by replacing multiple products with just one: virgin coconut oil.
1. Eczema & Rash Relief
Coconut oil is the perfect ingredient to help relieve itchy skin due to its anti-inflammatory (to reduce swelling) and anti-microbial (to prevent infection from open wounds) properties. Not only that, it is rich in medium chain fatty acids, which can improve the health of your skin cells, reducing further flareups. To help with itch relief, apply the oil directly on to the affected area. For severe eczema or for use on children (who tend to keep scratching), it may be better to placed a soaked cotton pad of coconut oil over the affected area and wrap with a cloth bandage.
2. Deep Hair Conditioning Mask
Coconut oil is one of a few oils scientifically proven to penetrate into the hair shaft, moisturising your hair from the inside out. All other oils can only coat the outer surface of the hair. This makes coconut oil perfect for those with dry, frizzy hair as it can help improve the health of the hair from within. For a deep conditioning hair mask, simply massage 2 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil onto your hair - you can use more if you have long hair. Work the oil thoroughly into your hair - you can use a wide tooth comb to help coat your hair strands too. Tie your hair up and leave for an hour before shampooing off. You may need to shampoo your hair twice to remove all traces of oil, but the extra effort is worth it when you feel how soft and moisturised your hair is after this treatment!
3. Dandruff Treatment
4. SHAVING OIL
Contrary to popular belief, shaving cream do not need to lather in order to work! Consider swapping your current shaving cream (which is probably crammed with harsh chemicals anyway) with pure virgin coconut oil. Shaving with virgin coconut oil gives you a closer shave without drying your skin out or giving you razor burns - leaving you with smooth, moisturised skin. Coconut oil’s antimicrobial and healing properties will also help prevent infections and nasty ingrown hairs. To use as a shaving oil, just rub a generous dose of virgin coconut oil onto skin, shave and pat dry.
5. Chest Rub
6. AFTER SUN OIL
Stayed out in the sun for a little too long? Slather virgin coconut oil on your body as soon as you can. Its anti-inflammatory properties will help soothe red, inflamed skin while its moisturising properties will help keep your skin hydrated. Virgin coconut oil also works to treat sunburn - once the heat is gone, apply liberally on your burns until they have healed.
7. Wound Salve
Virgin coconut oil can help speed up wound healing. It is anti-microbial, helping to keep infections away from open wounds while its anti-inflammatory properties can relieve swelling and itchiness. To use, apply to cleaned wounds regularly until completely healed.
8. Makeup Remover
Virgin coconut oil is the perfect natural makeup remover - capable of removing even waterproof makeup, which are notoriously difficult to remove. Coconut oil does the trick of eliminating all traces of makeup without you having to vigorously rub out your face or eye, an important consideration to keep wrinkles at bay! To use virgin coconut oil as a makeup remover, simply dab a few drops on your fingers and gently wipe makeup off - or use it with a cotton pad.
9. Body Massage Oil
Craft your own body massage oil by adding a few drops of essential oils into virgin coconut oil. Use lavender and rosemary essential oils to rub out sore muscles, or blend with grapefruit, geranium and palmarosa essential oils for a detoxifying massage. If a good night’s sleep is what you’re after, blend in lavender and roman chamomile essential oils together with virgin coconut oil. Mix all ingredients well and store in an airtight container or use immediately.
10. Bath Oil
Taking a nice, long bath can be just the trick after a busy, stressful day. Help your body unwind with your very own bath oil. Just add 5 drops of lavender essential oil mixed with a tablespoon of virgin coconut oil and blend well. Draw up your bath and add the bath oil to the water just before you get in - this ensures that the essential oil doesn’t evaporate before you step in.
11. Body Oil
Virgin coconut oil is the perfect weapon to combat dry skin, due to its rich moisturising properties. You can use it neat on damp skin after a shower, or blend with your favourite essential oils for a customised body oil that you can call your own. We like to bottle ours in an amber glass bottle and keep it on standby in the bathroom.
12. Body Scrub
Make your own body scrub by mixing half a cup of virgin coconut oil with two tablespoons of coffee powder or brown sugar. Exfoliate weekly in the shower and rinse off. The rich moisturising oil will leave your body hydrated even after rinsing off, saving you the need to moisturise after your shower. Now that’s what I call win-win.
13. Cuticle Oil
Hang nails and damaged cuticles are good indications that your fingers are too dry. If you’re not usually prone to dryness, other culprits include washing your hands with hot water or using cleansers that are too harsh for your skin. Nurse your cuticles back to health by dabbing a drop of virgin coconut oil to the base of each nail once a week. Bonus: it can also help your manicure last longer.