Mention coconut in the UK until recently and the chances are it would mostly conjure up the smell of sun cream, the lure of a hot, white beach or possibly an image of someone trying to break into a hard brown nut. But over the last year or so, coconut oil is now hitting the mainstream as a health and beauty product with far more to it than the smell of a summer afternoon cocktail and baking your body safely in the back garden. Coconut – and specifically coconut oil – is being revered as a great way to keep skin, hair and body in tip top shape.
Coconut oil comes as a solid block which warms in the hands to a soft oil. Below are some of the ways people use it as alternatives to other products or as a treatment in its own right.
- Coconut oil can make an excellent skin moisturiser or massage oil. Mix it with skin safe essential oils to enhance the smell or add additional benefits to your massage.
- A natural deodorant for people who dislike or cannot use shop bought products. The natural smell of coconut oil is ideal for disguising body aromas.
- As an alternative to hand cream it is quick, convenient and perfect for keeping in a jar by the sink for when hands feel dry and damaged after washing up. It is rich and intense and moisturises deeply. The same applies to feet; rub the oil in to dry or hard skin on the foot after removing the worst affected areas with a file, cover with socks and allow to soak in.
- Coconut oil works well as a hair repair mask to put life and shine back into dry or damaged hair. Many people use it as an occasional deep soak for hair to replenish oils and protect hair. It is also excellent as an emergency frizz fix; rub a small amount into over fluffy dry hair to bring back shine and control.
- Use coconut oil as an emergency shaving cream as it will protect the skin both during and after shaving.
If you are going away and need to travel light, a small jar or bottle of coconut oil would make the perfect accompaniment and cover many of the beauty needs you are likely to have on your trip. Being hypoallergenic and with so many rich, skin nourishing benefits, it is already widely used as the base for many skincare products such as the Dermalogica Super Rich Repair Cream for dry or dehydrated skin. However, as with any product or new substance, even coconut oil can disagree with some people, so always check it carefully on a small patch of skin first to ensure no reaction develops.