There’s been a real buzz in recent years about the health benefits of using raw virgin coconut oil in cooking and baking. Previously it was only found in specialist organic stores, but you can now find organic raw virgin coconut oil in most supermarkets across Dubai, meaning it opens up a whole new world of possibilities for us British mums. But how? We explore how coconut oil boasts a great number of beauty benefits too…
Coconut oil is naturally antibacterial and antifungal and penetrates and moisturizes the skin and hair much better than other types of oil. It certainly smells better than any other oil too and the bonus is – it costs far less than conventional beauty products, and we’re loving that!
Now this might seem a bit of veering into the unknown if you haven’t used it as a beauty product before, but believe us when we say it works! Give it a go and let us know, what’s your favourite tip!
Coconut oil makes a fantastic eye makeup remover, it's gentle to the delicate eye area and can remove even waterproof mascara! Just apply it on a cotton pad and gently wipe away! It’s an under-eye cream, so it can be patted on to the under-eye area before you go to bed and you can also put it on lashes and brows for a conditioning treatment! Smooth the oil all over the face (including your lips) for a conditioning skin treatment while you sleep. Ta da! The antioxidants are supposedly great for smoothing fine lines and wrinkles! (and we’re pinning all hopes on this one!)
The best tip for hands and feet!
Many Filipino ladies swear by this tip – and we’ve tried it and it works! For winter parched and feet, coconut oil makes a fantastic cream and doubles up as a cuticle oil too. For cracked heels, slather your feet in coconut oil before bed, slip on some cotton socks and wake up to hydrated feet that feel silky smooth. It’s brilliant!
Who needs shaving balms or shower creams when you have coconut oil? Use it to shave under your arms, legs, (you name it!) It moisturises and has soothing and healing properties too so leaves skin cleanly shaved and nourished.
It also makes a fabulous all over body moisturiser and massage oil and really works well on problem areas such as scars, cellulite or stretch marks which can be great news for pregnancy and post baby as an alternative to Bio Oil. In fact, a recent study found that when applied topically, virgin organic coconut oil actually speeds up wound healing, increases hydration and reduces water loss in very dry skin! Plus, it contains a natural SPF 4 which is even more handy for us in Dubai.
Dewy, highlighted skin is the perfect pick-me- up and coconut oil can help with this too. Try applying a thin layer to the skin before applying your foundation, this will add a dewy, hydrated look without looking greasy. You can also simply dab a small amount of coconut oil on the cheekbones on top of your makeup to catch the light and provide a natural highlighter!
You can use a mixture of one-part coconut oil and two parts anti-bacterial liquid soap to clean your makeup brushes once every two weeks. The coconut oil in the cleanser leaves brushes soft and clean.
Hair can also benefit greatly from coconut oil; it’s much more able to penetrate the hair and to prevent protein loss than other oils. You can use it as a deep conditioning treatment by applying it to the hair and leaving on overnight before washing off in the morning with shampoo. You can use also warm coconut oil and apply as a pre-shampoo treatment to soothe dry hair before you shampoo and condition. Leave it in for at least an hour. A small amount of coconut oil rubbed between your hands can be lightly smoothed onto the hair as a smoothing serum to prevent frizz and to add shine (not too much though as it can look greasy). You can also massage the oil directly into the roots to help with dandruff and even cradle cap for babies too!
Coconut oil can help with atopic dermatitis and is great when used on the face as a hot cloth cleanser. Simply massage the coconut oil into your skin and then use a hot, damp cotton muslin or flannel to remove the oil from your face. Skin feels squeaky clean and super soft!
Rumour has it that coconut oil can also be used to clean the teeth and freshen breath too! Simply gargle and swill a spoonful of coconut oil around your mouth for roughly 20 minutes to help clear up germs in the mouth, leading to fresher breath, whiter teeth, and healthier gums, and can add a little baking soda to the oil and brush your teeth with it for a whitening effect!
That’s a lot of ways to use nature’s miracle oil – but our favourite way is to mix equal parts of coconut oil and raw sugar to make a decadent (and effective) body scrub! You can add a few drops of your favourite essential oils if you like or you can simply leave it sweet and coconutty, rub.
Written by British mum and professional make-up artist, Sophie Hendra