Coconut oil has been used for centuries both for cooking and medicinal purposes. It is packed with health-boosting fatty acids, and its natural antifungal and antibacterial properties promote healing when used topically. The following list gives ten ways that you can incorporate coconut oil into your everyday routine and ditch the toxic, chemical laden products once and for all.
Coconut oil can be used directly on the skin as an effective deep moisturizing treatment. It is especially useful on problem areas such as the feet, elbows and knees. After a bath or shower, rub coconut oil all over your skin whilst it is still wet to lock in moisture. Apply a generous amount to your face before bed as a powerful and inexpensive night cream.
2. Hair Mask
Very curly or afro hair should always be treated with some kind of oil to smooth frizz and prevent breakage, but those with straight or fine hair can also reap the benefits of oil treatments. Apply coconut oil to the lengths and ends of your hair. Comb through to ensure it is evenly distributed. Wrap your head in cling film, and allow the oil to penetrate the hair for at least 15 minutes before shampooing your hair.
The vast majority of store bought toothpastes contain fluoride, which is a toxic substance that has been linked to infertility, thyroid disease and internal haemorrhaging. You can create your own safe, natural toothpaste using coconut oil, baking soda and a few drops of essential oil. Combine 3 tablespoons of coconut oil, 3 tablespoons of baking soda and 10 – 15 drops of an essential oil such as peppermint.
Make your own safe, lead-free deodorant using equal parts of coconut oil, baking soda and either arrowroot powder or corn starch. Apply to the underarms after a bath or shower to absorb any moisture during the day and kill odour-causing bacteria. Those who are sensitive to baking soda can substitute it for more arrowroot powder or corn starch.
5. Dietary Supplement
When taken internally, coconut oil provides a healthy dose of fatty acids, vitamins and even aids calcium absorption. Use it in place of vegetable oil for frying, or add it to vegetable or pasta dishes at the end for a healthy flavor boost. It can also be added to tea, coffee or soups to enjoy its numerous health benefits.
6. Makeup Remover
The delicate skin around the eye is one of the first areas that start to show signs of aging. We often accelerate this process through the use of harsh chemicals in makeup, eye creams and moisturizing lotions. Give your eyes some much needed nourishment by removing eye makeup using a dab of coconut oil on a clean piece of cotton. This will remove even the toughest waterproof mascara whilst helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Conventional sunscreens block both UVA and UVB rays. Whilst UVA is damaging to the skin, your body requires UVB in order to produce vitamin D. Sunscreens also contain many toxic chemicals that do not belong in your body, so slather on some coconut oil next time you hit the beach to provide protection from harmful rays. Bear in mind that coconut oil will not be able to keep you from burning under the hot midday sun, so try to stay out of the sunlight from 10am until 3pm.
Oil-pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic therapy that involves placing a teaspoon of oil in the mouth and swishing it around for at least 15 minutes. The oil draws all of the toxins out of the body through the gums and lining of the cheeks and also helps to break down plaque and prevent gum disease. Try to pull the oil in between the teeth and gums to remove trapped bacteria and food particles. Spit the oil out, and then brush your teeth immediately to remove any traces of toxins.
9. Spot Treatment
Coconut oil’s natural antibacterial properties make it an ideal treatment for acne and problem skin. Those who suffer from oily skin often aggravate the problem by over-cleansing their face and using harsh creams to dry the skin. This leads to your pores creating more oil to compensate for the drying effects. Smother your skin in oil before going to bed at night, or apply a dab directly to pimples as a gentle spot treatment.
10. Stretchmark Prevention
Stretchmarks do not only occur during pregnancy. Suddenly losing or gaining a large amount of weight, body building, puberty and hormone replacement therapy can all cause the appearance of stretch marks on the skin. Keeping the skin moisturized can help to prevent them from occurring, and also help to reduce the appearance of existing stretchmarks. Apply coconut oil liberally to affected areas, and gently massage in until completely absorbed.
Coconut oil can be purchased relatively cheaply from most supermarkets or health food stores. Always try to find organic, raw and cold pressed coconut oil that still contains all of its natural fatty acids and minerals. As well as being one of the most versatile and safe natural products, coconut oil has a delicious tropical aroma that is far more appealing than the synthetic smell of conventional products. Have you ever used coconut oil in your beauty routine?