Coconut oil gets a lot of praise for its versatility but are there things to watch out for?
Cooking, skincare, body lotion, hair masks, dental hygiene, natural deodorant, even a stain remover – is there anything coconut oil can’t do? It’s the holy grail product for lovers of all things natural. It will certainly leave you looking and feeling good. However coconut oil’s reputation has had its fair share of turbulence over the years.
Once you go unrefined, you never go back
There are two kinds of people in this world – the ones who swear by coconut oil and the sceptics. There are also two kinds of coconut oil in this world – virgin and refined. Coincidence? I think not.
Both are almost 100% fat (the coconut oils, not the people). This was a real concern during the 1990s when coconut oil became the symbol of an unhealthy diet. Ironically coconut oil is a staple of health food stores today. What changed? Science. The words “saturated fat” used to make any health-loving individual scream in agony. Today we understand our fats a lot better. We know that our bodies process different kinds of fat in different ways.
Consequently the difference between refined and virgin coconut oil is immense. Refined coconut oil is processed which means it loses a lot of nutrients and the good kind of fats. (Yep, good kinds of fat exist. I am as delighted as you are.) Not only that but during the processing it gains a lot of the “bad fats”.
Meanwhile its cousin – virgin coconut oil – is unrefined and unprocessed. It’s made from fresh coconut meat. It undergoes no bleaching or chemical treatments. Less refinement means more nutrients and more good fats. These kinds of fats are actually linked to a lot of health benefits – antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits above all. This is particularly relevant to skincare as many types of skin infections – including acne for example – are caused by bacteria and fungi.
Therefore if you’re keen on trying out some coconut oil – just make sure you get the good stuff.
Go nuts with coconut (oil)
Now that you know how to find the right coconut oil – what can you use it for? Cooking? Think outside of the box.
Anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antibacterial properties make it a popular mouthwash. Many mix it with apple cider vinegar for a natural lice remedy. Some use it to relieve the pain and the itching of a cold sore. You can even mix it with arrowroot powder, cornstarch and baking soda to make a natural deodorant.
But above all it’s used as a miracle skincare product. Use it to moisturize your body and your face. Mix it with sugar to turn it into a body scrub. It makes a great lip balm. It even helps getting rid of stretch marks.
Get creative! Plop a spoonful of coconut oil into your bath water for smooth and silky post-bath skin. Use it to remove your makeup and clean your brushes. Dip your feet in it and make a foot mask. It’s popular as a hair mask and a face mask but a word of caution here. There have been instances where people drenched their face and hair with coconut oil and things didn’t go so well.
Your skincare BFF
The oil in the hair ended up being quite hard to wash out – like no one saw that one coming. And – believe it or not – covering your entire face in copious amounts of oil can clog your pores. A little bit of common sense goes a long way. Your pores get clogged easily? Maybe don’t cover your whole face in oil and leave it on for 20-30 minutes.
Coconut oil hydrates deeply and makes your skin glow. If your skin is feeling dry or dull and you need some help – go and grab a coconut oil face mask. Just make sure the ingredients are as natural as possible. Did you know FOREO has a whole collection of face masks called Farm to Face with the best natural ingredients possible – what a crazy coincidence! It gets even crazier – there’s a coconut oil mask in the said collection just waiting for you to try it!