Coconut oil is one of the most talked about oils to cook with but did you know it’s benefits for your skin, hair and teeth? If this is the first time you’re hearing about coconut oil health benefits – it’s because of the fatty acid composition; the oil contains a high concentration of medium-chain saturated fatty acids like lauric acid. These are easily digested and fight bacteria, viruses, etc. To fully reap the benefits of coconut oil, select unrefined oil to bypass chemicals in the processing. Unrefined oil is processed by mechanically pressing the coconut meat soon after picking so it retains the compounds naturally present. Once you have selected an unrefined coconut oil – here are my favourite five uses for personal care:
Coconut oil magically melts away stubborn mascara and makeup. Add coconut oil to a dry cloth or Q-tip and remove makeup.
When I ran out of store bought face wash last month I decided to try coconut oil to wash my face. I mix my coconut oil with a bit of baking soda to give it some abrasion then I apply with dry hands to my face and wash clean with water. I’m completely hooked and love how soft my face and lips feel after using! All store bought facial cleaners contain water and therefore require preservatives to ensure shelf life. Avoid these chemical preservatives with using this technique to wash and moisturize your face.
Have you heard of oil pulling? It sounds complicated – don’t let that stop you. All you need is a spoon and coconut oil. Think of it as oil swishing! You put approx. 1 tablespoon of coconut oil on a spoon, put inside your mouth, wait for the oil to melt into liquid form, then swish through your mouth (mixed with saliva) for 20 minutes. Don’t swallow the oil, swish for 20 minutes and then spit into the toilet. I promise you’ll feel like you just got home from the dentist. I’ve incorporated oil pulling into my morning routine and love how it whitens my teeth and removes plaque. Other benefits with dental care is coconut oil facilitates absorption of calcium by the body, so it helps in getting strong teeth. Coconut oil also stops tooth decay and whitens teeth.
Aluminum-based compounds are used as active ingredient in antiperspirants. So I set off to make my own deodorant many years ago expecting it to be difficult and expensive. I was wrong and have used this 3 part ingredient recipe every since.
5-6 Tbsp Coconut oil
1/8 cup baking soda
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch
Combine equal portions of baking soda & arrowroot powder. Then slowly add coconut oil and work it in with a spoon until it maintains the substance you desire. I keep the ball of deodorant in a sealed jar, wrapped in parchment paper so I don’t get my hands sticky when applying. Store in a dark cool area of the bathroom so it won’t melt on hot, sunny days.
Do you have dry ends or dry scalp? Coconut oil is one of the best natural nutrition for hair. Adding coconut oil to the ends of dry hair produces a beautiful shiny effect. It is effective in reducing the protein loss for hair and it’s my favourite part of maintaining long hair. After my hair is washed and dry, I add a quarter sized amount to my hand, rub into liquid form and add to hair ends. It can also be used as a slicker for fly away pieces of hair. Also when your scalp gets itchy from dry skin – rub coconut oil into your scalp before bed. It will sooth itching and heal dry skin.
The best part of starting to incorporate coconut oil into your personal care regime is you’ll keep finding more ways to use it. It’s also very empowering to replace store bought products with ones you can make yourself because it ensures you know the ingredients you are applying to your family’s skin and body. A high quality unrefined coconut oil is pricey, but one jar goes a long way so the cost savings long-term are significant.