Coconut For Beauty: The Natural, Tropical Wonder-Food Beautifies Head To Toe

By Ashleigh VanHouten

If you don’t like coconut, you’re crazy. Ok, that might be a bit judgmental, but if you read this article and still don’t like coconut, you really are nuts (pun intended). Despite getting a bit of a bad rep in the past as an unhealthy fat, new research into its health benefits has it back with a vengeance in cooking, baking and even beauty products, nourishing your body in the sweetest, most fragrant and natural way possible. Full of antioxidants, unrefined virgin coconut oil can be used in just about any way you can think of. Check out a few ideas below:

For Health. Back in the day, coconut oil was used in traditional medicines, applied directly to wounds to assist in healing. It’s rich in lauric acid, has antibacterial and anti-viral properties and is even said to increase thyroid function and metabolic rate. Today, virgin coconut oil is highly recommended as a cooking oil; coconut water as a sweet and natural health drink (especially great post-workouts!) and coconut flour can be used for gluten-free baking.

See if you should go gluten-free here!

As Conditioner. Coconut oil not only lubricates the hair (for a detangling effect) but also may help to prevent damage and breakage during brushing and styling by preventing too much water from penetrating the hair fiber, reducing the swelling and lifting of the cuticle and effectively preventing breakage during combing. However, coconut oil can be fairly thick and greasy and also solidifies at room temperatures, so it’s best used as a prewash conditioner. Plus, you’ll smell like a tropical beach. What’s not to like?

To Remove Makeup. No need to use petroleum-based mineral oils or expensive makeup removers, just dab a little coconut oil on your fingertips and rub it onto your face. Wipe off the excess oil and makeup with a tissue and wash your face with your regular soap, et voila! Even the most stubborn, waterproof mascaras will dissolve with ease.

The best mascaras on the market!

As A Moisturizer. Most creams and lotions are water-bases, meaning that their moisture is quickly absorbed into the skin (which expands the tissues so that wrinkles fade away and the skin feels smoother) —but this is only temporary. As soon as the water evaporates, the dry, wrinkled skin returns. Virgin coconut oil, however, is high in antioxidants that penetrate into the underlying tissues of your skin to prevent and protect against the formation of free radicals which break down your skin’s connective tissues as you age. The oil (and remember, a little goes a long way) will also soften and moisturize your skin and even acts as a mild exfoliant, making your skin smoother and more evenly textured.

For Sunburn Relief. You shouldn’t be using any type of oil in place of sunblock – and we certainly recommend lathering on SPF daily! – but for those times when the sun unexpectedly scald you, virgin coconut oil is an effective, natural treatment for reliving sunburn and a great alcohol-free alternative that won’t dry your skin.

Try these lip balms with SPF to protect your pucker!